Post Macworld reflections

My sleeping habits and legs are still recovering from a week in San Francisco where long days and late nights are the norm during Macworld. However, I’m still energized by everything I saw and trying to eek out just a bit more by going through my notes, collection of promo materials, demo CDs and chotchkies.

Pictures are everything for those who can’t attend so I’ll add a lot of pictures with some comments. Most of these are from my iPhone.

Day 1 – Monday

Arrived at foggy SFO after a one hour delay and took a shuttle bus to the Westin Hotel on Market Street. Microsoft invited a few of its Macintosh MVPs to join them in their booth and they always treat us first class. When I parted the curtains over the window I found Macworld looking back at me. My room looked directly over the Moscone Center.

Overlooking Moscone Center

A few SMS messages later and I tracked my group, which was already sitting in the Power Tools Conference session with Microsoft. Bob, John and Bob, fellow MVPs, had already arrived and gave me the skinny on what to do next. Aren’t they a motley crew?

Bob, John and Bob

During a break we walked with Kurt Schmucker, lead evangelist for MacBU, to the Microsoft booth to pick up our shirts for our shifts in the booth. Everything is still an organized mess up until the Expo begins.

Microsoft booth

John, having flown in from Australia, still wasn’t adjusted to San Francisco time and passed on dinner. The Bobs and I went to Mel’s drive-in where I was introduced to Anchor Steam Beer!

Anchor Steam beer

Later that night while I was checking mail and doing a bit of surfing I discovered a familiar name in my iChat window. Well, howdy!

Woz in iChat

I used my Joby gorillapod along with my Nikon Coolpix camera to try to get some night shots from my room.

Moscone Center

Moscone Center

Day 1 loot:

Day 1 loot

Day 2 – Tuesday

I had myself talked into getting up early to go to Phil Schiller’s keynote and talked myself out of it the next morning. Instead I went to the exhibit hall and listened to the feed getting piped in through the Apple booth. Everything was about iLife, which I don’t use very much.

The Apple booth before the Expo opens is always shrouded in black curtains. The public never sees this, though. As announcements are made during the keynote the curtains come down…

Apple booth

and the banners get unfurled.

Unfurling banners

I worked the first shift of the first day of the Expo and was very glad to meet someone I’ve seen helping in the Microsoft Entourage newsgroups. I actually referred him for the MVP program but then someone told me he was a Microsoft employee. Hello, Pawan!

Pawan Kapoor

My goal for Tuesday was to meet Guy Kawasaki. Sheridan Jones with the MacBU had scheduled him for a book signing in the Microsoft Lounge. They started the Lounge at Macworld 2007 as the “Blogger’s Lounge”, which is a nice comfy retreat on the floor for bloggers to catch up on notes and maybe post a few comments directly from the middle of the Expo. This year’s lounge looked very inviting.


Reality Check<At 2:30 p.m. when my shift was done in the booth I walked over to the PeachPit booth and browsed for Guy Kawasaki’s new book “Reality Check–The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition”.

Then by 3:00 p.m. I was heading to the Lounge where the line to meet Mr. Kawasaki was wrapped around the back wall. The line was moving quickly, however, and in about 20 minutes I got my book signed and one of the folks from MacBU snapped our picture.

I commented to him that I couldn’t believe he’d been smiling all the time I’d been in line but I don’t think he heard me. Smiling that much will drive people insane and maybe he was already on his way.

After walking the show floor a bit my day was complete but I still had an evening gig to attend. The good folks at JAMF Software, who just happened to be on my flight to San Francisco from the Twin Cities, were throwing a Casper User Group party on the Nikko hotel‘s 25th floor.

I showed up around 7:30 p.m. just as they were beginning to make announcements about the next versions of their software. The room was filled with about 100 folks and we were overlooking the San Francisco night scene from the very top floor.

Nick from JAMF was telling everyone about their new Resource Kit for Casper and even gave a shout-out to me and a couple of folks who had contributed. Later that evening a gentleman from Conde Nast introduced hims

elf to me and thanked me for my Exchange setup script for Entourage. Very cool.

Guy and Bill

Day 2 loot (doesn’t include literature from the floor):

Day 2 loot

Day 3 – Wednesday

Day 3 was the second day of the show and I was slated for the morning again. My goal: finish walking the smaller of the two floors of the show and begin walking as much of the bigger floor as possible.

This was a neat little gadget from Microvision. The orange box is a digital projector that is about the size of an iPhone but can create a projected image or video 100 inches wide in a totally dark room. It’s slated to be released a little later in 2009.


