The Apple explosion
SPINDLER CALLS IN AIR STRIKE, DESTROYS APPLE TO SAVE IT
Stock Price Increases 50%
"We'll do it better," Says Microsoft
CUPERTINO, Calif. JANUARY 18, 1996
The massive pile of smoking rubble near Interstate 280 here in Cupertino was not the result of an earthquake or natural gas explosion, as officials first believed.
It now appears that the terrific explosion and fire at Apple Computer headquarters was the result of the first corporate-initiated airstrike on U.S. or California soil in U.S. history.
Sources within Apple have told newspapers that, in an effort to save Apple from an internal coup that would result in the breakup and sale of the company, embattled Apple CEO Michael Spindler called in elements of the California Air National Guard, based at Moffet Federal Air Station in Mountain View, Calif. to bomb and strafe his own headquarters.
Spindler allegedly called the California Air National Guard late last night and ordered the airstrike, using an Apple Macintosh Quadra A/V with experimental sound cards to simulate the voice of California Governor Pete Wilson.
Within Apple, Spindler is seen as a hero. "Cool! He called in an airstrike on his own position to save his company," said one internal Apple applications developer, who gave his name as "Scooter." "It was like one of those cool movies about, like, you know, Viet Nam, that I read about it on the Web, dude."
A memo to key staffers, reportedly written by Spindler himself, explained the need for the sir strike to counter moves by Apple managers and board members to oust him in a corporate coup and to simultaneously increase the company's marginal revenue. "Existing Macintoshes, both those in use and those in warehouses, will instantly become collector's items and therefore increase dramatically in value," according to the memo, which went on to explain that "this action will therefore increase our margins on existing stock with no cost to our sales and manufacturing operations." Spindler, said to be ailing, is in seclusion. Attempts to reach him by phone mail and fax were unsuccessful.
Apple stock shot up 50% on the news, as Wall Street apparently agreed with Spindler's strategy. "Blowing up his own headquarters was a stroke of genius," said one Wall Street analyst. "This is the kind of pure creative, self-destructive genius we used to see when Steve Jobs was at Apple. It's like the old days. Mac is back!" Overall, computer stock stocks rose 75% as a result of the Apple news, then plunged 80% later in the day on rumors that Dan Dorfman had been seen having lunch with Jim Clark and Marc Andreeson.
The Spindler airstrike memo, obtained via Internet e-mail by this reporter, was fragmented and missing key information. Apparently, the strike was planned for January 1, but key aides to Spindler did not receive the e-mail until yesterday due to routing table buffer problems and addressing errors.
Cupertino city officials issued a statement at 10:00 PST this morning calling the air strike "an unfortunate incident that, while we hope we will all gain something from it, we hope it did not offend anyone of any race, creed, color, religion, thought process or emotional state, and we must emphasize that the City of Cupertino had no role in this incident if it did." Class-action lawsuits against Apple and the city, alleging emotional trauma resulting in a lost train of thought, loss of computing resources and interrupted Internet access have already been filed in California State Court.
Later, when told by federal officials that the city will qualify for both federal disaster relief funds and labor department funds for unemployment and job training programs as a result of the destruction, Mayor Bob Mellow said, "Cool. We applaud Apple and Mike Spindler for having the vision and courage to take this decisive action, and hope that our earlier statement was taken in the spirit in which it was meant."
In Redmond, Wash., Microsoft announced plans to build and detonate several networked low-yield nuclear devices at its own headquarters some time in 1997. "This is a project we already had underway," said a spokeswoman for Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. "We just decided that the marketplace won't be ready for it until 1997. Or 1998, if we decide that's when we really want to do it. Or maybe later. Right now, we're hiring additional staff, developing new technology and getting ready to copy Apple's idea, strategy and execution. Oops, I meant to say that we're evaluating previously extant competitive actions." The project, dubbed Curtains `97, is expected by analysts to be complete some time in 1999.
Apple announced it will sue Microsoft in federal court over the "look and feel" of the use of explosive devices in business and home computing product strategies.