I'm finally a Mac guy. It took an extra week, and because of the delay, I've used the computer for about two hours when I started this story. That means there's not a whole lot of being a Mac guy I can talk about yet.
The reason for the delay – I wanted more RAM. Due to the way I planned to use the MacBook, I decided on 2 GB of RAM, but only the 80 GB hard drive. (Actually, I'm old enough that there is a certain amount of irony in typing "only 80 GB".) With a business trip rapidly approaching, I headed to the Apple Store last Wednesday, ready to spend. This time, I even dressed as the Mac guy — cargo pants and a black turtleneck, my homage to Steve Jobs.
That meant, of course, that I looked almost identical to the sales guys working in the store – except most of them had black t-shirts rather than turtlenecks. As I went up to the pristine, glass-topped table that held the MacBooks, one of the younger ones approached me. Since this whole process had already taken longer than I expected, I went straight to the point. "I'd like to buy a MacBook today — white, 80 gig hard drive, and 2 gigs of RAM."
At the last spec, his face fell. He explained that all the MacBooks they had came with 1 GB of RAM, configured as two 512 MB chips in the two available slots. The only way that the store could sell me the machine I wanted was by selling me the RAM in two additional 1 GB chips. I would have to take out, and keep, the RAM that came with the machine. In other words, I would have to buy 3 gigs of RAM in order to have 2. (As he said this, I began to think that Apple's small market share was no accident.) However, he went on, if I went back home and ordered online, I would get the machine configured the way I want, without the additional expense. He consulted a price list and told me that I would save over $300 by ordering online, and shipping would be free. While they are giving an estimate of one to three days before shipping, he said, it's probably going to be closer to one day. I guess Apple wants you to "Think Different" but "Order the Same".
For that amount of savings, I gave up on instant gratification. Not wanting to make the trip to the store a total waste, I decided to ask a few technical questions about networking, firewalls, and the like. That's when I discovered this sales person was a Clueless Fanboy. He knew next to nothing about networking or security, and anyway, you don't need security because "No one targets the Mac."
So I went home and ordered the MacBook online. It was Wednesday, around noon, when I hit the Submit button. I sprung for an extra $18 for two-day shipping. The confirmation email gave me a link to check my order status, and I began checking every four hours or so. It began to feel like waiting for Christmas, only you don't know what day Christmas would actually come.
Some time between going to sleep on Friday night and waking up on Saturday morning, the email arrived to say my MacBook had left the factory, and the estimated delivery date would be Monday. There was a link to FedEx that would let me know exactly where my order was. I clicked, looked at the details, and saw that yes, my computer had just left the factory. And the factory was in Suzhou, China.