Still Alive

No, I haven’t abandoned SBR.Net. I’m still here but life has been busy and I’ve been considering whether or not I want to continue technology commentary here. There are already a ridiculous number of tech sites out there but not so many that cover humanology as my occasional rants do. So that’s why I’ve been so quiet. I am deciding the future direction for my site and don’t want to clutter it up until I have made a firm decision.

Macrocosm and Apperception

Why have we lost touch with nature? What about us as a race has driven us to create this artificial environment of concrete and steel that separates us from that which bore us forth? Why do we turn a blind eye to the beauty and magnificence of our Mother Earth?

I do not have the answers to these questions. I do, however have some ideas as to what has happened. Over the centuries we have destroyed. We are a race that tears down that which we cannot ultimately control and replace it with our own creations. We inject control into that which surrounds us regardless of the carnage it takes to get there. Again, I blame Mother Culture for this conditioning…this idea that we must be in control of everything. We delude ourselves into thinking we have done that very thing when in fact what we have done is nothing more than feed an illusion.

Life isn’t about controlling what we see or touch. It is about controlling ourselves. It is about using that control we have over ourselves to adapt and cope with our environment. It is about making ourselves better. Mother Culture does not care for this line of thought because it would lessen her control over the Human Race. In her eyes we are mere automatons. This is something many embrace because it means they do not have to trouble themselves with things like original thought.

So much in nature can teach us more about who we are. Have you ever placed your hand on an old tree or an ancient stone and felt a wave of calm and patience? Have you ever watched a sunset in the mountains as the last rays reflect off a pool of water and understood the passage of time and seasons? Have you ever watched as the budding leaves of the forest turn brown and fall to the ground and contemplated how everything in life has its time? Have you ever watched squirrels gather up food for the winter and realized what it means to be prepared for what life will throw at you?

Nature is a wonderful teacher. She will gladly fill our minds with thoughts of life and love. She will nurture our souls and replenish our bodies. She will gently cradle us when we rest. We just have to be open to it. This is why I love to go camping. It is a time for me to get back in touch with nature. It is a chance to reestablish connections that have become weakened in the steel jungle of the cities. It is a time to be reborn into someone wiser and with better understanding. This does not mean that a weekend at the local park will turn you into a sage, but it will open your eyes if you are but willing.

The cities block our spirits from communing. Even the lights blot out the stars in the sky. Walking outside in your suburbian home and looking up will, of course, reveal a few of the brighter stars…but go out into the country far from the streetlights and billboards. You will find that the “sky full of stars” you see in the city is not even a drop in the bucket. There is so much more out there to be discovered. This is how Mother Culture treats all of nature. She will let you have a few samples of nature here and there, but never enough to make a real difference. For that you will have to leave the safe confines of your skyscrapers and SUVs. You will have to venture into the land that has not been razed by “civilization”. How many will dare to do that with a truly open mind? Not enough.

I wish everyone could walk into true nature and just lean back to take a nap on a tree or perhaps a hill to lie upon to gaze at the stars. With an open mind and a hungering soul one can slowly begin to feel the ebb and flow of energies in all nature has to offer. It is these energies that feed our spirits. It is these energies that teach us understanding for nature is in all things upon our fair world. We cannot let Mother Culture fool us into believing we will be better off by obliterating anything we cannot control. It is the lessons we glean from that which we cannot control that gives us the greatest understanding and knowledge.

Peregrination and Revelation

Relationships fail. That is a fact of life. It is a very rare thing indeed for a couple to meet and remain together their entire lives on the first try. There is a very simple explanation for that. We don’t know ourselves. It takes a lifetime of self-exploration to even begin to understand one’s self. I certainly don’t know half of what I’d like to think I do about myself. But I am learning more every single day. This is true for everyone. Anyone that says differently is simply deluding themselves into complacency.

Relationships that don’t work are not failures as long as you come away from each and every one knowing a little more about who you are and what you want and need. Of course the trick to that is that as you find out more about yourself, those things can change. What you want today with the knowledge you have about yourself may not be what you want when you learn the next piece of who you are. This is the way of life. It is the ever changing river of experience. Sometimes it hurts.

Part of me wishes that it never had to involve pain, but I do not make the rules. The bright side to that is the pain can teach us more about ourselves. Lessons of self sometimes need powerful reminders. It is very easy for us to forget inconvenient truths about who we really are. Just look at religion. We have managed to brainwash ourselves into denying many of our base instincts. We even trick ourselves into feeling guilty for trying to be who we are if it doesn’t fit into the rigid religious framework of what is socially acceptable. It is really rather sad to go through life never finding out who the person is inhabiting your body.

