Living in paradise has a few pluses. First, we have an Apple Store in the Ala Moana Shopping Center. It’s right across from Ala Moana Beach Park. Sunsets are great.
The Honolulu Apple Store is usually crowded and promised to open an hour early on Saturday, January 22nd. That promise was fulfilled.
The bell range at 8:30 AM. Already about 50 to 70 Mac and iPod users had lined up outside to get the first look, first touch, first taste of Apple’s new January 22nd line up.
On stage inside the door? iPod shuffle around the neck of most Apple Store employees. Boxes of iLife ‘05 and iWork stacked here and there.
The Mac mini? There it was parked next to a 20-inch Apple Cinema display. My gawd, that thing is smaller than expected.
The Mac mini looks like a square iPod without the scroll wheel. Oooooh, but does it “feel good.”
More than a little strange was the iPod shuffle. Not only does it NOT look like an iPod, it doesn’t carry an iPod price tag. Did our Apple Store employees have them in stock, ready to stuff into bright white Apple shopping bags?
Nope. The first supply sold out in a few hours a week earlier, more were expected within a week. Not to be maligned, the Apple Store employees were more than happy to help iPod lovers and lovers-to-be order their new iPod shuffles online; right there in the store.
How pleasant of them.
How about the Mac mini? Yes! Yes! They were in stock, in unopened boxes, carried by store employees by that cute shopping strap handle thing on the top of the box. My gawd that thing is small. The box isn’t much bigger than an iPod box.
Of the 50 to 70 people who waited in line early for the early opening to buy their Mac mini early, how many actually got one? Maybe 4. 6? Maybe 10 or 12. If that. Not many more.
I waited in line for 30 minutes to get my hands on iLife ‘05 and iWork and I didn’t see more than half a dozen Mac mini boxes head out the front door.
About half way through the line a young lady from Apple came through to ask if we were interested in a Mac mini.
Then we were politely informed that all they had left were the 1.25 ghz models (at $499; bummers, dude!), and would that be OK?
Alas, my flirtation with buying a first day Mac mini died about 20 people in front of me as they sold the last one of the remaining inventory.
I swear. There couldn’t have been more than half a dozen. Maybe 10 or 12 at most. And I got in line (about #64, as I recall) well before the 8:30 opening.
So, I’m batting .500 with iLife ‘05 and iWork boxes safely in tow. Two out of four ain’t bad. It’d get me in the baseball hall of fame but thrown out of NFL quarterback school.
Now that I can’t satisfy my need for instant gratification, I think I’ll wait until the Mac mini ships with Mac OS X Tiger. That’ll save me about $130.
I made it home and quickly installed iLife ‘05 and iWork on my PowerMac G5. Sweet. iLife is not overwhelming, just improved. iPhoto and iDVD have the most visible improvements. iMove will have to wait until someone I know buys an HD camera.
iWork? Well, there’s what it is and what it ain’t. It ain’t a Microsoft Word killer. It is surprisingly simple to use for a word processor AND a page layout program. The power’s in there. Keynote 2.0 came with a few extra enhancements but Apple is not following Microsoft’s course of 100 new features with every upgrade.
It’s spartan but pleasant.
How about my iPod shuffle? Well, I’ll have to wait until I can buy one off the shelf. I’ll go for the 1 gigabyte model and use about 300-megs to backup Mail and some important files. And to sing while I jog.
As I started up my Honda motorcycle on that cool (72-degrees) Saturday morn’, I thought of all the folks who headed out to the Apple Store in Chicago (72-degrees below zero; or felt that way).
Getting half what I wanted isn’t so bad. I was dressed in cutoff shorts and a t-shirt and riding a bike. And toting home new stuff from Apple.
Life is good.