George Engel lets us follow along as he and his wife brave the Orlando Apple store in a quest for the new iPad 2 on opening day …
Arlene and I arrived at the Millenia Mall in Orlando about 2:30 pm on Friday afternoon on March 11th. The Apple Store already had the ‘rat maze’ in place and it was full of people. Due to fire regulations the long lines had to be segmented to allow Mall customers to move in the Mall. So I call this line segmented line Lines 1, 2 and 3.
Line 3 went all the way back to the Macys’ anchor store at the end of the Mall. We were in Line 2. Apple handed out free bottles of water, crackers, cookies, etc all during the wait time until they opened for all three lines.
Around 4 PM they had to put another ‘rat maze’ down by Macys.’ The line was really getting long, around 800 by my estimate. I took pictures and movies at 2:45 with my little ‘point and shoot.’ Then I also took pictures at 3:30, 4, 4:45 and a last one at 7:30 when we were leaving the Mall.
Apple put black curtains over the glass front at 3 PM when they closed the store. A roar from the crowd told us that it was 5 PM and the store opened. There was a limit of only 2 iPads per customer.
We were told that there were no more White 16 GB WI-FI’s left. They were sold out just prior to us getting in the store. We finally got in the store around 6:30 and I told Arlene I was getting her her own iPad 2, which she nearly hit the roof. I think I can say Arlene was excited! Each person entering had their own Apple sales person that did the whole sale and exited you to the door and picked up another customer.
I met a lot of Apple sales and service people that I’ve met and talked with over the years.
We got our two iPads, covers and AVG and Digital AV Adapter cables, and thank you, Apple. They even offered to do a setup for each customer if they wanted.
When we left the Apple store, I went up to the 2nd floor and looked at the lines. It was still back to Macys’ and it was 7:30 PM! I took another picture! We went to the Food Court and Arlene bought me a ‘Firehouse Sub,’ Italian style. We hadn’t had any food since breakfast, and was that Sub good!
By the time we got home and I set up both iPads and loaded them up with stuff, it was 2:30 Saturday morning! We then crashed until 9 am Saturday.
Was the whole thing worth it?
Oh yeah, it was an ‘Apple Thing!’ The people, the excitement, the ooh’s and ahh’s almost reminded me of Apple Rollouts in the past, and the old Mac Expos in Boston. It was a fun time!
It’s now three days later and the glow is diminishing a little. Looking at the pictures here reminds me of the fun time in line. It’s hard to explain to the non-Appleholic what the feeling is to get a new Appke product and to open the box and go through the setup. Arlene is still like a little girl at Christmas with her playtime pal.
It takes a much longer time to charge the ipad 2 than our older iPod Touch’es. Arlene looks at charging and whispers ‘Is it done yet, is it done yet?’ Needless to say, it was one of our best early Christmas presents yet.
So what have I been doing with it? Well, for the past three days, I’ve been downloading all my favorite Touch Apps to those that have been converted to iPad Apps by the developers. That’s taken awhile. Also moving over all my Contacts and photos.
I’ve had to re-convert some of my movies from iPod to iPad format to make them look great. All of these little tweaks take time. Why did I get Black? Ask me at the meeting and I’ll tell you! Now I have to decide whether or not to spring for the bucks for ‘Pages’ and ‘Keynote,’ those applications I use on my Mac for writing and for demos for the User Group. Decisions, decision, decisions.
Some more items to think about… While I bought the Apple Covers for the iPad 2′s, I knew it was a shortterm decision for the glass protection. For long-term, we needed full covers and foamy stuff for the whole case and drop-proof protection. Also something that would help me hold the iPad when I’m doing demos. It feels easy enough to slip out of my hand, God forbid! I’ll be looking to get a full case with a handle of some kind on the back for both of our iPad’s. I’ll get back to you on that when I make some decisions, and when enough of the iPad cases get on the market.
Remember I said iPad 2! There’s a difference in the cases! Think built-in Cameras and magnetic covers. I have a lot more shopping fun to do on that. I’m sure that ‘Arlene the Good, Arlene the Pure’ will help me on that one.
My wallet is getting sore already!
Until next time … happy iPad day!
About the author: George Engel has been a computer guru probably longer than he will admit — as a computer expert, he authored The Naked Serviceman book, about his journey through the history of Apple’s Macintosh as owner/founder of an authorized Apple Service Center. He owned one of the first Apple II computers as well as one of the first Macintosh 128s. He hangs out with the Lakeland User Group in sunny Florida.
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