One also has to accept the truths discovered about one’s self. I think this is why so many people avoid the self journey. “Socially acceptable” parameters have been programmed into us over our entire lives and we fear. We fear that what we find will not fit. We fear that those things might make us happy. We fear that those things might make us more comfortable with who we are. We fear just what we might find out if we see how deep the rabbit hole goes. This fear is pointless and serves only Mother Culture who wants us to limit our potential not only for understanding, but for deep true happiness. Why happiness? Because we may finally decide that being human and having human urges isn’t such a bad thing after all. That doesn’t work for her automatons.

This is why I say we should all love freely. This is why I encourage free thinkers. This is why I write what I do. We all need to sit back every now and then and listen to that little voice in the back of our minds. No, not that voice…the one you cannot hear because you’ve shut it out for all these years. The one you ignore because it speaks truth to you in the deepest recesses of your soul. The voice you cannot hear unless you spend time getting in touch with who you are. It is the core of yourself. It is the part of you that watches and listens and understands. It is the one that gives you little nudges when you truly look for guidance. It is only trying to help and yet we ignore it.

Some will claim that this voice has led them down the wrong path. It nudged you into a relationship that did not work out. It urged you to take actions that you believe you would have never taken if you had been “thinking clearly”. This would be a misunderstanding. You were led down a path that you needed to take at that time in your life. You were taken on a journey that, if you took the time and effort to notice, taught you something about who you are that was really important for you to learn at that time in your life. Unfortunately far too many people never realize these lessons. They just convince themselves that they have terrible instincts and shut the voice out of their minds. I feel sorry for automatons. They will never fully realize their potential.

It isn’t easy to break the mold of Society. It is not easy to be true to yourself. Nothing in life, however, is worth having if it does not take any effort. But this is something I have said before. Important lessons warrant repeating, though. Especially since it has to penetrate societal conditioning to get at the real person inside. The real you has always been there. All you have to do is listen.

Acumen and Affection

Is it really that hard to know someone? Is really understanding another person truly that difficult? How many relationships are based off misconceptions? These questions bother me because of the answers. Now I haven’t had that many romantic relationships so I am by no means an expert in the field of experience. But I can say that I have striven to learn about who that person is…what their desires and dreams are…what kinds of things make them genuinely happy.

I see it all the time. People trudge along as good little automaton droids following Mother Culture’s programming to find a mate and continue the species…to find someone that is acceptable in specific culture circles regardless of actual compatibility. These are the people that build up in their mind what they want their mate to be and cram the real person into that mold through misconceptions and delusions to create a thin veneer of happiness and contentment. The relationships just don’t work. It’s like letting a total stranger move in and never having any real contact with them. How many people would do that? Very few, I imagine.

Yet I constantly see these false pairings. I don’t know if they are lost in their fantasies to the point of being unable to see any part of the reality or if they are deluding themselves into plausible deniability. It’s a painful thing to see and I don’t understand why anyone would do it. All it takes is communication and an open mind. These are frighteningly rare among Mother Culture’s droid army. Why? Because communication does not mean bandying about superficial formulaic strings of words about meaningless subjects. It does not mean talking about something that will be forgotten in a matter of hours or days. It means having a real exchange of ideas and thoughts that bring a greater understanding of the other person in the relationship. It means accepting things for what they really are. The Human Race is not nearly as good at that as it would like to believe.

The first step, even before communication, is throwing out everything that society has taught you. There are no forumulas to create a romantic situation. There are no words that always work. Everyone is different if you peel off Mother Culture’s coating of “me too”. It isn’t always easy. Quite frankly so many of the Human Race have been enameled in Mother Culture for so long that it’s terribly difficult to find the real person underneath. This is especially true if you still have your own special Mother Culture paint job. It taints your views. You have to break free of the mold you were shoved into and accept that you must be yourself regardless of society’s opinions on what is “right” and “acceptable” and “appropriate”. This is opening your mind. This is necessary.

Once able to see reality, then comes communication. Just talk. It doesn’t matter where the conversation starts…the weather, the latest episode of a television show, or even that mime’s performance yesterday. See, if you pay close attention, every conversation will reveal something of the other person. Tiny facets of personality are always a part of conversation that can work as puzzle pieces to put together the real picture of the person you are with. There will be flaws. There always are. There will be differing likes and dislikes. It is natural. There will probably even be things you wish weren’t true. Just remember that the same applies in reverse. This is part of being someone with an open mind. Accept that you also have flaws. They are a part of who you are just as their flaws are a part of them.

