Define "a Life"...

... still searching for a clear definition of that thing people keep telling me I need to get...

Location: Springfield, PA

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Through a series of links and jumps, I ended up here after finding this.

Oh, yeah -- I got an iPhone last Friday.

The Right Time had come. My Palm device had sputtered into death a while ago; while my Motorola RAZR was still functioning fine as a phone, despite cracked screen covers and other assorted wear and tear, its "calendar" function is nothing like a real calendar/planner app and doesn't sych or backup with anything else I have; the tech toy corner of my geeky little life had developed within it an empty space the size and sleek shape of an iPhone.

Thing is, I have this frustrating track record with my Apple purchases. Their product cycles and my buying schedules never seem to line up. Shortly after I bought my iBook (a purchase timed with my needs at work), Apple rolled out the first of the Intel-based laptops. I blunted any frustration I felt at the time by telling myself that the shift to an Intel chipset meant that the first generation of Macs with the new chips would be an unproven variation on the solidity of the G4 processor in my iBook. Let some other folks road test these new Intel machines, I'd stay safe and secure with my tried and true G4. But then I bought my iPod, a 30 GB model of what they're now calling the "Classic" iPod, and the following week -- I swear -- Apple released the newer version of that same model, with a jump to 40 GB for the same price. Maybe I could have researched the product cycle for that iPod more thoroughly than I did, since there was no outside time factor motivating the purchase, but basic digging turned up no sign that the next iteration was imminent. And Apple has been known to do those unheralded upgrades without notice from time to time. Still, I began to suspect that in the back of the Apple Store in the King of Prussia Mall there might be a red phone that's a direct line to Steve Jobs' office. Hello, Mister Jobs? Greg Miller just bought a new iPod. Yes. Yes, he just walked out the door. Release the next version on Tuesday? Okay!

Paranoid? Damn right. But let's fast-forward a few years: Now it's early 2009 and I'm at the Apple Store with Chaz, my production manager at work, laying out the specs for the Mac Pro tower the theater is buying. We've held off on this as long as possible; Chaz's reasons for delaying are all about money; me, I'm holding back because all my research indicates that there's likely a major upgrade coming soon. "Soon" as in "any day now" soon. But we need the machine to run the video projections in our A Tale of Two Cities, and tech week is nearing. So we cut at as close as we sanely can, and then we order the machine. Nice Mac Pro, sexy and powerful, the sort of computer than inspires tech-lust, and deservedly so. It arrives during the week before tech and I manage to stop drooling long enough to configure it and get the two-projector rig up and running. We tech the show, and on the Tuesday of our invited dress -- I kid you not -- Apple unleashes whiplash-inducing upgrades to the Mac Pro line. I think my groan was felt as a minor tremor in Cupertino.

No fucking way was my iPhone going to be anything like an impulse buy. Interweb chatter, tea leaves and the alignment of the Heavens all pointed to an iPhone upgrade this summer. Apple announced that the new version of the iPhone software would be out this summer. Those sneaky bastards, trying to get us to think that was the upgrade. Hah! I wasn't buying it, and my friend Mike assured me that my suspicions were valid. Wait. The Right Time draws near. Wait, and it will come.

And indeed it did.

I'd never before gone after an Apple product on its launch date. I did recall the insanity the day the first iPhone came out, though. So I went online and "reserved" my iPhone at the KoP Apple Store. (It wasn't a pre-purchase, just a good way for the Apple folks to get a base sense of who would be showing up.) Come Friday, I did my dimmer check and pre-show at work then headed to KoP to get in line. I figured one way or another, there'd be a line. I brought a bottle of water and a book, and passed the time quite comfortably. I didn't check the time when I queued up, so I don't know just how long I was waiting. Certainly half an hour, at least, but probably not a full hour. It was busy, but not what I would call a madhouse. I went to the midnight release one of the Harry Potter books at Borders -- I know a madhouse when I see it, even a well-behaved madhouse. This wasn't a madhouse, just a very, very busy store. I was, however, quite surprised at the number of people in line with me who were talking, checking e-mail or playing on their iPhones. I can only hope they were early adopters, folks who'd bought the first iPhone and were ready for an upgrade. Otherwise, they would be just plain greedy.

Setup, even the AT&T bit of it, was smooth and quick -- the customer benefit from "reserving" online. Before you could say "I will not do Twitter," I was an iPhone user. I think it took at least eighteen, perhaps even a full twenty-four hours before I was an iPhone addict.

But, no, I didn't do this post from my iPhone. I'm not that fast typing on the little graphical keyboard.