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MacWorld in Perspective: the consumer show

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
This MacWorld was indeed the "consumer show" -- with very significant updates across the line of Apple's consumer products (both hardware and software).

Personally, I found the Apple announcements to be very exciting. I was most impressed by the solution-based products (hardware and software) that Apple now offers. I actually think that iPhoto, combined with the rest of the digital hub apps such as iTunes and iMovie, was the most significant announcement of the show.

There will be quite a few people buying Macs because of how easy it is to use their photos, mp3s, video cameras, etc. right out of the box. It is a wonderful solution that takes perfect aim at your average computer user. It doesn't have the sex appeal that hardcore geeks are after, but then again, the mass market isn't about hardcore geeks anyway.

Of course, the iMacs are very cool too -- and not just the offbeat design or inclusion of an LCD monitor. The system specs on those puppies are quite nice, from the graphics card to the 800mhz G4, to the plethora of built-in ports, down to the availability of a CD/DVD RW "SuperDrive". Very cool stuff, I can see consumers, and even some businesses being very interested in these. I know we are.

Also the 14" iBook is a killer product -- it answers my one complaint about the iBook, and that is the size of the screen. I actually prefer the iBook to the PowerBook G4, because I use it for light-duty tasks, and the protective shell is a very nice thing -- I can just toss it in my backpacke. Now that there is a larger screen available for it, giddyup!

And to the whiners who are disappointed because there was no G5? No one who knows the industry thought there would be a G5 available at MacWorld -- but of course, that doesn't stop the rumours from flying. I'm sure there will be a speed bump "media event" (or perhaps at MacWorld/Tokyo in March) for the Pro machines soon, because the iBook and iMac are now uncomfortably close in spec and performance to the "Pro" line.

Regardless of the disappointment about there not being a speed bump to the Pro line (yes, I too was disappointed -- I expected slight speed bumps to them, with major revisions late in the year), the announcements today really were as significant as Apple said they were. To Apple and to the consumer market, anyway. I really do think it lived up to the hype -- but for propeller heads, of course it was a disappointment.

I'm sure we'll hear people whining as we did for the original iMac ("What, no floppy drive and a small screen?? This thing sucks!"), and the iMac will go on to sell extremely well, just as its predecessor did. All in all, some really cool new stuff. Nice job, Apple.

[ 01-07-2002: Message edited by: moki ]</p>
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post #2 of 38
Very well put Moki. The combo of the new iMac and the software to do things many people did not dream about doing themselves is brilliant. I really really believe this will bring a ton of NEW regular people (even some geeks, small-time pros) to the Mac.
post #3 of 38
Well put. Yes in someways Apple messed up by not at least speed bumping the PowerMacs, but I'm happy with the iMac and new iBook. If you're focused on consumer stuff than they did well.
post #4 of 38
i am very surprised that they didn't give the powermacs a speed-bump. not disappointed (i'm not in the market to plunk down pro-tower prices), just surprised. now the imac, spec-wise, may start muddling the mid-range market.

i gotta believe they'll update the powermacs at macworld tokyo. but please, people, stop looking at this as some sort of betrayal by apple towards you personally. of course, we'll never believe the hype again...
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post #5 of 38
Moki Exactly! What did we see today. 3 things:
?iMac
?iBook
?iPhoto

All consumer. So what does that mean? Obviously that we'll see a Pro event soon (we have to considering the current PM lineup compared to the new iMacs). I expect that the new PM & PB will be unvailed by Feb. 1, perhpas sooner.
post #6 of 38
We shouldn't minimize the Mhz disaster that's occurring, though. This is approaching the level of the 18 month 500Mhz G4 fiasco.

It looks like the Apollos just weren't ready. Apple really needs to change strategies with Motorola's chips.

Macs have to be better in every single way compared to Wintels, including being FASTER. Now, the fastest, most expensive Mac chips (867 G4) are probably slower than the low-end budget Wintel/AMD chips.

