For the first time I went to the Apple store to wait in on of their much publicized lines. It was the release of Leopard and I wanted to be there to a get a T-shirt. To be sure I got the software as soon as I legally could I had already pre-ordered online and by the time the store release rolled around at 6 PM I had already installed my copy of leopard on my laptop and my iMac but, as an email Apple sent out mentioned, they were giving away limited edition T-Shirts to the first 500 people at each store…. and I wanted one.
I work fairly close to the only Apple store in our state so that Friday I working at the office until about 6pm and headed down to the mall. I was expecting a small line to have formed leading up to 6pm and by the time I got there and got parked at around 6:10-6:15 I figured the line would have subsided and I’d be able to walk in, grab a shirt and head home. I was wrong… the line had about 300 people in it and was growing fast when I arrived, not to mention the already packed Apple store.
I did my best to take some picture but after snapping off two shots I was approached by mall security and asked to put my camera away. The shot above doesn’t do justice to the line but it was the best I could get. I bet I could have gotten away with shoot if I had brought my point-&-shoot but with the Nikon I’m sure I stuck out like a sore thumb. I then scurried to the end of the line and hoped I was not the 501st person.
I stood in line for about 2 seconds before I was chatting with my fellow Mac people, and for a guy who is as shy as me this is quite a feat. Everyone in line was really nice and it was fun to chat about the OS and what we were looking forward to. I was amazed to see everything from poor college kids to business execs lined up with the briefcases and suits. Everyone was just waiting and chatting, it made for a really fun wait.
It was comical the number of people who walked by the line and asked what we were all waiting for. I had about a half-dozen people ask me if Apple was giving away iPods. When they found out the real reason we were all there they just gave us a funny look and walked away, us Mac geeks got a kick out of this.
I was pretty surprised about the turn out though, I mean an OS update? I was about 450th in line and when I got to the door the line had only gotten longer from when I had joined it. Sure, it’s the only apple store around but how far out of your way are you willing to travel? As I mentioned, my pre-order of the OS had already arrived at my house hours before the Apple store release so everyone that was in the line wanted to be there. It’s wasn’t like this was the only way to get the software. Pretty incredible.
All in all, I’d do it again. I had a great time in line, though it took me 40 minutes it was the highlight of my day. I’ve yet to wear the T-shirt, though it is quite stylish… I wonder if I can sell it in 10 years for $15… Nah, I’ll wear it.