Bob's Panther Party Experience

Posted: 10-28-2003



Event: Apple's Nationwide Panther Release
Date: 10/24/2003
Time: 8:00 PM
Where: Apple Store, Valley Fair, Santa Clara, California


The Day After...

Man it's so much fun drinking the Kool-Aid. I did just that last night, going to the Panther Party at my local Apple Store at Valley Fair.

I was pretty casual about going there. I didn't really want to wait in line forever, but when I got there around 8pm, I was chagrined to see a line sweeping around the "courtyard" outside Nordstrom. Sure enough, it was the line for the Apple Store and like a coke-addled disco queen dying to get into Studio 54, I got into line.

I was immediately impressed by the buzz around the place. People were walking up and asking what was going on, and why was everyone in line. The Apple employees were wandering around the line making sure everyone filled out the cards for the drawing for the free iMac. Most people who didn't already know what was going on would do the quizzical dog tilt of the head, realize it was a Mac thing and either walk away or fill out a card. The Mac heads, however, just got into line and waited patiently.

After about a half an hour, I noticed a young kid come out of the store and sit down at one of the Nordstrom cafe tables with his iBook and a newly fresh copy of Panther. He opened the box and emptied out the contents, after waking up his machine from sleep. He rifled through some of the documents, discarded them on top of the Panther box and found the CD's. Regarding them closely, he looked at each one and set them down. He then put the documentation and other flotsam back in the box, set it aside and went back to the disks. He inserted the first disk and started the install program.

I lost track of him for a while, but later I noticed him playing a game on his phone. I assume that he was waiting for the installation to complete but I couldn't see his screen. There were other Apple employees walking around the line with PowerBooks demonstrating the new Panther features. The time went by somewhat quickly, but I was getting tired of waiting.

But finally, the time arrived and I swept into the store. Panther boxes were on top of all the software aisles, and I grabbed one. I really only wanted to buy a couple of other things--an iTrip to play my iPod through the radio, and an iMic so I could make mp3's of my old records and tapes. I got both items and wandered around the store, checking out all the folks trying out the new machines. There were a lot of PowerBooks and G5's exiting the store, that's for sure.

Finally, I was able to check out. The lady made sure that I had an old iPod to go with the iTrip, and I got all my 10% discounts. I was so happy to get out of there, I walked right past the people at the front giving out the "gift" from Apple, which was some dog tags with the Panther X logo on them. Maybe I can put them on my dogs.



Bob R. Kenyon
Beautiful Downtown San Jose