I’ve said before to never be afraid to love. I’ve given reasons for that statement in the past. Another is that if you are afraid to love freely and openly without reservation then you miss life’s greatest adventure. Love can take the Human Race to greater heights than any other emotion. But only a true love born from really knowing someone can transform your life in profound ways. But Mother Culture has taught us that there comes a point in friendship when the friendship itself is more valuable than the exploration of the love it entails. Hogwash. I say that when friendship reaches that point, this is when the love should be explored. Why? Ask any old couple that has been truly blissfully happy for a half century or more together who their best friend in the entire world is. It won’t be Bob down the street or Sarah at the local salon. Their closest and best friend is their partner. This is the one person on the planet that knows them better than anyone else and accepts them for who they are regardless of flaws.

So why wouldn’t you want to explore that love? Why would anyone ever say “But we’re such good friends, I couldn’t date you” or “I don’t want to risk ruining our friendship”? If you are really that closely connected and honestly have that deep an understanding of each other, then even if dating doesn’t work out the friendship will be intact and I dare say stronger. Stronger because you explored even further the ties between you and understand them better. How do I know? I am still friends with every woman I have been in a relationship with save one. In many ways we are closer now than we were when we were dating. That is more than coincidence.

Think about that. Everyone wants to find that one true love. That one person you can open up to…the one person you can share your deepest secrets with. We want someone we can always count on to be there for us. We want someone who knows us well enough to understand how to comfort us or make us laugh or just make a bad day seem better…someone who knows just when we need a hug and when we need a little time alone. Are these not the kinds of things the closest of friends would know and do? How could anyone expect to have a fulfilling long-term relationship with anything less?

This doesn’t mean that you cannot find that person in someone you have recently met. This does not mean that just because you aren’t the closest of friends that it won’t work out. They can become that person over time. I am just asking that Mankind break off the fantasy glasses and see what is really there. Do not assume that a friendship must be put at risk for the sake of a relationship. True friends will still be true friends. That will never change even if the friendship is different. And different is not necessarily a bad thing. Stronger and closer are different. Nothing is ever gained without taking a chance.

Why Does Comcast Fail?

Can someone explain how a corporation that has obviously obtained a fair amount of market success could be so stupid as to release this awful “upgrade” to their guide? I’ll be the first to admit that the old system was light-years behind Tivo…but this? Calling this new guide an upgrade is like smashing your mother in the face with a thin slice of lemon wrapped around a Yugo and telling her it’s a filet mignon. So what’s really wrong with it you ask? Where in the world would I begin?

I’ll begin with their inability to tell time. The phone call I received and the notice that came later in the mail said that on Tuesday morning, Ocober 21, I would lose all my saved shows and settings because of this upgrade. When I got home on Tuesday after work, all of my shows were still there and nothing had changes. However, at 1am Wednesday the software install took place. So marketing people, it’s the next day once the clock hits 12:00am. Try to get that straight. I know all this newfangled stuff called “time” is real confusing but let’s do a little research before the next announcement, mmkay?

Let’s talk graphics. Now I know that the visual candy of the program guide really doesn’t affect the functionality of the guide all that much unless you severely tax the woefully underpowered CPUs that are usually installed in these set-top DVRs. HOWEVER, the graphics are reminiscent of 1988’s worst home-brewed ANSI colored interface and the color scheme looks like a reject for the vomit scene of The Exorcist. I really don’t want to look up what shows are coming on now because the overwhelming FAIL makes my eyes bleed and gives my brain a nearly uncontrollable desire to smash me in the face with a thin slice of lemon wrapped around a Yugo until it goes away. Are you getting this down, Comcast? Did you vet the new interface design at all? I mean with people who aren’t legally blind or were the recent recipients of a lobotomy…

DVR functions have been ‘upgraded’ as well…and by upgraded I mean severely hindered to a point of near catatonic uselessness. There was a time very recently that I could be fast forwarding through a part of a recorded show, see the place I want to stop, press the play button, and the unit would know I have only a human reaction time and would jump back a couple of seconds. No need to worry now. Comcast took that highly unwanted feature and tossed it out with yesterday’s lobster dinner leftovers. Because they listen so well to what their customers want, they replaced this with a wonderful new feature that doesn’t try to anticipate human latency. It simply starts playing from the point you press play. This means if you aren’t a precog, you’ll be doing a lot of rewinding at the end of your fast forwarding. Isn’t that just awesome? Seriously, guys, WTF?