Hopefully that will change soon.
post #7 of 38
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by rok:
<strong> but please, people, stop looking at this as some sort of betrayal by apple towards you personally. of course, we'll never believe the hype again... </strong><hr></blockquote>

I dunno, I guess I disagree. I don't think you can fine a machine even close to the iMac on the PC side when it comes to an elegant, one-stop solution for so many consumer-oriented tasks that people do with computers.

I think they've done a bang-up job, one that lives up to all of the hype, both for Apple (given how significant the iMac is to them) and for the consumer market.

Of course, those folks who are in the high-end are disappointed, but you need to clarity of vision to see that what is significant for *you* may not be what is most significant for Apple, or the public at large.

It's all good stuff that they've announced -- I'm sure the iMacs with their software bundle will entice more than a few people who would normally have gotten a PC.

For the "Pro" folks out there, you can be pretty sure than a speed bump is coming soon, not a big deal. It looks like they wanted this show to be focused on consumer products.
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post #8 of 38
I was surprised and actually pissed about not having any PM updates, but now that I think about it the show was a success. The iMac is great, the iBook update is nice and iPhoto is really cool.
post #9 of 38
My perspective: G5's at Tokyo.

This makes a *lot* of sense.

Why bump the PowerMac now if it's just going to get redone in less than a month- and a SERIOUS redo, at that.

The iMac is similar to the PBG4 intro last year: new case, same old mobo. Only this time, new chip and GPU. I'd bet on a 133 mhz bus, AGP4X iMac coming at MWNY- or perhaps Paris.
post #10 of 38
Well, I'm not excatly a consumer, and I'm not quite a pro yet either..but I'm definetly a geek..and dang, I was going to buy a 733 G4, but I'm glad I held off!

Apple's getting my 1799 bucks.
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post #11 of 38
[quote]Originally posted by Jonathan:
<strong>
Why bump the PowerMac now if it's just going to get redone in less than a month- and a SERIOUS redo, at that.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

I guess this just underlines some of the flaws in Apple's event-driven product cycle. We get dramatic introductions of flashy new products, like the iMac, which is great: the hype and the attention help Apple, and make Macs fun.

The downside is, instead of just consistently driving pricecuts and component revisions out, like Dell does, we have to wait while Apple pads its margins, until they feel like releasing upgrades. And if those upgrades are slower to come [read: Apollo G4, G5], then we REALLY eat it.

I mean, why shouldn't Apple release at least marginally faster machines after 7 months? The only reason not to is to make a bigger splash when they do update. It's a two-edged sword.
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post #12 of 38
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Mithras:
<strong>
I mean, why shouldn't Apple release at least marginally faster machines after 7 months? The only reason not to is to make a bigger splash when they do update. It's a two-edged sword.</strong><hr></blockquote>

The obvious answer is both technical and market-driven reasons. It is likely that perhaps whatever Apple has planned next for a Pro speed bump (which, BTW, I do NOT believe will be a G5) wasn't ready. Would you rather marginal speed bumps now, or slightly more significant ones in a few months? I'll take the latter, thanks.

Moreover, Apple wanted to focus on the consumer market at this show, and not dilute their message. It also makes sense to stagger releases somewhat, rather than blowing their load in one fell swoop.

The Pro line will be out soon -- meanwhile the dual 800's continue to be killer machines (as anyone who uses them can attest). I fully expect there will be a media event or expo in the near future that will focus on the "Pro" line.

I think most people are way underestimating the significance of the announcements made today. And so it goes...

[ 01-07-2002: Message edited by: moki ]</p>
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post #13 of 38
[quote]Apple's getting my 1799 bucks. [/QB]<hr></blockquote>

Me too! I ordered my 800 MHz iMac as soon as the store let me in. Can't wait.

