Leopard Launch in Hawaii

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So, I talked my wife into accompanying me to the Ala Moana mall in Honolulu yesterday for the Leopard launch. No, I didn’t actually buy Leopard (see last post – plus, Amazon.com has it for a cheaper price with no tax). I did, however, get a nice Leopard T-shirt (as did my wife), and I picked up a LaCie d2 Quadra 500GB external drive and iLife’08. We only waited for about an hour and a half. Was that worth a free Leopard T-shirt? Yeah, sure. Of course, there are already people selling their shirts on Craigslist and Ebay. Last I checked, they were going for between $30 and $50 … but I’m keeping mine.

leopard23-thAnd here are a few photos from the opening. It was a lot of fun. There were probably about 200 people in line at the opening bell at 6pm (although I couldn’t actually see the end of the line, so it may have been more) and enough security to manage a sizable rock concert. It was a bit disconcerting as we entered the store. We were about 20 or 30 deep in the line, so as we were part of the first group to enter, we were greeted by a sea of Apple employees clapping and ecstatically cheering for us. Very energetic. Disconcerting. I couldn’t believe how many Apple employees they squeezed into this little store.

Leopard LaunchI was impressed, though, by the organization of the event. As I walked in, I was asked if I was there to buy Leopard. I said no, but I wanted a hard drive … and my escort pointed to the back of the store and said, ‘John will take care of you.’ Sure enough, there was John at the back of the store, grinning and waving at me to come on down. Now that’s customer service. Three Apple people tried to grab me on the way out to explain how Leopard worked, but I declined. I’ll come back when there’s more room to hang out.

Why I’ll wait to upgrade

I will not upgrade to Mac OS X Leopard until the first maintenance update is released. I typically try wait for a few months to upgrade to the next OS iteration for the sake of letting others find the first wave of bugs … and it’s always a battle of the will. Especially when the in-depth coverage begins on the new release, and everyone is talking about the new cat … and I’m still looking at the old cat.

The longest I’ve waited to upgrade was during the OS9 to OSX transition. The shortest time I’ve waited was for the upgrade to Tiger, which worked flawlessly for me from the start. Leopard, though, will be easier to wait for. In fact, this is the first OS release that is not filling me with anticipatory glee. For one, I don’t feel that any of the new features are mind-blowing or urgently needed/wanted. Second, Adobe said that CS3 reportedly won’t be Leopard-ready for a while longer … even though I expect that the CS3 apps I run would probably work fine. And SuperDuper and DiskWarrior I hear are also not quite ready.

Lastly, Leopard came later than expected because of the iPhone and heavy, concerted marketing for it started really close to the launch date, which left me with the feeling that perhaps this OS might be heading out the door a little more quickly than it should … perhaps I’m just being paranoid. That perhaps even Apple wasn’t certain that an October release date was going to happen. That’s the impression that I got, anyway. At any rate, it’s a good goal to wait a bit … as many people will tell you, if you absolutely, positively can’t afford to suffer downtime, better to wait to upgrade and let the early adopters work out the early bird bugs. What’s different this time is that I am waiting with far more patience. In the meantime, I am going to prepare for the upgrade and do some spring cleaning.