Thursday, September 23, 2004

Geek Alert: Highly Contagious

I have no photos of last night's debauchery, so I thought I'd upload this as a geeky intro to a geeky evening.

How It All Started

The evening started out innocently enough. I was starving by 4:30 in the afternoon, having had a busy day and only a bowl of granola for fuel. So I rang up Eliza spontaneously and persuaded her to join me at Samurai, our local sushi spot. She was supposed to be somewhere else later, but while we were having tea at her place afterwards it didn't look like the meeting would happen. Suddenly I had this inexplicable desire to do something totally girly and unlike me: put on some nail polish!! Eliza was beside herself with excitement, as she has been trying for years to get some girly in Gail, but to no avail. (Random rhyming attack, there.) Eliza then tried to convince me we should go shopping for a black turtleneck for my upcoming trip to New York. (She wasn't very convincing, and there's a whole story behind that, from my last trip to New York. Another story for another day.) I suppose the girly rush was then tempered by my inherently geeky nature, which called for a checking of my Apple order status.

Where Is My PowerBook???

I placed the order on September 17 and expedited shipping, but all the status notices by e-mail were confusing. I was told to ignore the ship dates on the invoice, and Apple kept sending e-mail notices for each item, then invoices following each notice, all with different shipment information. FINALLY I got a couple of FedEx numbers to track (my purchases were divided into three shipments), and this is what the status looked like earlier this evening:

Sep 23, 20041:18 amArrived at Sort FacilityMEMPHIS TN
Sep 22, 200410:21 pmLeft FedEx RampSHANGHAI CN
5:42 pmLeft FedEx Sort FacilityANCHORAGE AK
1:29 pmArrived at Sort FacilityANCHORAGE AK
Sep 21, 200411:30 pmPackage statusSHANGHAI CN
Package in FedEx location2:37 pmLeft FedEx Origin LocationSHANGHAI CN
2:37 pmPickup statusSHANGHAI CN

The FedEx site was only showing China last night, which was discouraging since I was expecting the PowerBook to ship from some warehouse in North America. It just seemed to be stuck there in China! While we were on the Apple site, Eliza said she was interested in the 12" PowerBook...

Eliza: "I really want the 12-inch. Let's go to London Drugs."
Me, puzzled: "Right now?" (It was well after 9 o'clock.)
Eliza: "Yes, and if they have it in stock, I'm going to buy it."

Now, you have to understand the context here. Eliza already has a notebook, which is not much more than a year old. It's a nice machine, but it's a clone running XP and having some problems, the newest one being a question mark key not working (which requires replacing the entire keyboard). But these problems are all very fixable, for much less than what a PowerBook costs. But am I going to turn down a request to go shopping for HARDWARE with Eliza when the kind of shopping she prefers is on Robson Street?? Clothes? Shoes? Accessories? No way! This was a golden opportunity! So, we headed down to the Davie Street store to have a look. Unfortunately, they didn't have the 12" in stock, so I mentioned we could just go to the Broadway store, as it's larger. Amazingly, Eliza didn't even want to phone ahead, she just wanted to go!

As soon as I walked into the computer department, I saw it, and knew Eliza would buy it on the spot if the model with the SuperDrive was available. After some delay (a long story, which I might blog about later), Eliza got her 12" Powerbook, I got my Education-License version of Office for Mac, and we were giddy with the impulsiveness of it all...

Me: "Wow Eliza, no one's going to believe you just walked in and bought a PowerBook -- that's so geeky of you!"
Eliza, still stunned: "I can't believe I just spent all this money on something that isn't clothing or shoes..."

We went straight to the gymn downstairs in Eliza's building, and -- while she was running on the treadmill -- I set up the PowerBook and installed Office for Mac. This guy walked in to use the bathroom and gave me a funny look when he saw me using the step-benches as a desk, the floor strewn with manuals, packaging, and CDs. Was this a gym or an office??

It Gets Geekier

Just when Eliza thought we'd geeked out enough for one evening, I showed her the basics of how to use her PowerBook, the various applications, configured her e-mail, and even secured her WiFi connection! She has a neighbour with an unsecured broadcast, so she can steal his bandwidth if her ISP goes down, but not vice versa -- haha! shhhhhh....

Good grief, what an evening. Kristin walked in the door, saw the two notebooks on the counter, and said "Gail won." Yeah! I won the Geeky vs. Girly battle, but now I think this means Eliza can make me go out shopping for a black turtleneck, and I'll be over at her place to do my nails every week, applying cuticle remover, base coat, polish, top coat, and finishing spray (I kid you not -- I never realised what a major operation nail-polish application could be, before this).