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My New Mac Pro Baby Is Delivered!
24 January 2014
Two decades ago today, my first child, Joanne, was delivered. Today, in honor of Joanne's twentieth birthday, UPS delivered my latest little baby: the new Mac Pro. Once again I am a proud new father!
Name: Joanne Elisabeth
Nickname: Jojo
Height: 20 inches
Weight: 7.5 lbs.
Name: Macintosh Professional
Nickname: Mac Pro
Height: 10 inches
Weight: 11 lbs.
You may have noticed in the photo of my new baby that it was placed in the same u-shaped pillow that my firstborn was lying in, which my wife bought for herself when she was pregnant with Joanne. We brought it with us all the way from Switzerland when we moved to America back in the late 1990s. It's about half the length of the Comfort U petite body pillow.

After two or three years of longing, waiting and anticipation by eager customers, Apple finally announced its new redesigned Mac Pro in June of last year, and promised that it would be available by the end of the year. Because my four year old Mac Pro tower was starting to show its age and even experience some occasional glitches, I hoped with all my heart that it would last until the new model arrived. Finally, exactly a week before Christmas, the word went out that the wonderful day had come!

I ordered my Mac Pro at 1:20 AM on 19 December 2013, just over an hour after it went on sale on Apple's online store. The confirmation e-mail said that it would ship in January — but what did that mean exactly? January 31 is a long ways from January 2, and to me, as well as to other customers, that makes a big difference. Ever since New Year's Day I was eagerly checking my inbox, and then groaning with disappointment and impatience. As a wise man once wrote: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."

But on Monday 20 January I was finally able to cheer up because my new baby finally shipped! No kid on Christmas Eve ever tracked the route and progress of Santa Claus more earnestly and attentively than I tracked the route and progress of my Mac Pro! Well, when it comes to tech and gadgets, I won't deny I'm a little boy!

Over a period of 96 hours I watched with bated breath as the package made it's slow, four-day, eight-state trek from the Austin, Texas, Apple factory to my home in Albany, Oregon, via numerous stops in between: Either Apple is having manufacturing problems, or else is experiencing much higher demand for the new Mac Pro than they had anticipated (or both!), because as of now the estimated ship date for new orders is already sometime in March! So, in the end, I guess I should count myself fortunate to get mine in January, although it was 37 days from order to delivery.

Still, even though I am very excited and extremely grateful, there are a few things Apple could have done differently to make me, and many of their other customers, less frustrated. First of all, if they were not ready to ship large numbers of Mac Pros, then they should have held off taking orders. I would much rather wait a month BEFORE I place my order than to wait a month AFTER I've ordered. And from what I have read online, I'm not in a minority. Apple CEO Tim Cook already lamented this unwise approach with their iMac in late 2012, and yet a year later here's Apple repeating the same mistake!

Secondly, they could have communicated the expected ship date much more clearly and accurately. When ordering on 19 December, a January ship date could mean a wait as short as two and a half weeks (if it shipped on 2 January), or as long as seven weeks (if shipped on 31 January). If they had even narrowed it down to "the second half of the month," or "the third week of the month," that would have made the waiting a lot easier, and resulted in happier, less frustrated customers.

Lastly, they could have offered quicker shipping, even if it cost extra. After waiting for more than a month since placing my order, I was quite eager for my Mac Pro to arrive. Because I was already spending a LOT of money on this machine, I would have been willing to spend an additional half a percent or even one percent for two-day or overnight air shipping. Instead, customers were stuck with mandatory "free" ground shipping, which in my case caused a Monday shipment to become a Friday delivery. I don't understand why there wasn't even an option to upgrade the shipping — weird!

After years of awesome customer service from Amazon.com, especially with their Prime service, I guess I'm quite ruined for anything less. Well, enough of my spoiled griping! I'm just so overjoyed that my new baby has finally been delivered! And if you haven't seen this Apple video which gives a overview of the Mac Pro manufacturing process, be sure to check it out — it's quite intriguing!
Well, after seeing all that, maybe it takes longer to make a Mac Pro than I imagine. For a more in-depth look at the process, check out Greg Koenig's fascinating, step-by-step analysis of this video in How Apple Makes the Mac Pro — it's enough to make a true geek drool!

You can be sure that I am drooling now that my new baby is here! Wait a minute! Isn't it the baby that's supposed to be doing the drooling?!

I'll be sure to give you my first impressions once I wipe up my drool and get the Mac Pro up and running. I'm doing a fresh install of all the software, so that will take a good number of days. Until next time ... I've got to attend to my new baby!
This article is 3rd a series of articles on this Web site related to Technology and Computing which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
26  Oct  2010
11  Jan  2014
My New Mac Pro Baby Is Delivered!
24  Jan  2014
29  Jan  2014
5  Feb  2014
7  Feb  2014
14  Feb  2014
15  Feb  2014
16  Feb  2014
17  Feb  2014
1  Nov  2014
12  Nov  2014
20  Nov  2014
22  Nov  2014
2  Dec  2014
6  Dec  2014
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