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240 Miles, 1 Tank of Gas and $3.00 in Tolls

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By CWRailroad
August 28, 2002

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My apologies for not getting this in sooner but I have been very busy the last several days. Like a new born baby my new iBook needed to be brought up to speed gently with it great grandmother the Beige G3.

Friday August 16th 2002 started just like any other August day. Sunny, hot and humid but I knew that this day would be different. It was time to go get the portable computer, the iBook. My daughter Jenny decided to tag along so that she might get her new cell phone I promised earlier in the week to get for her before school started. I won't bore you with the details about the lunch, my daughter's indecision on which phone to get, or the millions of vehicles on the road between me and my goal on roads that are no longer "free". I guess George W gave me back some but will take it back just to drive on his name sake road here in Northern Texas. Understand we arrived finally after about 3 1/2 hours of other delays and went into the store.

The usual smattering of customers was there. The first thing that happened one of the customer assistants came to me and directed me to the table of iBooks. I quickly choose which one I wanted, asked for the memory to be upgraded to 256 megs. I then asked about the Epson 820 printer and was directed to the next row of boxes along the back wall where the printers were located. I was disappointed to find that the Epson 820 printer was one of those black cartridge, red, yellow, blue combo cartridges so I upgraded to the next Epson printer a Epson stylus C80.

As I checked out using up my $1800 credit limit and $82.00 in taxes to Plano Texas I still thought I was just getting a really good deal. I as waited for the store to add the other 128 meg of memory another iMac went out the door along with a iPod and a bunch of programs. "Oh by the way, we're have a grand opening of sorts for Jaguar"

"Really "I said, "when and what time".

"Next Friday at 10:20. PM."

"At night" "Isn't the mall closed?"

"Open for this special occasion"

"Well I will have to see! "That's past my normal bedtime!"

The drive home was impossible long account of accidents, a wrong turn and realization that the new GW highway really does not go that far west yet. It's only purposed!

When I finally arrived at home I quickly locked myself into the home office and opened my new box. I was amazed at the number of disc and how few manuals there were in the box. But it being a Apple and working with what I already knew it was not long before I was on the Internet and getting everything up to speed.

It was a good Friday

The week rolled on as it usually does for a Dog Summer Texas day. Thursday rolled around and my wife, now impressed with my iBook and really ticked off at AOL, her HP and the world in general decided it might be interesting to go to this "Opening."

Needing little excuse for myself , I thought it might be fun to go beside even a chance of 1/500 to win a iMac was better then not going and having no chance. Besides, one of the surprises in the box was a full working copy of Jaguar! It was Friday and I had not even installed it yet, I really must be slipping.

So at 9Pm Friday August 23 2002 again I setout for Plano Texas and Willow Bend shopping Center. Being after the sun had gone down but still warm the trip over was better then the last trip back account with the AC in the Subaru working less then 50% of the time at least we would be able to roll down a window for cooler air.

No consider the possibility that you throw a party. It's a open invitation. You expect 400 to 500 people tops. Thousands show up. That's what happened at Willow Bend in Plano Texas. Even 1/2 hour before the event was to begin a line 4-5-6 people across filled the mall running up and down the hallways between the stores in all of the 4 or 5 branches of this mall. Around the corner and out the door into the parking lot . Guards were shocked, store personal were finding anything they could use to make a ticket for the drawing of the free iMac. People were shaking their heads in disbelief. Even standing in the about the middle of this line waiting the party continued. Many people talked on cell phones telling others that don't expect them home anytime soon. People with video cameras and digital cameras were everyplace taking tape and pictures.

The only other business open that evening was the CC coffee booth in one of the wings of the mall just before you go into the Apple store. Needless to say they made a killing that evening.

At 1020Pm the line began to move, not fast but some progress. My wife had held our spot in line and I went out and got the iBook from the car. Not knowing what else to do I started to download the Jaguar from the disk. 1 hour and 20 minutes later and still not in the store I finished the task. Many people gathered around as I played with the dock, look at the different programs already on the hard drive and even attempted to play a game but trying to hold and push buttons was very difficult and my wife by this time refused to be a table. We switched off now and then in line so neither of us was would wear out before we got to the goal. CC Coffee got $5 for some coffee and a piece of cheesecake with strawberries; my wife didn't share.

We finally entered the store at 1150 pm. It was packed, and not only was Jaguar flying off of the shelve; just about everything else was moving also. iPods, computers, printers, tiBooks, even stereo speakers, programs and a camera or two went out the door. I made my way to the back of the store as best I could. It was difficult to move, what seats were there were filled and the poor demonstrator could hardly be heard with all the general surround din. Ask a question, nearly impossible. The question bar was turned into another checkout and that was no help.

I finally ended up asking some Apple nerds that I met in line what was the best way to interface the Beige G3 to the iBook all were quick to answer FireWire and told me how to do it properly. That would have to wait until we got home. It was now after midnight and the demonstrator actually thought about shutting down but decided that his health might suffer if he did. He continued on into the night, with me and my wife leaving for Boyd, TX well after midnight. Even as we left the line was still out the door around the corner and up and down a couple of hallways with the guards wondering if this would ever end.

Apple computer is NOT Going away in Texas. That was clearly demonstrated in Plano Texas this night. Apple needs more stores in Texas that is for sure.

We got home both to tired to do anything but take a quick shower and go to bed.

But again it was another good Friday!


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