Oh yeah, did I mention that the fast forwarding is slower than with the old software? It is much slower. The second level of fast-forward is around the speed of the first level in the old software. It was frustrating enough giving up my beloved Tivo 30-second skip but this just drags things out even more. And lastly in the realm of the DVR problems, I’d say that the way you set up new recordings is unintuitive. No, that’s far too politically correct and sanitized to express my true feelings for the new process. It sucks. It’s stupid and the guy that designed it is an idiot. Why on earth would you take a process that was simple and elegant and then ‘upgrade’ it into a 7 step process that makes no sense whatsoever?

Next there are the browsing options in the channel guide. Gone are the days where you could start typing the name of the show and have an ever narrowing list of results on the right to choose from. Instead we get the all new and improved option to select on the first letter and then scroll through all of the shows starting with that letter until you get to the one you want. Oh, and if the show airs on multiple stations, expect to see multiple entries in the search results. Isn’t that fantastic? Are you excited about this new system? I’m sure you’re just as excited about all of these great new features as I am. And would you like to know how excited I am?

I’m buying an AppleTV this weekend and canceling cable television. Congratulations…you have officially made my television experience Craptastic. I’ll be spending my money on iTunes to get my shows. Lord knows you’ve worked hard enough to drive even loyal customers to anything but your service. You’ve succeeded. I can’t imagine anyone enjoying this stinking load that you’ve just dumped on us.

Macbooks Are Sexy

The longer I write about technology, the more I realize I sound like an Apple fanboy. I’m sure some of you already feel that way about me. You’re wrong, but nothing in the Windows PC market has really come out to grab my attention. Let’s be honest, they’re just as much “clone” computers today as they were when the term meant a non-IBM PC. They just don’t invigorate the imaginations of people the way new Apple tech and designs do. (Except for maybe the early Alienware systems.)

Getting back to the point, Apple announced new Macbook and Macbook Pro laptops. The local Apple Store got them in last night and they were on display starting today for everyone to play with. I won’t bother going over the specs in detail. You can read about all of that elsewhere. Every blogger and news site out there has that covered. As for getting up close and personal with the new Macbook and Macbook Pro systems…they are every bit as awesome as the pictures lead you to hope they are. While they aren’t anywhere as light as the Air, they feel very solid without coming off as cumbersome or overweight. The magnetic closure works really really well, clasping tightly enough to hold the lid closed but without being so strong that it snaps closed that last little bit before the lid makes contact with the base. They found a perfect balance between holding the lid secure and allowing it to release easily.

The trackpad, which is what I’m sure you’re really interested in hearing about, is a joy to use. It truly takes very little time to get into the feel of using the three and four finger gestures for different functions. I did find that I clicked the trackpad a couple of times when I didn’t intend to which was slightly frustrating. Overall, though, the new trackpad is a winner in my book. The multitouch convenience is very likely to spread to the other OSes before much longer and soon we’ll all be using it without thinking.

Many people are griping about the 13″ Macbook losing the Firewire port. Get over it. There’s only so much room for device connectors and I’d much rather have two USB ports than one USB and one Firewire. I don’t own a single Firewire cable or device. I do, however, have enough USB devices to require multiple hubs. If you really need the speed of that port, get the Macbook Pro. Oh, and as for the price drop on the base model Macbook…it’s a half-step in the right direction but only half. It really should have been a $200 drop.

Conclusion? I love the new design. I love the feel and function of the glass multitouch trackpad. I want a Macbook by Christmas. Is that endorsement enough?

Apps Examined – iPhone Owns Us (Yay?)

Or my Vowel post…whichever way you want to look at it. C’mon…it’s so simple. The first letter in each word of the title…AEIOU (and sometimes Y). Sheesh. So I promised a quick list of apps that are just absolute must haves for me. Some of these are useful, most are geeky to some degree and a couple are just plain pretty. Let’s start with function. And by the way, unless noted these apps are all free because I’m cheap. Free is good, right?

