It was a big Macweekend for Apple

Apple aficionados turned out for first deliveries of Mac OS 9, iBooks, new iMacs and the Power Mac G4 desktop.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple resellers got busy this weekend, selling Mac OS 9 and the new flashy iMacs, many with help from Apple representatives and Demo Days workers.

Dealers across the United States prepared to roll out Mac OS 9, iBooks, new iMacs and Power Mac G4 desktop systems with special events this weekend, including midnight-madness sales on Friday; extended hours; and in-store promotions such as software discounts.

Mac OS 9, the version of the operating system officially released Saturday, includes nine Internet features such as Sherlock 2 (an enhanced version of the company's Web-search technology) and carries a suggested retail price of $99.

Apple mania
In two downtown stores here, the high-end iMac DV Special Edition was a big draw.

At the CompUSA store on Market Street, an Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) representative displayed PowerBooks and iBooks and fielded questions from shoppers comparing the professional and consumer portables and others reviewing Mac OS 9's features.

Meanwhile, a Demo Days worker showed off Mac OS 9's features on an iMac DV SE placed on a special stand. The Demo Days representative said visitors to the CompUSA outlet are evincing a lot of interest in Mac OS 9 and that people love the new iMac DV models, which he said weigh about 5 pounds less than earlier iMacs.

A salesman at the San Francisco location of ComputerWare, a Mac-only chain in the San Francisco Bay area, said all of Apple's products are selling well there this weekend, with a steady flow of customers.

An Apple employee at ComputerWare said Apple is targeting ComputerWare, CompUSA and Fry's Electronics to receive iBooks, which have been available only in limited quantities.

An Apple Demo Days worker at the ComputerWare store showed Mac OS 9, the iBook and answered questions about the demo model of the iMac DV SE, the only one left in stock, adding that the high-end model is "really popular."

One buyer who grabbed an iMac DV SE at the San Francisco ComputerWare store early this weekend said he couldn't be happier. Peter Preuss, chief technology officer of San Francisco Internet startup NextLayer Inc., said his co-workers insisted on getting the $1,500 iMac. "This is the best iMac yet -- it has a better design than earlier models, a DVD slot that works well and an excellent screen," Preuss said.

Susan Borden, a visitor from Vermont who bought more than five games at ComputerWare's San Francisco store, said she plans to buy two iMac DVs soon, in addition to the seven she has already bought for use at work and at home, including gifts to grandchildren.

In addition, Borden said, "I am interested in getting iBooks and AirPort and using them to help rural-area students get connected without a bunch of wires and cables." Borden added she plans to use the wireless networking capabilities of AirPort with Apple hardware in a house she is building.

In addition to buyers and browsers at CompUSA, visitors were lined up at the iMac Internet Cafe, which offers 15-minute, free access to 10 previous-edition iMacs. Users were sending messages via HotMail, job hunting by reviewing postings on Web sites, reading news and playing games.


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