The iPads are here! Hurrah and all that.

The first exciting thing that happened today was the TNT delivery driver just about severing his thumb by getting it trapped in the workings of his pump-handled forklift barrow. A very scary moment. The thumb stayed attached but I’m sure we should have taken him to hospital for an x-ray. I can still hear his screaming and you know these delivery types are fairly rough, tough men not given to screaming like little girls.

So we got the two pallets of iPads into the school. There’s a lot of packaging involved. The iPads were packed five to a box. If you’ve bought an iPad mail-order from Apple, you know that the retail packaging ships inside a cardboard carton. That’s what we had, all wrapped up in another box.

It took four people about an hour and a half to strip the pallets down to piles of iPads in retail packaging. Then another two people worked for another hour and a half to strip the cellophane from the boxes and the iPads themselves and to remove the cases from their retail packaging.

Then we took out the trash.

After that, I just spent the entire day plugging in iPads, activating them, updating them to 3.2.2 and installing Configuration Profiles.

One tip I realised for Configuration Profiles: you can install more than one. Previously, I had created 100 profiles each with a lot of common information. The only truly unique part was each user’s email settings, so I refactored the profiles.

The “base profile” set up:

  • Passcode policy
  • The school’s WiFi setup
  • A subscription to the school’s public Google Calendar.
  • Restrictions policy

Each individual profile simply set up that user’s email settings.

The biggest problems I ran into were:

  • Activation is slow at times because it involves hitting the iTunes store for several pages in a row.
  • Updating the devices is slow.
  • iPhone Configuration Utility 3.0 only runs on 10.6 (our network is stuck on 10.5 because of our Xserve G5) so I had to find another machine to install the configuration profiles.

I have some photos of the uncrating that I’ll post on Flickr later.

PS: I had to turn off comments here. Sadly, the blog was under spam attack, as I’m sure you saw. I love you all.