In Tiny Town, what I call the small developer booths behind the Apple booth, Iqua was showing their VizorSun Handsfree Bluetooth device for mobile phones. It pairs with any Bluetooth phone and fits over the driver’s side sun visor. I appreciated the built-in solar panel on top that recharges the device while driving in the sun.

Iqua VizorSun

I took this picture while roaming the Apple booth. I can’t count how many iMacs they had set up for product demonstrations. Guess what they were all demonstrating! Hint: look at the picture.

Apple booth

This alien chair was very comfortable once it had been adjusted for me. Anthro’s real name for this product is Verté Chair. I bet they hate people calling this the alien chair but it would probably sell better than Verté. I actually searched Google for “alien chair”, which is how I found Anthro’s name.

Alien chair

Wednesday evening some of the folks from MacBU had dinner with the MVPs at a local Thai restaurant and then several of us took cabs to the Cirque du Mac party where editors from Macworld magazine were headlining in their own Macworld All-Star Band. Not bad.

While in line for my first beer I did run into Patrick Roanhouse with Plan 8 Inc. Patrick later posted this absolutely brilliant five-second interview with Chris Pirillo that he shot at Macworld:

I’m hoping to see more of his stuff soon.

Later that night while the band was taking a break (or maybe they had finished) someone was treating the audience to a burlesque trapeze show. Not sure why.

Burlesque show

Day 4 – Thursday

My first goal for Thursday was to see Leo Laorte‘s keynote speech. I arrived at 8:30 a.m. for his speech at 9:00 a.m. and a second line was already forming next to the first one. I took this picture from the middle of the second line while the third line was forming.

Line for Leo Laporte

Although I was pretty far back in line the attendants let the first two lines enter the room at the same time. I managed to get second row center and had an excellent view of everything. Before his keynote Mr. Laporte walked quietly to the seats in front of me and began chatting with folks.

Leo Laporte before his keynote

He gave a great presentation about the shifting from one-to-many broadcasting to community-based media. That may sound boring but it was really fascinating coming from someone who started in broadcasting back in the 1970s and has not only seen but participated in all the changes that have happened mostly in the past 10 years.

After the keynote a crowd of at least 75 people walked up to meet Mr. Laporte as he walked off stage. I was very impressed with how he took time with each person to not only answer questions but carry on dialogs with them. He didn’t try to allot any specific amount of time to each person but instead took all the time that was needed to answer questions and tell a few more anecdotes.

I told him how I first discovered him about 12 years ago when I downloaded his one-hour show on my Macintosh Performa over a 56K modem. His remark was, “That was really when we were low tech.” He also gave me his autograph on the back of my exhibitor badge. I was beaming for quite a while after that.

Leo Laporte's autograph

I finished walking the last of the show floor and saw some more interesting products. This NEC monitor was very nice to view. It is one single screen about a yard wide but curved. Viewing a spreadsheet on it was much more comfortable than I expected. I really couldn’t tell it had a curve while viewing it straight-on.

NEC curved monitor

Before my afternoon shift in the Microsoft booth I went to visit the Apple Discussions folks. I was invited to meet and chat with them for my participation in their forums. They told me I was about the fifth or sixth person who had dropped by their room. And for my thoughts I received a couple of black Apple Discussions t-shirts. A swag double!

While at the booth I had a couple of folks come up and ask about Entourage EWS. Turns out these two gentlemen were from the New York Times and were using my Exchange setup script too. Wow!

After working the booth on the second shift the Microsoft group walked to the Yerba Buena bowling alley for MacBowl, a charity event to raise money for local schools. This event is closed to the public and different Macworld exhibitors participate by donating money for a lane and the chance to bowl for the championship.

About 10 exhibitors donated a total of $14,500.00 this year, which went to Starr King Elementary School. Macworld magazine’s Editorial Director Jason Snell (left) and OWC President Larry O’Connor (center) are presenting the big check to Starr King’s principal Chris Rosenberg (right). Peter Cohen, Senior Macworld Editor, is signing below. For the first time in 10 years, Microsoft lost the tournament. Congratulations, Roxio!


Later that evening I was back in my hotel room relaxing for the rest of the evening. Woz just happened to be back on the network because while I was charging my iPhone and had iTunes open I could see his iTunes library in my list. Maybe I peeked just a little.

Days 3 and 4 loot:

Days 3 and 4 loot

Macworld Expo 2009 is now a couple of weeks in the past and I’m sill browsing through all the literature I collected. I still need to get in touch with the rest of those business cards I collected.

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