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We’re a Happy Family

June 13, 2002

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Burrow into The Gay Blade’s enclave. The Spork Boards

While The Gay Blade generally believes feeble excuses are best left to America’s CEOs, consulting firms and intelligence agencies, he must beg pardon yet again for his recent lapse in delivering this column.

Frankly, he’s been paper-training a monstrous black dog of despair this past week – playing his Ramones 45s at a funereal 33-and-a-third while clutching a Carbona-soaked rag to his tear-streaked cheeks in stunned reaction to the untimely passing of Dee Dee Ramone a scant year after the demise of soul brother Joey.

Not only is the Blade deeply wounded by the death of an artist who (arguably) sparked the punk ethos of high-spirited self-reliance that launched the PC revolution; he’s also bitterly appalled that Apple failed to honor the man with a week-long home-page tribute akin to the late George Harrison’s.

This utensil has a modest proposal for addressing this blatant display of Boomer bias: an appearance at Macworld Expo/New York that pairs Johnny and Tommy Ramone with Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney (who, it will be recalled, inspired the names of both Dee Dee’s and Steve’s adolescent startups, not to mention both gentlemen’s boyhood haircuts).

The Mac geeks are all hopped up, and they’re ready to go! They’ve got their motherboards, and they’re going to the Discotheque Au Go-Go! Gabba-gabba-hey!

Joey and Dee Dee

Original photo courtesy of Geoffrey Notkin (

Beat on the Brat

Speaking of thinking differently at Expo: The Blade may be as set in his ways as the next aging rock star, but he’s coming around to the notion that his recent timeline for the arrival of Jaguar, the next major rev of Mac OS X, was missing a couple of important data points.

Make no mistake: He remains adamant that Apple is single-minded in its plan to finish Jaguar development by mid-July, far ahead of the “late summer” delivery date announced at the OS’ coming-out party during May’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

However, this implement may have been too precipitous in extrapolating from past precedent that Jaguar would ship shortly after this crucial milestone.

According to some longtime denizens of the Chelsea Hotel, Apple (as part of its recent housekeeping campaign on the marketing front) will use the aggressive wrap-up date to ensure that all ducks are properly lined up – developers properly looped in, vertical markets fully groomed, new salvos in the company’s competitive offensive locked and loaded – before passing Jaguar to end users.

If that’s the case, the sweat of software engineering’s brow will plump up a cushion of up to two months for Apple marketing and its third-party partners alike to prepare its late-summer putsch. Praise Tim Cook, and pass the ammunition!

Leave Home

Finally, the Blade has gotten word that Apple is preparing to bring it all back home with a return to Mariani One. That venerable corner of the Cupertino campus last housed Apple’s Spindler-era design department and ill-starred eWorld online experiment before the company relinquished the lease to Sun back in ’96. Sun used it as HQ for Java development before decamping for “Sun Quentin” central last year.

Now (after briefly using some of the office space for retraining of outgoing employees during its minor layoffs of 2001), Apple has reclaimed the lease on its ancestral hunting grounds. While the Blade’s coterie is still unclear on what the company is doing adding floor space in these restrictive times, some wags have suggested that Apple legal is planning to use it as home base for the company’s new Advanced Litigation Group.

Sir Paul may be married off, but the Blade is still entertaining suitors. Drop a Mac mash note to The NMR Report, and a chunky souvenir mole rat could be yours!

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