Mac Outpost was our point of purchase last Friday but it was so much more. My husband and I lined up, yes, lined up, to get one of the new iPad 2 machines scheduled to be available at 5 o’clock. Now, what does this have to do with writing? Give me a few minutes and I’ll come up with a list of uses. Meanwhile, here’s what happened.
We arrived outside the Mac Outpost in London at about 2:45; there were already 8 people in line outside the store. I got out and took my place while my husband parked the car. Check out this link ( http://en.video.canoe.tv/video/news/canada/1896809958/fans-line-up-for-the-ipad2-in-london/856305517001) from the news on London tv that night. I happened to be in the car getting warm when this was shot but my husband is standing there freezing in a few of the frames.
We had fun. Immediately upon joining the line I made everyone laugh. I hope it was at my joke, not at me. We were all characters. I was by far the oldest until my husband joined us. A stubbled young man wrapped in a Navajo blanket showed me his insulated sweater, as the afternoon went on. A girl with a multi-colored lap afghan wrapped around her legs had not planned to be there. She had no hat, one of her son’s padded gloves on one hand and a half-fingered glove on the other. Right ahead of me was a fellow in a Nerds-On-Site shirt furiously texting on his iPhone until the battery died. We talked about the first computers we had–mine a Radio Shack TRS 80 and his a Vic 20. We even laughed about Pong. My husband and I had gone to his company for service in the early days as there was nobody local. Probably the guy was about two then.
Amazingly the time went fast as the afternoon progressed. Store people came out several times repeating to newcomers that the store had no control over what had been shipped; therefore, they could not tell us. And they couldn’t open their shipping container until 4:30 when they would shut the store for a half-hour and unpack. At one point a store clerk went to Tim Horton’s a block away and purchased coffees for everyone. It was welcomed. Something warm to hold if not to drink.
We got quite friendly, not really sharing much personal detail, but just feeling the cameraderie of this unusual experience. I know that most people would think we were edging on senility to spend two and a half hours lined up in the snow on a bitter cold afternoon. I asked a few questions and got good enough information on the attributes of this new iPad that my choice of what to buy was reinforced.
Most of the people there were way more up on the computer world than I am but I found their weak spot when I asked about tabs in Word 2007. Silence. No one really was doing word processing. They were gamers and tech junkies. Talk about Apple TV and they were all over it, giving me suggestions and helpful insights. I loved hearing what was in their brains. Kind of like a peek inside a new toy to see what makes it go.
The guy from the Ivey School of Business interested my husband as he graduated from there eons ago. They had lots to talk about.
We were the most senior in line by probably twenty years. And we loved it. Not to be dismissed as old are we. A bubbly brown-eyed beauty behind me was a lot of fun. “You guys are awesome!” she told us. Kind of made us feel like we were teaching high school again.
This was a Canadian lineup, as one of the guys said. No pushing or shoving but lots of holding spots while someone hit the washroom (offered for use by the store.)
Finally the clock hit 5:00 and 15 of us trooped inside. The sales people did their best to look after our needs and after the first disappointment that no 3G models were shipped our group got what they wanted. I picked up a 64 Gig white model, a black leather cover, and an adapter for the tv. (I’ll be learning how to take my pictures from my iPad and show them on the big screen.)
And we were out the door by 5:15. I felt exhilarated. My smile was broad, my step was snappy and we laughed all through dinner at Red Lobster. Then we were off down the 401 to Woodstock and home. Since then I’ve been learning and liking and learning again. Tomorrow I’ll be taking my new tool and, sitting at my desktop computer, doing a podcast with my son through VROC (Virtual Researcher on Call). He’ll be moderating at the University of Western Ontario. I’ll be at home, the retired teacher/senior citizen who is crazy enough to have a new iPad 2.