Various notes on ordering from Apple (lessons learned):

  1. If you want to take advantage of a special offer such as $100 rebate on a printer, the printer and the computer must be on the same order.
  2. If you're purchasing from an Apple Store and they don't have the printer, you must do the order totally online instead.
  3. When you place an order online, if you add or change anything on the web page where you're ordering the computer (such as accessories even), your computer will suddenly become a "Built To Order" (or "CTO") system and will be delayed significantly, since it must then be made in China instead of shipping from a warehouse.
  4. If you have a "CTO"/"BTO" computer and you have problems with it, you will not be able to exchange it at an Apple Store (even if it's actually unmodified but was simply labeled as "CTO" when you ordered it because you ordered accessories at the same time). Instead, it will be shipped back to Apple for repair.
  5. As long as your order has not shipped yet, you can call Apple and add "priority shipping" to it afterward.
  6. If you have multiple items in your order, the "priority shipping" charge will appear to be appended only to the first item shipped, but in reality Apple will retain the "priority shipping" information and apply it automatically to other parts of the order anyway, so don't worry.
  7. If you append "priority shipping" (for $30) to your order, it applies to all items in the order, so it's better to order everything on one order and take full advantage of this.
  8. Sometimes Apple has so many people ordering computers of the same type that they don't have enough in warehouses. In this case, your "stock" (unmodified) computer may still be built in China and thus delayed anyway.
  9. Once you see "Prepared for Shipping", your order will most likely ship within 24 hours. Remember that if it's shipping from China, it won't ship until the beginning of their work day there.
  10. Getting 2 - 3 day delivery from China is "expedited" or "priority" shipping. Otherwise, it could take a week or more.

Some more notes on other aspects of MacOS X (more lessons learned):

  1. Snow Leopard's stupid "Service Battery" message:
    Snow Leopard has a new "feature" whereby the battery monitoring program will look at things such as (1) how many charges there have been and (2) how much of the battery's full capacity is still there, etc. If these things don't seem to be within Apple's "normal" range, they will have the Battery menu item say "Service Battery". Simply saying this without any explanation of why it's saying so is, of course, rather stupid! Some people must drive a few hours in order to get to an Apple Store. Once there, the so-called "Genius" runs a diagnostic program on your battery and finds that (in my case) the battery has had 325 "loadcycles" and is at 74% of the original capacity. MacOS X (Snow Leopard) simply looks at this, says, "that's not within my idea of 'normal'", and turn on "Service Battery". So, the Apple guy tries to sell you a replacement battery for over $100 when you really don't need one. Save your money, get a free copy of CoconutBattery, and check your battery parameters yourself.