April 7, 2004


The massive cardboard box with "amazon.com" on the side of it was atop my desk right at noon today. I IMed all of my Mac friends in the building, and they were all out to lunch. So I got John to come in with his camera phone and document the unveiling. Unfortunately, he just got the phone... so it may be quite some time before he figures out how to email them to me so I can add them to this blog entry.

The box contained a ton of peanuts surrounding another box which held the Apple iBook box. Upon opening the snazzy Apple box, I was greeted by a simple white piece of card stock that covered the whole styrofoam insert with silver lettering that said "Created in California by Apple Computer." I was a little surprised that they were so proud about the California aspect. I guess it goes to show their perspective. If they move, will it say "Created in Utah?" or "Created in Idaho?"

Underneath the board was a whole stack of stuff - the instruction book (good job Mark, assuming you had something to do with this...) the SIX restore disks, plus OS X 10.3.3 system install disks. I haven't read enough of the manual to tell whether you have to install the system first and then do the restore, or if the restore will just work on its own.

Then, I pulled off the styrofoam to reveal... the mac. It was wrapped in that funny translucent packing plastic that lots of electronics are wrapped in. So... if you count all the layers, it was box, peanuts, box, box, styrofoam, plastic... pretty well kept.

Not wanting to rock the boat, I followed the instruction book, plugged it into the wall and the network (at work) and then powered on to the beautiful iBook chime. Within about two minutes, the boot-up had completed and I was in the Apple registration wizard. Unlike the WindowsXP wizard, there's no background music, just serene silence. The one glitch in the process: it asked me for my AppleID before it figured out that I was plugged in to the Ethernet network. Duh.

Once I got to the Finder, Software Update launched and located eight updates! I kicked off the download and went to lunch.

Upon returning, I rebooted, then shut down and installed my Airport Extreme card. When I first put it in, I didn't get it seated all the way (none of the manuals tell you that it "snaps" in) and so when it didn't find it the first time, I had to shut down again and re-seat the card. In addition, the keyboard is extrememly picky about how it gets latched in. Taking it out is simple. Putting it back in you have to hold your mouth just right and stand on your head and chant "I love Steve Jobs... I love Steve Jobs..." Then it snaps back into place.

Going back and re-reading this, it's kind of reading like a baby book of firsts.

The first person I iChatted: Lydia. The first website I Safaried: Dr. Phil (thanks to a link Lydia sent me.)

After work, I went to church for the normal Wednesday night activities and showed it off to Wesley, Rick and Sam... two Mac aficionados and one skeptic. I'll let you decide who's who.

When I got it home tonight, I did a little poking around. Out of great curiousity, I launched GarageBand and quickly found out that 256MB is about the minimum you need to run it. Everything else I tried (playing a DVD, surfing, connecting via wireless) is pretty snappy. When I initially decided to purchase it, I considered buying a 512MB stick to throw in, but as long as I'm doing okay, I will probably hold out for the price to come down on one of these.

Right now, I'm following the instructions in the manual and trying to run down the battery to "condition" it (while I blog.)

The most important thing: this works. We can all rest easy now.

Next things to do:
- install Office v.X
- get ChickenoftheVNC working.
- look for a third-party utility to allow me to use the right 15% of the touchpad as a scrollbar
Found: SideTrack, which also gives me a virtual right-click
- badger John for the pictures
- find time to play with it.

Thanks to Giles for sydnicating the saga, Scott, Rob, Mark, Andy, Mark (see comments) and Katherine (I feel the force, flowing through me...) for the encouraging words and Jason... will you ever believe?