Tiger and the New G5

Friday, April 29 2005

Carrie and the kids and I went to the Tiger premiere at the Apple store tonight to witness the purest and most elusive expression of excitement ever, Apple fans waiting for a new OS, drool bibs in place. A few hundred surprisingly not so geeky looking people were waiting in special roped off areas within the mall as mall patrons stood and watched, seeing a queue and conducting internal struggles as to whether they should ask, or just get in line to see what would happen. They opened the store right as we rolled up in the double stroller, so we joined the devoted.

Two incredibly cheerful Apple employees were letting people in in groups, and giving out fancy cards. Inside the store mad cheers would explode about every three minutes, and Jonas would squirm in his seat worried about the chaos. Before coming, I’d learned about the cards – everyone who got a card was bound to win at least an iTunes song, but one lucky fool was going to win a 15" Powerbook, among other good prizes. We got our scratchers, won iTunes, and went straight back out of the packed store. We’d come back later after eating gyros at the Greek place.

The same synthetically cheerful Apple employee gave me a card on our second visit. I was on a mission to pick up one of the new G5s. This time, the scratcher said something different. I was one of the lucky few to get a 10% discount on my purchase for that night only. Awesome! I didn’t tell anybody because I don’t like to illicit mad cheers for having dumb luck. I like to earn it.

But this gift of 10% off was a sudden burden. Having decided that I would get the 2ghz G5 before coming, I was now wondering what it would cost to go half or even whole hog on a faster system. Instead of the 2.7ghz machine being $1000 more than the 2ghz, it would be $700 more. In the end the confusion and noise and people slobbering on all the Apple goods dashed any plans of changing my original plan.

Weird thing is, I got a lot more than 10% off. For some reason, my system rang up, pre-discount, at $1849. The Apple website shows the machine at $1999. I had the girl ringing me up check several times if it was right. I don’t like to feel like I’m cheating. She verified it was correct each time, so I stopped trying to give her more money than she wanted to take. I walked out with a few odds and ends and paid about $1700 for a $1999 machine. And I didn’t pay sales tax either, as the fine state of Oregon doesn’t believe in sales tax.

And now, I’m playing with Tiger. I’m liking the Dashboard already, Safari is crazy fast, and that’s as far as I’ve gotten. I made the mistake of skipping the “transfer settings and applications from another Mac” step during the Tiger install, and when I went to do it from the util, I realized that I have duplicate user names. So I had to rename the incoming user name, which makes me uncomfortable. Doing the transfer isn’t that comforting either – I like the idea of a fresh and clean install of the OS, and I have no idea what the transfer util does. There’s a huge chance I’ll not like what it did, and do a full erase and install again, and transfer all of stuff by hand somehow.