Last year we were given money in order to purchase an iPad for my son, who has ocular albinism. We got it so he would be able to read, especially the Bible (thank you Olive Tree, for your excellent reader). Since then, the iPad has become the way my son interacts in worship. We put on the lyrics, the worship slides, and the readings on it’s wonderful screen – and it allows our son to participate.
I also fell in love with device, and when my birthday came around I determined that I would get one myself. Now, people might wonder why I just don’t use my son’s iPad and save the money. It’s a good question and it has a good answer, it is his iPad. The money we were given was specifically donated in order to help our son read and, while I have experimented with his iPad over the last year, I’ve done my best to remember that this is HIS device – given for HIS benefit. My experiments, however, have shown me the potential for and iPad – hence, I determined that I’d be getting one myself.
So, I was out yesterday with several hundred other nerds (waiting in line isn’t really even geeky, it’s a level below that) waiting for the appointed hour to arrive. I was also blessed to have a friend stand in line with me, thanks Vernl! It took about an hour for me, and the other wonderfully socially-awkward nerds around me, to get into the store. We arrived in line just after three o’clock, so Vernl and I waited about three hours. This wasn’t bad at all. I was out of range of Apple’s wifi, however, and At&T’s 3G was non-existent (400 yards from one of their stores, believe it or not). I turned off 3G and updated my social streams over edge. It was slow, but it worked.
When we got half-way through the line to the store, we were met by two Apple employees and received our “magic ticket” which assured us that there would be iPads in the store when we arrived (though there was no guarantee on the model). A short while later I was introduced to my personal agent for my purchase and announced exactly what I wanted. While she went off to get my iPad, I went over to pick out my “smart cover.” By the time I had it picked out, she had returned and I completed the transaction. I may have been in the store for 10 minutes.
The experience was a lot of fun. The people in line were hysterical, and I the Apple employees were a blast. I tried getting a picture with the guy at the door, but he said he wasn’t allowed to pose. This was a bummer, but with hundreds of people in line behind me I can understand the policy. The cheers in line as people held up their iPads reminded of The Empire Strikes Back when the speaker announced, “The first transport is away.” Like the people in the Rebel base, we were happy for the folks on the other side, but we also were wondering, “What about us?” I did think that being cheered by the staff on the way out was a bit odd, but it’s all part of the deal.
All in all, I’m glad I went. Look for my reflections on the iPad itself shortly.