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Lets rewind (or press whatever TiVO button) to 1997.

Apple Computer was doing seriously bad. Major columnists predicted that the company would shut down any month now. Michael Dell said he "would shut down the company and give the money back to the shareholders." Everybody called Apple "beleaguered."

As the Apple Turns (aka AtAT) came on the scene, a web site with a mac-GUI. It was basically a soap opera rendition of mac news and rumors. What made it so great was that it was a daily column featuring wit, of the crafty kind. So in addition to being comedic, it also injected pieces of pop culture and TV shows like Beverly Hills 90210 and Buffy integrated into references. People, including myself love the hidden references they throw around, like Monty Python, and the zany humor and melodrama. Oh, and relentlessly poking fun at Phil Schiller.

On the right side of the page is a daily poll related to the current story, looking like a mac stickies. Over the past year, there's been a big competition over who gets the first vote, which is extremely similiar to first vote.

Some of the other things they do involve Viewer Mail, Beat the Analysts, and a t-shirt store.

The creator/Author/diety is Jack Miller. He recently married Katie, the resident fact-checker and Goddess of Minutae.

Some facts:

The creators, all 3 of them, live in Boston.
They only go to Macworld NY, not San Francisco
They have an old mac clone, an iMac and a Pismo G3

Part of their FAQ:

Q: So just what the heck is this thing, anyway?

Well, let's see... the marketing fluff says that As the Apple Turns is a "humorous take on the daily news and rumors in the turbulent world of Apple Computer." In reality, it's pretty much just some guy spouting off about whatever's on his mind, assuming it's vaguely Mac-related. He's been doing this since September of 1997, and the kids seem to like it, so he doesn't plan on quitting anytime soon.

AtAT takes the form of a soap opera, because the impetus behind its original creation was all the doom-and-gloom reporting about "beleaguered Apple" in the dark days of 1997. If someone at Apple sneezed, suddenly the press was full of stories about how Apple would be gone within six months. We originally wanted to create a parody of that attitude, and give Mac users something to laugh at in a time when laughter was hard to come by. These days Apple and the Mac platform are much better off, but there's still no end of drama to be enjoyed-- particularly with iCEO Steve at the helm.

So, each weekday, AtAT broadcasts a new episode, chock full of melodramatic goodness and with a full recommended daily allowance of sarcasm, satire, and stuff we just make up. If you're looking for hard news and actual journalism, change the channel. We're just here to have fun.

Q: Who's behind this travesty of a show?

A question for the ages. Well, AtAT is basically the product of two semi-deranged individuals:

* Jack Miller does all of the design, coding, and writing. Whether it's tweaking some dangerously complex nested table code, obsessing over the logo in Bryce to catch just the right shade of translucent red, or crafting obscenely long sentences with subreferences so dense even light can't escape, he's in there getting his hands dirty. In the "real world" he does pretty much the same kind of stuff he does for AtAT, only he does it for a medical device company-- and it's a lot less interesting. In his so-called "spare" time not spent in front of a Mac, he enjoys reading, watching ridiculous amounts of TV, skateboarding, and listening to music spanning an, ahem, eclectic range of styles.

* Katie Hamill primarily lends moral support, inspiration, a keen editorial eye, an unhesitating capacity to find fault (but in a good way!), and an encyclopedic knowledge of popular culture. As AtAT's Resident Fact-Checker and Goddess of Minutiae, she's the one who, when asked, "who was that guy in the thing with the monkey?" will instantly reply, "Matt LeBlanc"-- somehow psychically knowing that the monkey movie in question was "Ed" and not, say, "Dunston Checks In." (If the questioner had been thinking about the latter film instead, Katie's response would have been "Jason Alexander in a goofy toupée.") This uncanny skill, while almost wholly useless in the "real world" (where Katie is a big-shot lawyer), is practically invaluable to AtAT's production, as you might well imagine.

We slap this show together in our humble home just outside of Boston, MA, where we're living in sin until the Great AtAT Wedding of 2001. Beyond that, there isn't much else to know, except that if you want to take us out to dinner some night, be advised that we eat no animal products-- we're both vegan, just like Steve (though that's an utter coincidence, we swear).

Q: What's AtAT created with? And what's it served from?

AtAT is produced primarily on a Power Tower Pro from Power Computing (remember those guys?) with a 250 MHz G3 upgrade installed. We also use a rev. A Blueberry iBook with an AirPort card installed for wireless production around the AtAT compound and dial-up support while on the road. In 2000 we also added a Pismo PowerBook G3/400 to the line-up, mostly as a Mac OS X test-bed and second AirPort-enabled roving production node (though it's actually served AtAT in a pinch). AtAT's design and upkeep necessitates the use of a wide variety of software, including Photoshop, Expression, Bryce, and BBEdit-- the text editor of kings.

As of version 2.0, AtAT is served by a used Power Mac 7500 purchased off of eBay. Those gracious souls at XLR8 donated a 466 MHz copper-based G3 upgrade out of the kindness of their hearts. "Bunter," as we've dubbed the server, runs Mac OS 9.0.4 and WebSTAR 4.2 with several third-party enhancements added, including NetCloak and Welcome! AtAT's Reruns are stored in and served from a custom FileMaker Pro database.

For a year, Bunter was running in AtAT's compound and serving the show via a notoriously sketchy and slow DSL connection. As of July 10th, 2001, AtAT's server is now sitting on a very happy chunk of bandwidth in MacConnect's colocation facility in sunny Parsippany, New Jersey. Here's hoping this arrangement works out well...

Their Disclaimer:
AtAT is not a news site any more than "Inside Edition" is a "real" news show. We make "Dawson's Creek" look like "60 Minutes." We engage in rampant guesswork, wild speculation, and pure fabrication for the entertainment of our viewers. Sure, everything here is "inspired by actual events," but so was "Amityville II: The Possession." So lighten up.

Site best viewed with a sense of humor. AtAT is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Keep hands inside car at all times. The drinking of beverages while watching AtAT is strongly discouraged; AtAT is not responsible for damage, discomfort, or staining caused by spit-takes or "nosers."

Everything you see here that isn't attributed to other parties is copyright ©1997-2001 J. Miller and may not be reproduced or rebroadcast without his explicit consent (or possibly the express written consent of Major League Baseball, but we doubt it).

The site finally installed forums, so the fans all chat about pop culture and Macs in general. Thousands of people vote on the daily poll.

Lately, the site has been silent for weeks, because Jack and Katie have had a baby, Anya.

How could I forget? The web site is at Appleturns.com

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