February 2008
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Day February 4, 2008

My new Macbook Air arrived!

OK. I’m going to gush a bit. Whatever its faults, and however often Apple displays a contempt for customers (and believe me, anytime I want something outside the narrow box they sell, I’ve experienced it), sometimes they connect with the pitch and hit it straight out of the park.

It’s a simple thing these days to do just-in-time manufacturing and shipping from China, and I wasn’t expecting my Macbook Air until Feb. 12. But Apple pulled the shipping date in by a week, and was going to deliver it on Feb. 6th. I was thrilled.

It arrived this morning. Sure, it’s not that complex, but boy, do they know how to make a tech geek happy. The packaging is gorgeous — a coworker said it reminded him of a Tiffany’s box. Even the Apple skeptics in the office — the dyed-in-the-wool, live-in-Redmond-even-though-they-don’t-work-at-Microsoft types, were drooling just a little bit. When they thought I wasn’t looking. They know who they are, and today I can see that their snide comments about Apple and the Cult of Steve are just envy wrapped in sarcasm.

Then you unpack it, and the Air feels both lighter and more substantial than you expect. The screen is terrific, the keyboard very nice, and the overall experience is exactly what I hoped a subnotebook from Apple would be. Even the “Remote CD/DVD” thing works perfectly for installing software — although I bought an external Superdrive, mostly because the remote thing doesn’t work well for playing DVD’s due to the copy protection schemes.

I’m sure after a couple of days or a week of using the machine daily I’ll have the usual list of gripes, wishes, etc. But not today. Today I’m sitting on the sofa, having loaded LaTeX, Office 2008, and a few other essentials, and just enjoying that “first day” experience.

Wow. Bravo Apple.