BTW, I am SO happy I sold my 600 MHz Combo Drive iBook last week. I'm sure I will be getting death threats from the guy very soon.
post #14 of 38
moki wrote:

[quote]I think most people are way underestimating the significance of the announcements made today.<hr></blockquote>

And how.
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post #15 of 38
Thread Starter 
So, ob: the new iMacs, who is going to be the first one to give that dome a nice R2D2 paintjob, eh?
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post #16 of 38
...well, then the iBook is the new iMac. Price/performance is still best and now at an reduced price point very much makes sense to home based computing.

The new iMac seems fine but suffers like all new- Apple- stuff from overhype and overprice.
To actually make the entry iMac much more expensive than a basic iBook is weird.

Maybe the G4 in the iMac pushes cost, but a consumer Mac at the price of a pro machine?
I'm in doubt it will sell at that price point.
post #17 of 38
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Kate:
<strong>Maybe the G4 in the iMac pushes cost, but a consumer Mac at the price of a pro machine?
I'm in doubt it will sell at that price point. </strong><hr></blockquote>

C'mon now -- look at the graphics card, processor speed (G4 as well), the assortment of CD drives available, and that it has an LCD screen. The price seems pretty damn nice to me, to be honest. The original iMac was offered initially at this price as well.

I predict it will sell very, very well.
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post #18 of 38
I have to say the more I think about the whole package Apple has created today, the more the $1800 iMac is perfect for me. It's not about speed for me, though I think I can handle 800 Mhz but the features. The new iMac not only has all the features I want but it also has the most grace. I didn't buy a mac for what it had that other PCs didn't -- they all have the same stuff. I bought a Mac for how it did what others could do, just not as well.

This machine is perfect for Mom too. Toss the iApps, Mail and OW in the Dock, plug in stuff easily (the back of the iMac has *zero* intimidation factor) and you have yourself the most non-computer computer out there.
post #19 of 38
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>Macs have to be better in every single way compared to Wintels, including being FASTER. Now, the fastest, most expensive Mac chips (867 G4) are probably slower than the low-end budget Wintel/AMD chips.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

By the way, you *did* realize the second-fastest chip Apple uses is now in a $1799 *consumer* machine (oh, and add a SuperDrive to that)?

This would have costed you how much one day ago?

Clearly, this MW has been a *very* consumer-oriented show, not only b/c of the iBook and iMac, but because of almost every single product shown (or of what interest might Star Wars Galactic Battlefield to, say, a print-house?).

Bye,
RazzFazz
post #20 of 38
Two things I don't like.
100Mhz bus, should be 133MHz
1024 max resolution, should have been 1280 (the 12.1 on the iBook can make 1024..)
Apart from that I think it is a wonderful product.... :cool:
post #21 of 38
This show was huge, and highlights why processor speed has very little to do with what computer you would buy.

Certainly, a P4 at over 2GHz is a faster processor than anything in a Mac. However here's what you can't do on any PC regardless of processor speed:
1) iPhoto - automatically import into a library photos when connecting the digital camera to the computer and then:
\ta) easily organizing those photos
\tb) easily publishing them to the web
\tc) easily ordering prints of any size
\td) easily creating a video out of them
\te) easily removing red-eye
\tf) easily cropping the images for various ratios
\tg) ordering a hard cover book out of the pictures
\th) easily print them without the need for color correction or printer adjustments
2) iMovie - if you haven't seen what this can do you're missing out on a major part of the reason of owning a mac
3) Now, you can make DVDs out of your iMovies - Holy SH!T!!!
4) iTunes for organizing your music and synching it with iPod
5) the beauty and stability of OS X.

I would be delighted if I could accomplish these tasks at 2.2 GHz instead of 800MHz, but know this - No PC user can do this at any speed. Windows does not do any of the above as easily or at all in some cases.
The applications available on the Mac platform and uniquely to consumers is going to ensure apple's viability regardless of processor speed.
I'd also like to point out that with both iPhoto and iDVD, Apple now has new revenue streams from the purchase of prints/photo books and recordable DVDs. This trailing revenue stream is going to be great for Apple financials once the new iMacs start shipping in volume.
post #22 of 38
[quote]Originally posted by moki:
<strong>

C'mon now -- look at the graphics card, processor speed (G4 as well), the assortment of CD drives available, and that it has an LCD screen. The price seems pretty damn nice to me, to be honest. The original iMac was offered initially at this price as well.