I use a lot of online services. I need a mobile way to keep up with these things. So if you use Evernote, go get their free app. Not only does it allow you to see your notes, but you can add text, snapshot, saved photo and voice notes. It’s the all inclusive way to keep up with all the incidentals. Twitter users can look forward to a host of apps and probably the most popular is Twitterrific since it’s the most popular Mac client for Twitter. I say big whoop-de-doo. Twinkle has been a far more enjoyable app for me. It does the standard reading and posting that you’d expect, but the developers of Twinkle also decided to tap the GPS to show you what people near you are posting. I keep mine set for a 25 mile radius to keep down on what I read through but it’s been a wonderful experience digitally meeting people near me. This gives Twinkle the edge in the Twitter clients in my opinion. Oh, and they’ll be adding a block function for that radius section in the next release. The news just gets better and better. Moving on to IM, well I haven’t found one that I really like but Palringo’s free app seems to be more or less functional. This isn’t so much a knock against their app as it’s a knock against trying to use the iPhone for IM purposes. It’s really frustrating to try and hold an IM conversation on the device.

Fortunately I have the Last.fm app to stream some radio through my phone to calm me down a bit. It works rather nicely as long as you have a good signal and if you can hook the phone to your radio…then you don’t really need XM. For those times that you are actually listening to the radio but can’t place that song, get Shazam. Just hold it up to a speaker for a few seconds and it’ll come back with the song, artist, album, and a series of links to purchase the song and possibly even see the music video on Youtube. Neat, huh? Something funny happen while you were finding that song? Want to blog it and use WordPress? Just hop into the WordPress app and type away.

Just for fun, I say Sol Free or the inexpensive Solebon are great little card game apps. Just want to show off the accelerometer? Grab Labyrinth LE and let the amazement begin. Perhaps you prefer word games? Just go spend the $1.99 and get Wurdle…it’s very much like the old game called Boggle if you are old enough to remember it. It’s also the game I play the most on my phone. I actually don’t have any other games on my iPhone. I do have a couple of “just for fun” apps. I spent the money for Koi Pond. It’s fun and relaxing at the same time. I also picked up the free Lightsaber app. Don’t worry, this one is official (and more limited) so it shouldn’t be pulled.

In my area of random apps I have CheckPlease to help me figure up tips. I also have Dice Bag and D20 Dice which both are pretty neat for those of us that still enjoy pen and paper RPGs. eReader is a way to pass the time when there’s nothing else to do but honestly, I just don’t like reading long text on a backlit screen. Don’t get me wrong, it works really nicely…but I want e-ink. Let’s see…I left out Earthscape. It’s sort of a GoogleEarth for the iPhone. The app is really ambitious but I find that even the iPhone 3G hardware makes it really sluggish and the phone heats up awfully fast. But the app does do amazing things, albeit at a geriatric pace. There’s also WhatTasks as an interesting task list but I really don’t use task lists often so it’s been relegated to the back page where I don’t see it.

Now, someone tell me why there are no decent Magic 8-Ball apps out there? Huh? I’ve tried every free one and they all suck.

iPhone or WinMo?

I have now been with an iPhone for a couple of weeks. This has given me time to toy around with the interface and let the new wear off of the novelty. It has also given me time to delve into a few of the productivity apps that one can get for free from the App Store. Why the free apps and not pay apps? Simple. Many of the pay apps are mobile versions of commercial software. Quality for those is expected to be fairly high. I wanted to see what the really thrifty could use.

First off, I really like my iPhone. If you frequent my site, then you know that I have used the AT&T Tilt since its release last year and I have had almost nothing but praise for it. I still do. It is a wonderful device for those who want to use a Windows Mobile phone. I still suggest changing the ROM on the Tilt to make it truly speedy and functional. What does this have to do with the iPhone? Well I decided to try out the Apple offering to see how it fared against my beloved Tilt. iPhone wins hands down. First off the device isn’t nearly as clunky as the Tilt. This is a big deal to me. I’m not a style hound, but I don’t enjoy walking around holding a small car up to my head to talk to someone.

As of the 2.0.2 Firmware update the battery life and signal reliability have been improved. I would say that it now rivals the stock Tilt for battery life. While it may be playing catch-up with the Tilt in the areas of signal and battery, it far outstrips the device when it comes to the screen. The iPhone display is absolutely beautiful. The touch screen accuracy and sensitivity are generations beyond the Tilt. The system works far more fluidly than I thought it would.

What about the lack of a physical keyboard? As many have said before me, after a little time with the touch screen, I don’t miss the tactile board and actually find I am faster on the iPhone. I used to struggle with the Tilt’s keyboard. It took both hands to use at all. The iPhone screen keyboard can be used one handed once you learn the distance to move your finger to hit the different “keys”. The autocorrect feature rarely makes mistakes unless you happen to be typing in slang. That does confuse it sometimes. Overall, however, autocorrect keeps you from having to backspace because you missed a key by a nanometer.

