Thoughts on Macworld Expo
January 17, 2008
Today I attended the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. To be clear, I just bought an exhibit pass as the full conference and keynote pass can run you several hundred bucks and I'm not interested in attending a class on how to use your iPhone (its not hard). If you root around on the Google you can find promo codes that gets the cost down to about $10 (walking in off the street will set you back about $40).

The exhibits are where vendors who have an even remote connection to the Mac platform come to peddle their wares and sing the praises of Mac. Most of this stuff is what I would consider to be "crap" (a sea of leather iPhone cases?), but there are some interesting things to see.

I'm a big fan of podcasts, Internet-enabled audio recordings similar to radio shows covering a diverse field of topics. Many of the technology podcasts I listen to were being recorded live and I was able to meet many of the hosts. Sort of like celebrity star-gazing for geeks. That was cool, and I did see some innovative Mac products.

Me aside, this was an ugly crowd, full of ponytails, mullets and bluetooth headsets. I didn't see a single denim hem higher than 3 inches off the ground. What's amusing is watching the FanBoys salivate over the lame swag, and engage in shameless jock-snitching with even the most dubious of Mac "celebrities."

For every interesting or notable feat of engineering, there were many half-assed entries. I saw an Asian guy sitting in an unnamed booth, with a stack of business cards and a Dell laptop (way to impress the Mac crowd with your Dell/Windows machine). I don't know what a Macworld booth costs, but it can't be cheap. I never did figure out what he was selling or why he was there, but I'm sure he thought it was worthwhile.

I did get to play around with the new MacBook Air. Its pretty amazing in person. When you close the lid, it seems to disappear. You have to be careful handling that thing or you'll get a papercut. Having said that, its not small. If I was looking for an ultraportable to cram into a bag or suitcase, its dimensions are the same as a regular Macbook, just super thin.

I was offered T-shirts, brochures and other stuff on which most I passed. I did get to play around with the new full-frame Nikon D3. Me want. $5,000 - someday...

tags: technology