I predict it will sell very, very well.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I predict it might sell okay if it were available. Not only do we forget that the high end machine is $1800, we forget that the $1299 machine isn't supposed to be available until March!

Those specs might be great compared to the outdates iMac specs it is replacing but Apple has done nothing to dig themselves out of the hole they are in.

As it now stands...

The PowerMacs are a complete joke. No one anywhere is going to buy one.

The only "new" iMac you can buy right now and have ship within the next 30 days is priced at $1800. It ships with a semi-current videocard but will it be current in March when some of these are just getting started out the door?

The iBook is a great product. Sells well and I suspect it will continue to do so. Apple should have chipped in the 100 mhz bus on the 500 along with the price drop.

The PowerMac got a combo drive but also got a nice $200 price hike to go with it.

All of Apple's competitors are adding features and DROPPING prices. If they are unable to add features, they drop prices. Either way Apple is bucking the trend here with mediocre hardware spec-wise or availability-wise.

Also consider...

The G4 is a great processor when compared to the antique G3. The rest of the industry is comparing it to the P4 and Athlon XP. P4 is @2.2 ghz and again where will these chips be in March when the low end iMac is finally shipping.

Dell is shipping a slimline case available with the same specs as the new iMac (1.6 ghz P4)(except the video card and an inexpensive firewire) TODAY for $1251. Gateway is selling a celeron 1.2 ghz bundle for $999 and again it is selling TODAY. The specs might not be as nice today but we have to compare it to the March iMac.

As if that weren't breaking the camel's back. They are still 100 mhz machines with SDRAM. Apple is selling $1500 machines (new not outdated, heck not even shipping) with SDRAM and no dvd-r.

I don't care what type of show it is, be it consumer or pro. The rest of the industry is updating monthly or minimum quarterly. Apple is updating every 6-9 months, and now the updates aren't even that much.

Nick

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post #23 of 38
[quote]Originally posted by moki:
<strong>The price seems pretty damn nice to me, to be honest. The original iMac was offered initially at this price as well.</strong><hr></blockquote>But there are two ways to gauge price:
1. value
2. absolute price

Like you say, the iMac has great value, because it has a G4 and flat panel and the high end has the SuperDrive, etc.

But it also has a high absolute price. Some people just don't want to spend $1300 on a computer, especially when the average entry-level for home computers right now is several hundred cheaper.

Same with the iPod: Great value for what it's got. But lots of people wouldn't spend $400 on an MP3 player.

And comparing the prices of the 1998 iMac to the 2002 iMac is misleading. Look how much the average price of the home computer has dropped since then.
post #24 of 38
iphoto is the biggest thing of the show. I've showed it my family who were stunned by it and had a hard time believing it was free.

Anyone who's thinking that Apple will leave it's pro range this close to the consumer range is mistaken. Apple is teasing us again, provoking debate, and in the next few weeks will spring some seriously fast stuff on us. Think about it, SJ's consistently said he had listened and given us what we wanted in the imac (G4 , LCD, and superdrive). Don't you think that he'll do exactly the same with the towers.

Come on and join the party at having the best apps on the planet
post #25 of 38
As disappointed as I am about no PowerMac upgrades, I think the iMac with all of its functionality is extremely cool.
You have to keep in mind that when you're talking about comparing prices with PCs, that you're not getting anything like iTunes, iMovie, iDVD or iPhoto. Damn, that functionality makes the machines well worth their cost!!
Yes, I would like to see Apple upgrade their machines more often, but where else can you get a computer that delivers the value that you get with Apple? Who else gives you, right out of the box, the ability to edit movies and put them on DVD? Who else give you all of the options, within one applications, that iPhoto has?
So, being a professional, I want very fast PowerMacs, but I DO see the significance of what was released today, and if it were not for the consumer market, where do you think Apple might be today?
Just my $.02.
post #26 of 38
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>
And comparing the prices of the 1998 iMac to the 2002 iMac is misleading. Look how much the average price of the home computer has dropped since then.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Hmmm, from what I've seen, the average prices haven't really fallen that much, if at all.

