Solipsism Gradient

Rainer Brockerhoff’s blog

Browsing Posts published in June, 2005

I’m posting this from Apple’s San Francisco retail store, at the corner of Ellis and Market. Amazing; I’ve never been to an Apple Store before. The glass staircase alone is quite worth dropping in. Looks like 4-ply laminated glass on the stair itself.

Just chatted with a very nice Apple Genius called Diana; she’s French but I gathered her family lives in Buenos Aires. She exchanged 2 worn keys on my iBook and gave me 3 keys for the PowerBook 17″ I left at home. They don’t charge anything but on the other hand you need some luck; they have several busted keyboards in a huge drawer and it must be the exact model, as they swap suppliers quite frequently. Also, the keys I needed are the most requested ones: A, S, and E. Merci beaucoup, Diana!

So here I am at the South Airport Travelodge. Had lots of catching up to do, including on sleep, but from now on all should be well. The weather’s nice, sunny but with cold winds, around 18 Celsius. The free WiFi connection is excellent, I downloaded a large file yesterday at around 160 KB/s; 3 to 4 times what I get at home on my 512ADSL line. The hotel is just a walk away from BART and a huge supermarket/grocery, highly recommended!

The trip wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped but in the end, all is well. The first plane from Belo Horizonte to São Paulo was over 90 minutes late. In São Paulo I had to switch airports – from Congonhas (which is downtown) to Guarulhos (which is in a neighboring city) – and I mistakenly thought the airline’s van would do the transfer. After losing over half an hour in talking to several people I caught the regular bus, then spent an anxious time locked in downtown traffic. But later on it went better and I came in only 10 minutes after check-in had started.

The layover at Chicago was just over an hour. The queues at immigration were long but proceeded smoothly, no great hassles that I could see, and no extra procedures beyond fingerprinting. Amazingly, the United terminal still has very few electrical outlets – one or none per gate – and no WiFi at all. I saw several other people with laptops, so they should do something about that.

In San Francisco Airport they have a prominent charge-up station with Ethernet connections, but I didn’t stay to check the price. WiFi access starts at $6 an hour, quite expensive. The architectural changes since my last visit in 2000 are surprising and, in the case of the BART station, very useful.

Later in the morning I’ll go off into the city to do some shopping; I look forward to my first visit to a real Apple Store. More later…

Well, here I am at Belo Horizonte’s airport in Confins (CFG), testing out their WiFi access. There’re quite a lot of plans and providers to choose from, I found one that gives an one-time 24-hour trial access at zero cost. Strangely enough, they printed out a bank payment form for R$0,00… then they said, sorry, the maximum number of users has been reached… but the login worked anyway.

The plane’s late and I’ll have 3 or 4 hours layover at São Paulo airport, so I’ll seize the opportunity to do some work.

I got notice that my iMac G5 20″ has shipped! I look forward to getting my hands on it, which should happen on Sunday. Special thanks to Patti Miller of Apple’s US/Canada ADC hardware purchase program who helped me past some snags with my order! icon_biggrin.gif

More later as it happens!

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