Sunday, April 4, 2010

Standing on line for iPad

This post is being typed on my new iPad. At least to start... The Safari browser doesn't seem to support composing in Blogger!! Except in edit HTML mode -- very inconvenient And very slow. So, back at my computer, I can actually compose a post.

Saturday, April 3rd was an incredibly busy day.

I got up early to watch the Big Match of the English Premier League (soccer) Manchester United v Chelsea (of London), which was the "noon-time" game in England -- meaning 7:45 am here. This was the battle for 1st place in the best soccer league in the world. Important if you're a fan of "the beautiful game", otherwise a puzzlement.

Right after the game, we (me, my wife, my daughter, and her fiance) headed off to Grand Rapids to get the new iPad. We arrived at the Woodland Mall at about 11:10 and headed for the Apple Store (near the center of the mall, it turns out). After identifying myself by name as a "reserved" customer, we (just the guys -- the gals went dress shopping!) got in the short line (about 5 folks ahead of us). The nearby "purchases" line was only about 10 people long, to be fair. The store had opened at 9 am, so the main rush was over. After a 5 minute wait on line we were ushered into the store, handed off to a sales person and shown a demo iPad to play with.

After some fiddling around and a few questions I decided to pull the trigger -- but only after a visit to see the case choices and find out about return policy). Unfortunately, there were no cases available to look at as demos, only in packages! All the "demo" units were in use in a class taking place in the back room! Our sales helper (temp for the day) didn't know the return policy, so took us to the "Genius Bar". The "Genius" knew that the return policy was the same as for iPods: 14 days and 10% restocking fee. But not the same as iPhone, which is 30 days; no fee. The reasoning is the iPhone has data service, which needs to be tested where you live. I speculated that the 3G iPad, therefore, would have a 30-day policy. The Genius didn't know. After waffling over an alternate case, I pulled the trigger and bought my 16GB iPad for almost 529 bucks, including sales tax.

Out of the store and down the Mall to open it and try it out! We found some comfortable chairs, did an "unboxing", and were confronted with "Sync with iTunes"! You can't use it until it has be "authorized"! A nearby compatriot complained of the same problem. He'd expected to use it right away, but now had to wait to go home to hook to his computer. I, not wanting to wait for hours, went right back to the Apple store. They said, "No problem, we'll just activate it right here, right now!". Which they did. Temp help had inadequate training apparently.

Back at the comfy chairs, the fun began! Got to play for a half hour or so until lunch time, and the drive home, and grocery shopping, and watching the Final Four! Not much time to try out a new device. But I will post about early impressions soon. Somehow, I think I won't be returning it and eating the $50 "rental" fee as I did with the original iPhone.

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