I’m trying to come up with a good way to describe WWDC, other than “Good God, there’s a lot of PowerBooks here,” and failing miserably. So I’m going to go with that.
Almost everyone here at WWDC has a laptop. 99% of them are Apple PowerBooks, with a few people using Dell or IBM laptops. There’s tons of hookups too, both for power and internet. People line the halls, mob the community areas, hunt along the walls, all in search of the almighty AC wall outlet. If you can’t find a wired network connection, there’s always wireless. But power. Everybody needs it and nobody has enough juice to last the whole day without recharging at some point.
Wireless connectivity is another issue. Just about everyone here has a wireless card in their laptop, because in the session halls, that’s the only way to stay online. The wireless system’s been pretty good too, considering there’s about three thousand people here who are jumping on and off at random intervals. Speed mainly sucks while we’re in the sessions, but that’s to be expected when 200 people all try to get on to the same access point (there’s only one per room, with two wireless cards in each.)
The sessions are really good too, once they get past the initial session where they aquaint everyone with the general state of the technology under discussion. The question and answer time following the sessions are also pretty good. I can’t go into details about the sessions, other than to say that I’ve gotten some *really* good ideas, because the Great Fruit has a warning at the beginning of the session saying that the sessions are confidential. Besides, most of it’s very geeky and frankly, stuff that makes me go squee puts other people to sleep or results in them smiling at me with that tolerant expression as I go off in a torrent of geek speak. I’ll spare you. My team, on the other hand, will not be so lucky. ;-)
I also did something today that I rarely do: I impulse bought something. One of the problems I normally have is keeping track of my various computer tools. I’ve lost entire toolkits. So what I bought was actually pretty practical, but still it was a rare experience for me.
Moment of Zen
Here’s the saga so far. I left early Sunday morning, and I do mean early. My darling and I awoke at 5AM, so that we could schlep on down the road to Reagan National Airport for my 7:55AM flight on America West. Highlights of my trek cross-country include:
– Getting off the plane in Las Vegas, to be promptly confronted by about fifty slot machines situated in the center of the boarding area. I called La to let her know I’d at least gotten this far in my journey without issue, and ran to my next flight.
– Waiting in San Francisco for my bags. Dear God. It was like malicious sloths ran the baggage claim on the America West baggage claim carousel. I had checked two bags and the first one showed up pretty quickly. Then the fun began, as bags showed up one at a time. Not like every few seconds, new bag. Nope. More like every five minutes, new bag. Then the carousel stopped. And restarted. Coughed out a few more bags (mine not among them) like a Siamese dealing with a hairball. Stopped again. Restarted again. Spewed out a few more bags. To make a forty-five minute long story short, I got my missing bag back, but I hope never to have a similar experience again.
– Finding out there was no set rate for going from the airport to downtown. Just when I had thought every city had implemented this (from my perspective) sane policy, San Francisco decided to be different.
– Finding out that half of downtown, including the part my hotel was located in, was hosting the Gay Pride parade. The Apple emails had mentioned a “special event” on Sunday. I wished they’d just said “huge honking parade may impede your journey to the hotel.” My cabbie was great though, he talked to the cops and got through some of the barriers to drop me at my hotel’s front door.
After checking into my hotel, about which I can’t say enough good things, I decided to head down to the Moscone Center West building to get registered. I knew I was close when I noticed twenty-something to forty-something men hanging around, working on their PowerBooks. Registration was a breeze, and after collecting my t-shirt, WWDC 2004 backpack and ID badge, I headed back to the hotel for some jet-laggy sleep. More on Monday and today later, as I have to run.
Moment of Zen
To make a long story short: I’ve moved, and switched my local grocery store. The story of the move is an exciting tale, full of moving furniture and billing quandaries. It’s a tale I’ll come back to another day, though, as I have had a moment of squee-like joy in the local Giant. To wit, I have found this!: Gazebo Room Salad Dressing
Why this is so joy-inspiring? Because this is my favorite salad dressing. Bar none. I used to have to go up to Pennsylvania to get it, but no more. Now, it’s just down the street. Mmmmm.
Moment of Zen