Saturday, March 12, 2011

Apple Runs My Life- Lovefest Coming Don

The iPad 2 Launch Party - Buffalo, NY Edition

As much as I love Apple, and it is well documented on this blog just how much I do. I have never been able to be at an Apple Store for a launch. I got my first iPhone (3G) the first week of August about a week after the launch. I got my 4G iPhone for my birthday. I bought my iMac about 3-weeks after the refresh. I got my first iPad in November (nearly six painful months after the launch), and even though I got my Mac Book Pro on the first day it wasn't a major launch. 

I decided weeks ago that I was going to be there for the launch of the iPad 2. I had to experience the fun of a launch. Here is my day:

I arrived at the mall at around Noon for some lunch at PF Changs with a friend and about 50 people were already milling around the store. I came out after a delicious plate of Mongolian Beef and the line had tripled. I got in the line (as I would later find out) at position 144. They were giving out vey cold and very delicious bottles of Smart Water

At 2:00, the store closed its doors to all customers to prepare for the launch. 

Around 4:00, the bossman came out with some girls and some tickets. You could get two tickets, 1 per iPad. The ticket guaranteed you an iPad but not a specific color/model. 

Around 5:00, all of the employees came running out giving high fives and pretending to be SOOOOOOO happy idiot sheep like myself rolled around on the floor of the mall all day. I decided to take two tickets because by 5:00 about 900 people were in line and 300 of them walked away without a ticket. Plus, after some quick iPhone research, I found out that the iPad was already back ordered 2-3 weeks on Apple's website. It was clear that by morning, there wouldn't be an iPad 2 to be had unless you turned to a secondary market. 

Around 5:30, I was to the front of the line and was greeted by a police officer, a few security guards, and a homely looking lady with a blue Apple staff shirt. Ms. Plane Jane asked me what make and model I wanted to buy. I pried, looking to gather information about what model was in such demand that it had sold out in the thirty-minutes it took me to arrive at the front of the store. Jane was as robotic as a Wrestling Buddy, and wasn't giving away any information. She stood stonewalled waiting for me to answer what make and model I wanted to purchase. I blinked first and blurted out 32/Black/Wi-Fi and was granted admission into the glorious space filled with Apple delight.

Eric Kaiser (he gave me his card) was the "specialist" that would serve me. He was a nice kid, but a couple of things about the launch made me very angry. None of it was his fault, but he was gracious enough to listen to these complaints:

  1. Inexcusably, the Apple store was stocked with ZERO docs for the new iPad 2. First of all, the original iPad dock was engineered in such a way that it is completely obsolete after one version of the product. No adapter, no tricks, iPad doc 1 garbage when paired with the iPad 2. I know some people think the docs are useless and to some extent they are, but I love to doc my products. Shame!* Shame on you Apple Store for not having any docs for me to waste my money on (*Shame is property of the Shek Republic).
  2. One of the highlights from Steve Jobs presentation a few weeks ago was the introduction to the "Smart Cover." The word was that these covers would come in cloth for $39 and leather for $69. I figured I would save $30 and buy a black cloth cover. Here is the catch, they only make black in the leather more expensive version of the product. Only the pastel looking, girlish, hideous colors come in cloth. The black, red, and navy are all leather only. Apple has left you with two choices, dress your new iPad like an easter egg for forty dollars or pay seventy and get a cool one. Like I said, I am a sheep. I bought the black one. 
Otherwise, the launch was a giant success. I made two separate purchases as follows:

2 separate checks please Eric,

1 Black iPad 32G WIFI ($599) 1 Black Leather Smart Pad ($69) 1 HDMI ADAPTER ($39)

A Few Notes:
  • The line was mostly people from Canada trying to figure a way to get back across the border with the box in-hand and without having to paying duty. The guy behind me asked me if I would mail him the box. I said no. Pay your duty. 
  • Many of the Canadians were large groups of Asians. 35% of the line was Asian. 
  • A guy behind me had 0 (that stand for ZERO) APPS on his iPhone because of a strange fear that Apple will steal his credit-card info, they are a waste of money, and the free ones are junky. Huh? He rented a car for the 90 minute trip from Toronto to Buffalo. He bought 2 iPad 2s, one to never have a downloaded app and 1 for ebay to cover the money for his rental car (he hopes). He was from Moscow (originally) and spent the spare time reading a book in Russian. I thumbed through it but the plot seemed very thin to me. 
  • I spent most of my time in line reading Jeff Duncan's incredible, "From Bags to Riches" I don't know if it will ever be our book of the month, but it is worth a read for any fan of football, human nature, and miracles. 
  • A lot of the chatter in line was on the topic of Apps (and boobs, but that is for a different blog). What apps are the best? What apps can't you live without? So I wonder, and maybe you can comment, what app do you consider a MUST have? 
  • Ok twist my arm, (Like the great Dave Dameshek, I love a good list!) Here are my top 5 apps for the iPad only. Maybe some other time (by "maybe," I mean almost definitely) I will post a list of apps for the iPhone (a totally different animal). 
  1. Flipboard: It was not a mistake that Flipboard was named the App of the Year by iTunes. Basically, the app takes your Twitter or Facebook feed and turns it into an elegant, slick, and functional magazine. 
  2. Dropbox: Dropbox would be number 2 on my iPhone list as well. I couldn't live without this online cloud (free for 2GB of storage) that makes sharing files form iPhone to iPad to iMac to Mac Book Pro easier than shucking stones (See: below). Another cool feature to Dropbox is that it offers a public folder that allows you to share files with friends at other computers (This would even work if you have an e-pal in prison, provided he had internet access.) (See: Below, Below) 
  3. DirecTV: Even though it took DirecTv too long to create this app, when they finally did drop it, I wasn't disappointed (See below, below, below). The app is functional as a remote control, a TV guide, and has a ton of cool sports features. 
  4. FLUD News: This app is free. This app is very functional and a great way to follow RSS feeds like this one. It is considerably more useful than Pakistani flooding. (See below, below, below, below)
  5. 60 Minutes: This app comes in at a pricey $4.99 and I always hated 6o Minutes because it always meant the end of the weekend, but this app is a great way to follow the longest running news magazine on television. The best part of the app is that they keep that old curmudgeon Andy Rooney (See below, below, below, below,below) in the corner by himself so you never have to cross paths with him. 

All right, time to go play with my new glorious toy...

Does anyone else have  a tale to tell about launch day?

Do you have an iPad 2 in hand?

One of the cool new features on the iPad 2 is the enhanced Photo Booth app. Tammy really likes this option:

Say goodnight Brady :)

1 comment:

  1. I can't argue anything said here you even called yourself a sheep repeatedly. Fun story.