Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Second Biggest Apple in the Big Apple

Surely no good thing could come from a broken computer.

The first night when they arrived in New York, dad realized that the Macbook wouldn't start despite trying to restart, hard reset, reset PRAM, reset SMC and well just about everything other than smashing the computer. Without the computer for the rest of the trip meant no cheap international calls through Skype and couldn't check up on us. So dad went to the Apple store nearest to the hotel they were staying in Fifth Avenue.

Mum and dad went to the exact same store 2 years ago again just before X'mas. The building looked like an ice cube with the ubiquitous Apple logo inside and glass-slab spiral stair case going to the basement where the main shopping area was located. Dad asked the first assistant he saw about what he should do with his broken computer and got directed to the "Genius Bar", an area where a bench full of Apple technicians attend to different issues. He went and made a reservation to see one of the technicians using the computer in front. The next slot was only 10 minutes later. Lucky day!!

His turn came. The technician asked what's the issue and soon started plugging away. There was no question about if the computer was still under warranty etc. While the store-computer was doing the diagnostics on the Macbook, Dad chit-chat away with the technicians, about things like the iPhoto 09 feature of facial recognition and if the software could ID dogs' faces (apparently it might be able to given some training, maybe bribe it with some treats will do the trick). Everything was very relax and professional. All the while, the store-computer was humming away with the diagnostics. After about 10-15 mins, the disk recovery was complete and the Macbook was back in working order. Apparently, boot sectors of the hard disk were corrupted during the previous shut down.

The store was very spacious. All the latest Apple products were there in copious quantity and people were encouraged to try them, iPods, iPhones, iMac and Macbook. The store run hourly workshops explaining a particular concept and how Apple hardware / software could fit into the scheme. Dad listened to a workshop on digital audio, which was quite interesting.

This store used to be the biggest Apple store in the US before a new store in Boston took its place last year. The biggest in the world is currently the one in Regent Street, London. This store maybe the highest grossing Fifth Avenue retailer according to Bloomberg. Anyway, it's a damn good shopping experience!

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