(Of course, you get more power and features per buck nowadays compared to back then, but that was not the point here.)

Bye,
RazzFazz
post #27 of 38
I think Apple has a very different vision than many of you. The direct comparissons to the PC world mean nothing.

By now, Apple knows that it cannot under bid the the PC 'consumer' machines. We've all seen the endless posts about what you can get on a PC for x amount of dollars, but the machine you end up with will not be a Mac.

Until recently, the reasons for using a Mac were disappearing. Windows had copied enough of the Classic Mac interface to be usable and the 'ease' factor had all but vanished. I believe Apple is setting out to distinguish themselves from the rest of the industry. They are answering the question 'why use a Mac.'

I am also disappointed that new PM systems didn't come out. But if you step back and look at the big picture, you will see that the moves that were made today will have more impact on the computer world than faster G4s.

Suddenly, the PC makers are at a disadvantage. How can they respond to this iMac...they have no equivelant machine.

I am blown away by todays announcements. The iMac is simply incredible. The more I think about it, the more I am sure that we will see a Pro-oriented event in the near future.

Apple played us all. We bought the hype and loved it. Dont be mad.

Apple may be tricky, but they are not stupid. We will see new PowerMacs soon.
post #28 of 38
The iMac idea is to include everything and make it a bundle at a reasonable price.

The price still is and was unreasonable given the competition and all iApps together are a very weak argument in the marketing battle.

It is also even more unreasonable given that the competition lowers price and extends specs at a higher rate than Apple does. The current absolute price is that of a mid class machine, not entry level by all measure I think. The performance however is a bit sub midclass IMHO. This does not quite well match the current economics and consumer budgets.

I fear the gap between Mac and PC has widened a lot now price/performance wise.

Apple tries to sell these machines as luxury consumer computers with a wow-factor, but I fear this might wear off too soon. Absolute prices are far too high, a sub $1000 Mac is wanted in the product matrix I think.

I would myself always spend more on something I feel more attracted to, but only up to a certain point and I think the current Apple selling policy stretches this to the limit. Hopefully only for me, maybe there are a lot of consumers with bigger budgets, but I'm in doubt of that.
post #29 of 38
[quote]Originally posted by moki:
<strong>

C'mon now -- look at the graphics card, processor speed (G4 as well), the assortment of CD drives available, and that it has an LCD screen. The price seems pretty damn nice to me, to be honest. The original iMac was offered initially at this price as well.

I predict it will sell very, very well.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Agreed. The new iMac will definitely go very well for Apple. I plan on getting one soon, myself!

--Alexis
post #30 of 38
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Kate:
<strong>The iMac idea is to include everything and make it a bundle at a reasonable price.

The price still is and was unreasonable given the competition and all iApps together are a very weak argument in the marketing battle.</strong><hr></blockquote>

A friend of mine just bought a nice new home compaq machine, competition to Apple's iMac. It doesn't even come _close_ in terms of the abilities you get from it right out out of the box.

Consumers think of what they can do with their computers. They aren't like people who obsess on the latest rumours or on MHz.
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post #31 of 38
[quote]Originally posted by Kate:
<strong>Apple tries to sell these machines as luxury consumer computers with a wow-factor, but I fear this might wear off too soon. Absolute prices are far too high, a sub $1000 Mac is wanted in the product matrix I think.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, there actually is one. The old-style iMacs are still available, and start at $799.

Bye,
RazzFazz
post #32 of 38
My first thought at the keynote today was G5's when Steve announced all iMacs going G4.

I was expecting them in the one more thing.

Even without the pro line updated, I was impressed.

