October 26, 2007 Filed in: OS X
Finally! At long last! After a year of waiting, Leopard went on sale today at 6:00 PM.
I left work early at 2:00 to get a jump on the line. I headed down to the Apple store at Tice’s Corner in New Jersey. To my surprise, all the machines already had Leopard on them. It wasn’t for sale until 6 PM, but all the floor models had been updated. The stores were closing from 4-6 to get ready for the launch. I figured that they would be re-imaging the machines during that time. So, I got the chance to play with Leopard. Also to my surprise was the fact that no one was waiting around for it. It was raining outside, so there was no line outside. I wasn’t about to start one, or get thrown out for loitering for 4 hours. I figured I’d be safer (and more comfortable) at the mall. I could grab a cup of coffee and pop a squat out front on the carpet. (Yes, the mall is carpeted.)
Off to the Palisades Mall in New York I went. It’s only 15 minutes up the road so I got there a little before 3:00. Again, I was really, really surprised to see that there was no one waiting for Leopard. A few employees were setting up out front, but no one was first in line. Just as I pulled out my camera to take a picture of the front of a store, some guy walked up with his MacBook Pro in hand and asked “Is this the line for Leopard?” Er! I just became second in line! Still, second isn’t so bad.
We waited for about an hour before 2 more people showed up. They guy on my left (customer #3) was an older gentleman that was convinced by a friend of his to finally make the switch. So there he was, waiting for a new Mac loaded with Leopard and iLife 08. That’s awesome. The guy on my right (customer #1) was also a recent switcher. He picked up his MacBook Pro about 3 months ago. He passed the time by downloading and watching the Leopard guided tour and playing some video games in Windows via BootCamp. I told him to not let anyone catch him running Windows here! He laughed.
For a while, we got the chance to shoot the breeze with employees Brian and Stephanie. (For the record, as cool as you may think working at the Apple store would be, it’s just another retail job. You still have to kiss the public’s ass for minimum wage.) Stephanie was only 4 days on the job and knew just as much about Leopard as the next guy. The next Windows guy that is. She did admit that she hadn’t finished all her training yet. I wish her all the best. Despite the obnoxious customers, low pay, and horrible hours, she’s got a cool job. (And a PowerBook G4.)
It wasn’t until about 4:00 that people starting lining up. I’d say there was a good 100 people waiting once 6:00 came.
Once the employees finished setting up, they all disappeared to the back. It must have had something to do with the pizza guy that showed up with about 10 pies. Anyway, I’m sure there was a “Go Team!” rally in the back by management.
6:00 came and the employees marched to the front of the store clapping and woo-hooing, to which everyone out front joined in. Once the doors opened up, I was in there and had Leopard and my free T-shirt in hand in minutes.
The Palisades Mall. Nyack NY
3:00 PM - The employees are just starting to rope off a waiting area.
Here’s a picture of me taken by Apple Store employee Stephanie.
It was exiting to finally see some of the Leopard advertising go up. If it wasn’t raining so hard I would have gone for a little Apple dumpster-diving. Most of that stuff probably goes home with the employees anyway, or ends up in a bailer.
Here’s a few 10 second clips showing what the crowd looked like at 5:00 and a few minutes before 6:00.
6:00 came and all the employees marched out clapping and woo-hooing. We then stampeded into the store.
Here’s a couple of shots taken as we ran into the store. I didn’t know if cameras were cool in there or not. Apple is usually kind of funny about people taking pictures in the store. So I snapped a few fast shots and put the camera away. Besides, I didn’t want to be the only geek in there taking pictures. That, and I was dying to get my hands on Leopard and my free T-shirt.
I was in and out in 5 minutes. The line looked a lot busier as I left. Those employees are in for a long night!
Ah, finally! Leopard. I am so happy I was able to score the shirt. I tried to get an Apple shirt at the 5th Ave opening, but that was just a mob scene.
The box is really cool. The galaxy is a hologram and it makes the X appear to float over it. Pretty nice. It doesn’t photograph too well since it’s so reflective. I’ll have to try it during the day without the flash.
The shirt is pretty nice and was totally worth the wait.
Well, I’m off to install Leopard. I hope you’re doing the same!