Michael S. Rosenwald eulogizes Gary Allen, founder of the now defunct ifoAppleStore, in the Washington Post:
There was nobody like Gary Allen, who died Sunday from brain cancer at 67.
Allen didn’t care so much about Apple’s new products (though he bought many of them.) He cared about the stores, the sleek and often innovative ways Apple presented itself to the world – the winding staircases, the floor-to-ceiling glass, the exposed brick.
Allen, a retired EMS dispatcher, traveled around the world – obsessively and expensively – to be among the first in line at the company’s new stores. He attended more than 140 openings, collecting all sorts of trivia. He could even tell you where Apple store tables are made (Utah; he stopped by the factory once to say thanks).
ifoAppleStore was an invaluable resource for me as a tech writer: Gary knew everything there was to know about the stores, and there was nobody else who was even close to his level of attention and detail–he was the unquestionable expert. I was saddened when the site shut down earlier this year, but I’m sadder still to learn the reason behind it.