This was clearly a consumer product boost, and I think we'll see the pro line follow suit at Tokyo in March. I believe that this keynote lived up to 80% of the hype. Have no fear, Apple will release killer new G5's. My only disappointment with the new iMac is the 100MHz bus and its use of SO-DIMMs for expansion. I believe that will be boosted in July.
post #33 of 38
This Macworld is completely on target for Apple. They have been targeting the digital hub and their hardware and software offerings today clearly executes against that mission. Rather well I might add. The growing market is in the consumer realm and the increase in market share will also come from wooing consumers rather than preaching to the pro level chior. The new imac bests everything out there for the consumer, especially at $1800.

Considering the role of the iMac in eyes of the press, stockholders and average joes out there it HAD to steal the show today. Anouncements form Microsoft and AMD in the coming days, as well as a PR hookup with Time magazine, the keynote time change, etc. all point to trying to best the competition with a product that they just don't have: an insanely great consumer package.

Let us not forget that we are nerdy enough to read these forums. We are not the average joes or stockholders.We may salivate over the possibility of a G5 but frankly the iMac has been apples savior, not the high end machines.

That being said, development of Final Cut, a partnership with Maya, rumored discussions with Avid all point to long term Pro Level strategies. I find it hard to believe that Apple would let this new iMac obsolete most of its pro line for long. If we don't see more pro level announcements tommorrow, I say we see them as soon as the new "sunflower" iMac wilts with the fickle stock holders (i.e. within two months) I also don't see this new iMac as bigger than the original iMac, especially by Steve's standards. It is reinvention not revolution. If Apple is going to live up to the hype they created we will see more tommorrow.

Analysis: thanks for admirably stealing the show today, now lets see the goods.
post #34 of 38
Apple will never ever ever make their machines on par with the up-front pricing of other computer makers' machines. They do offer more value though. There will always be people who will see a cheaper price up front and buy the cheapest. There are also a lot of people who will see that once you add all the stuff to get the functionality (without the elegance perhaps) of Apple's machines, you have already spent as much or more as that. Let's not cater strictly to the cheapest prices possible. You really do get what you pay for.

And, no, this does not mean that Apple can overcharge for stuff either. Apple's prices are competitive not bargain basement.
post #35 of 38
um, anyone notice that the 2.2 GHz pentium 4.1 is ALL OVER CNN?!?!? it's beginning to get nauseating all the free press they're getting, just by cranking up the Hz...
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post #36 of 38
[quote]Originally posted by Kate:
[QB]

The price still is and was unreasonable given the competition and all iApps together are a very weak argument in the marketing battle.
QB]<hr></blockquote>

You're kidding, right?
Try to configure a PC with an LCD monitor and a DVD writer and then tell me the price is unreasonable. Then, to be able to do the things you can do with the iApps, you have to go and buy software for the PC.
While these may not be a top priority for a professional, consumers will no doubt fins a lot of value in them.
post #37 of 38
That new iMac is an awesome machine. If I were buying a new Mac, I'd get the iMac. It's got everything I need.

What I would really like to see is another iMac with a larger LCD display. And this would be very easy for Apple to do, unlike with the older iMac where a complete redesign would be needed.

Ditch the superdrive, add a 17" LCD, and sell it $1800. I'd be all over that!

And now that the iMac has a G4, I think it's safe to assume that G5 powermacs will be here soon.
post #38 of 38
hey JYD, i agree... that imac is a sweet machine spec-wise and price point. and, as you mentioned, it will be MUCH easier for them to tack on a 17" lcd once the cost comes down a little, WITHOUT redesigning the entire enclosure again.

yep, if i was in the market for a mac, the imac is an easy decision now (especially with superdrive).

i am simply more concerned on behalf of apple's PR, especially with CES going on, MS's new web tablet, and Intel/AMD trying to on-up each other in the wings... but i will trust that steve and apple probably know more about what they're doing (and how to do it) than i ever will.

[ 01-07-2002: Message edited by: rok ]</p>
When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
Reply
When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
Reply
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