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What Steve Jobs Did Wrong
October 24th, 2000

Randy: Hey, Gary, I'm back from the store with... what the hell are you doing?

Gary: I thought I would use some symbolism to tie in with The Idiots' new start and Apple's new start.

Randy: So that's why you have a high-powered telescope out?

Gary: Exactly! See, we just started our new biweekly column schedule and Apple is now adjusting to life after its first "post-Jobs comeback" setback.

Randy: And the telescope comes in how?

Gary: Well, see it's a symbol for looking beyond. Like looking into the cosmos, it's supposed to mean that there is a great future for both The Idiots and Apple, even though there have been recent changes.

Randy: Then why do you have the telescope pointed toward the window of the new girl who just moved in across from the cave?

Gary: I haven't worked that into the symbolism yet, dude.

Randy: Okay, how about you talk while I "look into the cosmos."

Gary: See? I knew you would figure it out soon enough.

Randy: Mmmmm, cosmolicious......

Gary: Apple has made an incredible comeback over the last couple of years, but now that we are a little less influenced by Steve's reality distortion field, it is easier to see some opportunities that Apple has missed.

Randy: You go, brotha. Wow, those are very impressive nebulas. Good call, my man.

Gary: Yeah. Wait till you see the supernova.

Anyway, on to a huge opportunity Apple missed. That was to produce a killer game machine. They had everything in place. A one-piece super easy to use machine that was all Steve's doing. The iMac.

Randy: True. So true. But Steve was obsessed with the Internet. Or better yet, with the fact that Apple had previously missed the boat when it came to the Internet. So, that was the iMac. The Apple Internet appliance. Period. End of discussion.

Gary: But the iMac could have been so much more. Had it the proper gaming options, it could have been the ultimate Apple gaming appliance as well. But Steve saw the Internet, and Steve is often not interested in perhaps refining his ideas into something even better.

Randy: Think about how many consumers buy gaming consoles. I think a lot of them would have paid, say, a hundred dollars more for an iMac had it been able to push the best games for the Mac.

Gary: But, the iMac has never been a great gaming machine. And one thing would have made all of the difference. A decent video card. What would have been the sin of making a powerful 3D card an option for this almost perfect gaming machine? A Voodoo card could have been built-to-order (BTO) for as little as a hundred bucks, half the price of a Dreamcast. Think about how many college students would have really wanted an iMac for their dorms then. I bet a hell a lot more than want them now.

Randy: A lot of killer titles have been ported over to the Mac since Apple's turnaround, also known as the advent of the iMac. But, here is a disturbing fact. These Mac porting houses and publishers aren't making very much money. Why? Because the reason they began to port titles over, huge iMac sales, aren't driving game sales. Why? Because to play the latest, greatest games for the Mac, you need a video card which simply isn't available in an iMac.

Gary: Which means, that unless Apple makes the iMac a killer game platform by offering BTO options (gasp!) like 3D cards, and even bundles of USB joysticks and steering wheels, there may not be this choice of games for the Mac in the very near future.

Randy: C'mon, Steve! Throw us a bone! You said that you wanted to make the Mac the ultimate gaming platform. You showed us Halo and paraded John Carmack out for us. We believed. Were we just tools? Say it's not so!

Gary: I know we seem a little melodramatic here, but I see irrefutable proof of this everyday. My little brother, Dan, is twelve. He has 333MHz iMac, but buys games for his Dreamcast because his iMac can't play the coolest titles. His, and all of his family's, game money (that goes to buy him birthday and Christmas presents) goes in the coffers of Dreamcast game developers, not Mac game developers. And the kicker is this: his favorite games of all are the ones that he can play when he comes over to visit me and my Voodoo2-equipped G3: Carmageddon 2, Unreal Tournament, Descent 3, and the public beta of 4x4 Evolution.

Randy: While you have been doing all of that talking, I have been looking at our next-door neighbor. Sweet!

Gary: Gimme that! Lemme see! Wow, she is good-looking. I think she sees me!

Randy: Yeah, that's kind of why I stepped away from the telescope.

Gary: Oh, baby! I think she has a telescope too. She's looking at me! She must really want me.

Randy: That's not a telescope. That's a high-powered rifle with a telescopic sight. Let me step even farther away.

Gary: Hey, you're right. This sucks. AAUUGGHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What will happen to the lecherous and disgusting Gary? Will the malevolent and bullet-dodging Randy be punished in Hell for his despicable actions?

The answers to these and other questions can be found in The Idiots' next column...

Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.

The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.

You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .


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