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When Idiots Talk, Apple Listens (Sort Of)
October 12th

Gary: Why are you dressed in a toga, man?

Randy: I'm celebrating our one-year anniversary, dillweed.

Gary: Huh?

Randy: Don't you remember? We said on our one-year anniversary we would retire The Name of the Game, expand our coverage, and rename the column (drum roll, please) — Wasting Time with The Idiots!

Gary: I don't know how to break it to you, buddy, but we rolled out the new title three weeks ago.

Randy: You mean we didn't make a big deal about our one-year anniversary with The Mac Observer and we stupidly announced our new title prematurely?

Gary: Well, if you put it that way it does seem kind of stupid.

Randy: Typical. Just freakin' typical.

Gary: That's alright, man. To make up for it, I am taking you out for dinner. And tonight, the sky's the limit.

Randy: You mean???

Gary: That's right, my friend. You can supersize all you want.

Randy: Yes! So, uh, what are we going to talk about this week, then?

Gary: I don't know. Should we have our readers write our column again with another round of mail?

Randy: Well, we just did that. How about we spend this column patting ourselves on the back and taking a lot of credit for something that had nothing to do with?

Gary: I'm down.

Randy: I remember it like it was a year ago. It was our second column. We were pitching the gMac, which was our idea of what the newly released iMac would be if we could rebuild it into a killer gaming machine.

Gary: Well, here we are a year later. The second generation iMacs are out and they kick some serious butt. Of course, why they took all of our great ideas and didn't give us the credit by calling it the gMac, I will never know.

Randy: Because you live in a delusional world where real people aren't allowed?

Gary: It's where I'm a viking.

Randy: Yeah, yeah. So, what advice did Apple take from us, and how improved is the iMac for gaming? Let's find out. For starters, the processor is much faster.

Gary: While still a G3, even the base model, which retails for less than a grand (woohoo!) is faster than the previous model. With a faster system bus, and other changes, the new iMacs should scream.

Randy: Another fundamental difference is the graphics chipset. Finally, iMacs have a video system that gamers will want. The ATI Rage 128 is plenty fast and should play even the most demanding games without a strain. In our earlier column we advocated a Voodoo 2 card, but it looks like Apple is still loyal to ATI. Let's hope that it is a partnership that will flourish into some groundbreaking video cards.

Gary: We also suggested a DVD drive for movies and games alike. It is only the base model that does not come equipped with DVD. If you move up to the midrange model, iMac DV, which retails for $1299, you get standard DVD. No need to thank us. Your thoughts are more than enough.

Randy: Sheesh. Give it a rest. Next, we advocated more memory. We said for a game machine you needed a minimum of 96 MB of RAM. Apple compromised with us. We got 64 MB. Oh well, it's a start.

Gary: Apple did kind of blow us off on a couple of counts though. We requested a 17 inch monitor. No go. We requested a games bundle that could be sold with an iMac that would specifically target gamers. Didn't happen. We requested a gMacPac that could be sold alongside our gMac. When pigs fly. We said that the gMac should come standard with a killer joystick or gamepad. No way in hell.

Randy: A little bitter there, pal? Our gMacPac was to have been the ultimate hardware accessory kit for gamers. We're talkin' VR goggles, USB steering wheel, pedals, the works. You could even custom configure your gMacPac at the Apple Store, for example.

Gary: But, nooooooooo!!!!! Apple didn't think that was the way to go. They think they know everything: "Oh, we invented the personal computer, so we don't have to listen to The Idiots. We are soooo smart. We know everything. I'm Steve Jobs and I rule the world! I can grow a beard!! I can shave it!!! I can grow it back!!!! NO MEAT FOR ME!!!!!"

(dull thud)

Randy: Get off the floor, you Idiot.

Gary: Pretty cool rant there, huh?

Randy: If that's important to you.

Gary: Hey, you know from down here I can see that there is an unopened beer under the sofa.

Randy: It's mine!

(crashing sounds)

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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