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The Keynote In The Apple Store
I arrived at Tysons Corner early, at about 7:10am, in hopes of getting a spot in the Apple Store (capacity: 80) to watch the keynote via satellite on their 10' screen. Walking up to the front of the store, I was met by 5 Mac fans, making the beginnings of a line. A high school kid was there with his TiPowerBook, showing off some video he'd shot in iMovie. It seems we'd all overestimated the size of the crowd that would gather--by 8:55, when we were let into the store, there were about 40-50 people in line, many times fewer than those who had assembled to see the store's grand opening the month before.
Upon entering the store, people quickly filled the smallish theatre area, the Apple Store employees providing many stools for those unseated. The keynote soon began and Steve appeared, greeted by much applause--there was much applause throughout the keynote from this diehard crowd. People trickled in through most of the expo, though I didn't get a final ballpark count. The crowd seemed pleased with what they saw, a notable exception being their unfulfilled expectations of new, flat-panel iMacs.
After the show ended (the satellite feed was cut at 11 sharp, just shy of the end of the keynote) people milled about the store and I noticed a number of people madly placing on-line orders for build-to-order machines, using the in-store, Airport-connected Macs. Sadly, we were told that we would have to wait until the next day to see the new machines in the store. On the whole, it was a great experience. Next time though, I might not show up quite so early...