After years of feeling like the last kid to get picked to be on the team, Albuquerque today got its very own Apple Store. I don't think my town knew what they were in for. It was quite a scene. The TV News was there covering the madness and, despite a heavy schedule of writing and virtual meetings, I took a break and headed over to check things out.
In fact, I managed to be one of the first thousand people through the door and was rewarded with an Albuquerque Uptown commemorative Apple t-shirt. I was wearing my Daring Fireball shirt today and got a few nods from those in the know.
I recently got my wife a new 20" iMac and we've been exploring the world of OS X together for the past couple of weeks. Although I've had a Mac in my office for the past five years, I didn't use it as a client machine all that often - it was set up as a server to run web analytics and to do browser tests on the web site I managed for my former employer. It's been a blast checking out the iLife applications and getting to know Office:Mac and the iWork applications Pages and Keynote.
In fact, it's been so much fun that I decided to pick up a new MacBook for myself. I love the iMac design and it's a lovely addition to our den but I'm a laptop guy - have been for many, many years. So the PC count has increased in our casa and the Mac population has doubled in just the last month (the old G3 PowerMac is being put out to pasture - it has served us well but it's time has come and gone).
You might not know it given my Tablet PC and Outlook focus these days but I'm a recovering graphic designer and have been using Macs since there have been Macs to use. I owned the first LaserWriter in New Mexico, was a PageMaker 1.0 beta tester, and helped build the largest service bureau in the state back in glory days of desktop publishing. I was a Quark, Aldus, and Adobe Certified trainer and did a lot of beta testing for Apple in their CQF program (Customer Quality Feedback) in the OS7 and O8 era.
I'm looking forward to having an Apple Store in my backyard. I make a point of stopping into these retail outlets when I travel for the same reason I browse Brookstone and Sharper Image stores. They're all examples of retail as performance art.