If you haven’t seen me in person recently, you may not realize I’m a heretic. Yes, that’s right — I use an Apple 15″ MacBook Pro with Vista as my laptop. It took some jiggling to get it all working — an upgrade to Leopard (OS X 10.5) for the final release of BootCamp, an upgrade to Vista SP1, and finding a stable version of the Atheros wireless drivers — but it’s now reliable and fast.
There are some downsides to this particular laptop. It’s only gives me 2GB of RAM, which means that I can’t run a typical VM configuration (DC, DPM, Exchange) and still have enough power to run PowerPoint like I could under XP. The battery life is okay but not great; I run out on long flights.
I’m off to Tech-Ed this week, so I stopped by the Apple store in Bellevue Square Sunday to pick up a spare battery for the flight. I’ve had bad experiences at this store in the past; I don’t give off the right vibe(or maybe I just look light a tightwad) and can’t get seem to get the attention of the staff. I took a chance, though, and walked in the store.
This time, my customer service experience was great. I caught the eye of Associate 1; although he was busy with another customer, he called for help; I didn’t even see him do it. A minute later, Associate 2 walks up to me. “I understand you’re looking for a 15″ MacBook Pro battery.” Pleasantly shocked, I followed him over to the appropriate shelf and soon had the battery in hand. “Is there anything else I can help you with, or are you ready to check out?”
If you’ve not been into an Apple store recently, they’re doing something absolutely sweet. Each customer service associate has a hip-mounted scanner/cardreader. They scan your merchandise on the spot, take and run your credit card, and ask you for an email address to send the receipt to. Boom — it’s all done, your card is charged, and you don’t have to stand in line at the counter unless you’re doing cash or check. This is a great concept I’d love to see other stores use. My receipt hit my Exchange account (and thus my Windows Mobile phone) as I was walking out of the store.
I love living in the future.