Mine is on the FedEx truck on its way to my house right now!

Apple Computer Inc. said on Tuesday it has received 100,000 orders for its iPod mini digital music player, which goes on sale on Friday at Apple’s retail outlets, its online store and through resellers.

I’ve been tracking the progress of mine, which I preordered the day they were announced. (The geekist thing I’ve done in a long while, I think.) FedEx picked it up in Pan Chiao City, Taiwan, on Monday, took it to CKS International Airport, flew it to Anchorage, and then sent it to Indianapolis. There it was hung up for a few hours yesterday; the comment on FedEx said, “Regulatory Agency Clearance Delay.” This morning it was on a plane to Pittsburgh at 5:30am. At 8:14 it arrived at the FedEx sort facility in Cranberry Township, and at 8:25 it was on the truck headed to Butler.

Several thoughts:

1. FedEx has amazing information systems and is absolutely unbeatable in processing packages.

2. I was surprised that the tracking started in Taiwan. I had expected that a big bin of these mini iPods would be sent from the factory to somewhere in the middle of the US and packaged and shipped from here. Not the case. I wonder if the fact that I had mine engraved made a difference: Perhaps all the iPods destined for the retail stores and for orders placed now were sent in bulk, and this is part of why they won’t be available until tomorrow. Actually, I bet that shipments for various retail outlets were packaged and shipped directly from Taiwan as well, so it’s a modified sort of bulk shipment. All of this speaks to the efficiency and cost controls of FedEx’s systems.

3. I don’t actually know how to rip songs from CDs, so I have a bit of a learning curve ahead of me. I’ve been holding off from buying an MP3 player, trying to avoid buying too early and finding myself stuck with one I didn’t like. I assume it’s not hard to learn, but my schedule lately is so full I don’t know when I’m going to have time to come up to speed. My hope is that the interfaces are intuitive enough that there’s little learning anyway.

4. But what will I load first??

UPDATE: It’s here! I have successfully programmed the time and date. The packaging is very clean and cool and Apple-ish. A sticker on the front of the thing warned me, in four languages: “Don’t steal music.”

I am using all my willpower — which is not a lot, sadly — not to load music onto it until I get more work done today. If I can clean up the paperwork littering my office and put in two hours of web work, I’ll consider it a success.