Exclusive Is the PowerBook G5 near at hand? A tentative clue from Apple's own website suggests that it might be.
One eagle-eyed Register reader noted the following section of HTML code tucked away in Apple's main PowerBook page:
<!--BEGIN AVENUE A-->
<IMG HEIGHT="1" WIDTH="1" SRC="http://switch.atdmt.com/action/apple_g5_powerbook">
<!--END AVENUE A-->
Avenue A is an online marketing and advertising agency owned by Seattle-based aQuantive, which also owns the atdmt.com domain name.
Right now, the code simply places a 1 x 1-pixel placeholder graphic on the page. The file is called apple_g5_powerbook.gif. That presumably allows Avenue A to count the number of visits to the PowerBook page - and, indeed, many of the other Apple website sections. all of which contain links to switch.atdmt.com, particularly for the more pro-oriented products. In each case, the URL is different, with the final segment changing to reflect each page's subject matter.
Could it be an error? Possibly, but other hardware pages thus linked all correctly label the type of processor each machine features. The Xserve page, for example, down as apple_g5_xserve, not the more generic apple_xserve. Ditto the Power Mac page.
That suggests - and Avenue A's role would appear to reinforce - the notion that the labelling is correct, so configured to track page hits. The fact that the PowerBook G4 page is already labelled apple_g5_powerbook perhaps suggests that such an upgrade can't be far off - maybe Avenue A is preparing 'before' and 'after' stats.
The timing also appears to tie in with reports from sources within Apple's Far Eastern notebook contract manufacturers that the PowerBook G5 is scheduled to ship sometime in Q2.
As we've said, it could be an error, but with two separate files both using containing the sub-string _g5_, one on Apple's site, the other on Avenue A's, this seems unlikely.
Or Apple may simply be out to get Mac fans excited ahead of time. Certainly the PowerBook G5 is probably the most eagerly awaited machine Apple has yet to produce.
Interesting times, eh? ®
Click for full-size image
Within an hour of posting the story, and the screenshot we took as evidence, Apple altered the HTML to replace g5 with g4. Don't hang around, do they?
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