The GPS on the 2.0.1 firmware was terrible. I won’t even try to make an excuse for it. It downright sucked. Even the Tilt on a radio firmware version that took nearly 3 minutes to boot the GPS chipset beat the iPhone on 2.0.1 firmware. That’s is completely different on 2.0.2. The GPS literally finds you in a matter of seconds. At least that has been my experience. And let me tell you, my GPS completely stopped working the second day I had my iPhone. Firmware FTW!

I suggest buying a case for your iPhone if you want to keep it safe. I rather think the Speck ArmorSkin is great. It’s easy to deal with, gives you simple access to every button and port you need and is thick enough to help protect your expensive device from a small drop. A word of warning on the belt clip: Don’t use it. The plastic is flimsy and it doesn’t hold the phone securely at all. Just put it in a pocket and be happy.

What about the software? This post got long. I’ll write up the review on my software choices next week.

Mobile Life Without Corporate Systems

Lately I have been looking around at ways to separate myself from work specific systems but keep all the wonderful services. You know, all of those neat little things like email, calendar, contacts, file storage. Some of these things are painfully simple to replace but others are just painful if you don’t know where to look. But thanks to lots of surf time and reading unholy amounts of Lifehacker, I have managed to put together a near dream team of services that I daresay actually exceed most corporate offerings. Here’s what I use:

Email – Gmail is the way to go. They have some really great features from Labels to truly effective spam filtering. Add to that almost 7GB of storage and it’s comletely free…

Calendar – Google Calendar does a nice job of filling this role and it integrates with Gmail. There’s your web based Outlook/Exchange replacement. Oh, and you can have appointment reminders sent via SMS to your phone. Try doing that with a simple click in Outlook.

Contacts – I use Gmail’s contact list for this. It works great. Of course you can always use built in systems like Windows Address Book or Address Book.app on your Mac. Heck, you could just use your phone if you really wanted to but I find that the information kept in Gmail is more than sufficient.

File Storage – Dropbox is the winner hands down. Why? Because I like a system with a client that will automagically sync without any work on my part after initial configuration. Dropbox does that. Just set up your account and install the client. From that point on, just put the files into the Dropbox folder to have it sync in the background to their service and to every other computer you have linked to your account. Schweetness.

Notes – Evernote has a wonderful service. With clients that sync your notes to your Mac/PC/WinMo/etc system and OCR run on every image you send to them, Evernote stands above the rest for services rendered for the almighty price of free.

It takes a little time to get used to using these different tools if you are accustomed to the usual Microsoft systems and indeed you can integrate a number of these into Outlook if you really want to use it. But for the full use of all the features available, using the native clients is the way to go. And yes iPhone users, you can use all of these from the comfort of your mobile device save Dropbox.

Mississippi Apple Store Opens

Apple’s first store in Mississippi opens today at 10:00am Central time. I’m going to be there updating this post from my iPhone as I can as things progress.

Edit: I moved the images to the bottom of the post and created thumbnails to speed load times.

Update 9:02 – I just arrived and there’s already a crowd.

Update 9:17 – Only one person in this crowd is here for an iPhone. Apparently Apple has a large userbase in Jackson, MS.

Update 9:28 – The line has stretched around the corner farther than I can see through the store windows. Also, we have two of Ridgeland’s finest supporting mall security at the entrance.

Update 9:39 – We’ve got a group in line singing “My Girl”.

Update 9:43 – The staff just came running up and cheering. They’re really getting the crowd energized.

Update 9:47 – The staff is now in the store and chanting. I can’t make out what they are saying so I’ll ask when I get in the store.

Update 9:58 – They just had the countdown and we’re headed in. And I’m the first one stopped…

Update 10:28 – They let me in with only a minor wait and I’ve been busy shopping. The service is great, which is what you expect from Apple stores. Photos will be added to this post when I get home.

Update 10:41 – The line still stretches out of sight from in the store. Apple, you have a winner.

Update 11:13 – Looks like the line finally went away and you can just stroll inside.

And there you have it. The first Apple Store in Mississippi is now officially open for business. I want to personally thank Jessica and Sara for all of the wonderful help they gave me while I was busily trying to spend my entire paycheck. Oh, WLBT, you so lose. Why on earth would you even bother showing up at all if you weren’t going to get there until an hour after the doors opened? You missed the best part of the opening.