I woke up at 8AM and got on the road just when the snow started falling. It’s predicated that we’ll get 4-7 inches of snow today here in the DC Area.
I got to the Apple Store at Tysons Corner and was pleased to see a small line at around 8:30AM. There were 10 people in front of me, some talking about what they were going to do with their new Mac minis. One guy said he was going to use his as a home theatre Mac. He is going to retire an old PC that is “held together with gum.” I can relate… I was trying to get all my data from my old PC backed up for the switch to the Mac mini and was repeatedly stymied by my CD burner which refused to burn any CDs. I instead copied off the data via Windows directory sharing and connecting to it with my PowerBook via the Airport Express Base. Another guy was waiting in line for an iPod shuffle!
I’m biding my time and wondering if anyone will walk up to me and talk to me about my blog (I was wearing my Eclipse hat like I had said in an earlier post), but there is the blogosphere and the real world. This was more of a real world crowd.
More people get behind me. I see about 20 more folks, mostly men. One guy has a 15″ Titanium PowerBook and is surfing the Web wirelessly.
I talk to one guy who says that says that he is finally agreeing with his friend that Mac is better and that he is switching. He bought a 1.42Ghz 80GB Mac mini.
I spy the Mac mini through the window of the store. It’s tiny! It’s hooked up to a huge 23″ Cinema display and is the computer closest to the hallway. Good positioning. They don’t seem to have any new signage for it yet though.
9:00AM – the doors open. People rush in. This couple glances at the line and casually sneaks in. Well, it doesn’t seem to matter as people just come rushing in and overwhelm the first employee who mans an iMac register.
The store manager (I think her name was Karen) comes out and announces to the crowd that there are no iPod shuffles. The one guy who was waiting for an iPod shuffle is disappointed, but goes to wander around the store. I’m next in the second pseudo-line and ask for a Mac mini. She says “40 gig or 80?” Funny… like “Small or large?” “Would you like to super-size your mini?” “40” I say. I’m trying to stick to a budget…
She announces also that they don’t have the tools to do the Mac mini upgrades but that we can bring them back into the store for free upgrades later on. Cool.
She walks away to retrieve the minis and I glance around the store and see more people coming in. There’s folks everywhere it seems and it feels like the most crowded I’ve ever seen it.
She comes back wheeling in a pallet of Mac minis. Seems like 20 of them. I pick up a wired keyboard, a wired mouse, and an Epson C86 printer. The total came to $689.90, but that includes the printer and Virginia sales tax. The printer cost $99.95 but comes with up to a $100 rebate, so the printer is free. VA sales tax is 5% and came to $32.85. So minus the printer and sales tax, it came to $557.00.
So I think this is a great deal, to get $656.95 worth of computer for $557 + tax. The only thing missing is a monitor, which can be had for cheap nowadays.
I think I was the first to check out and I got home just as the snow was picking up.
I’ll post about my initial experience with the Mac mini w/pics later…
UPDATE: Finished my thought on “I talk to one guy…”. This happens sometimes when you’re trying to blog when you have little Luis minis =) running around. Thanks, Vik.