Amazingly, the woman at registration was right. I
fell onto the floor got up at 5:30 AM, groggily showered, grabbed a bagel and some OJ at a patisserie that was apparently run by the bitter sister of Soup Nazi, was politely asked for “loose” change about forty-two times by people who admittedly looked like they probably needed it, and then went to Moscone to find a line that already arced its way around the convention center.
Apple let us approach the Presidio in steps. First, at seven, they let us into the lobby of Moscone. When they finally let us in, we immediately filled up most of the lobby. There, I met Allen (a student from some place in Canadia, a suburb of Bismarck), Michael (a youngish developer who somehow already manages to provide the aura of the bitter old-timer who longs for The Good Old Days), and David (a student from the People’s Republic of Berkeley), all of whom were smart, friendly, very fun to talk to, and who were in the narrow majority of attendees who knew how to use mouthwash and shampoo. Then, at about eight, they herded us to the second level, where we requeued and spent the next hour next to some food trays that had been carefully selected to only contain comically strong coffee and foods that were at least 87% raw cane sugar. Thenataboutninethirtywewereallowedupstairsyay OMG I AM GOING TO MEET STEVE JObS I AM SO PUMPED!!!1111one!
Just about the time that my sugar high was beginning to quietly wander off in exactly the way a hangover doesn’t, Steve Jobs Himself walked onto the stage. Thus began the keynote.
The keynote had a four-part agenda, broken down roughly as follows:
- 40% showing side-by-side pictures of Vista ripping off Tiger
- 30% repeating the phrase, “So that’s iFoo. We’re very excited about it, and really looking forward to seeing how you can integrate it into your products.” I began to wonder whether there was an implicit “because quite frankly we have absolutely no idea” they weren’t adding to this sentence.
- 28% introducing features of Leopard that are great for end-users, but that duplicate functionality already written by third parties, thereby using the Developer’s Conference to announce features competing with developers
- 2% discussing new features that impact developers
Once He was done speaking, we all organized ourselves into a high-velocity stampede outside, where we viewed the new hardware, and from there basically fell en masse down the escalator into the lunch room, where we refueled on high-starch foods and your choice of lemonade, lemon tea, or regular Dr. Pepper. During lunch, as people stopped being so incredibly focused on Steve Jobs, I also made the discovery that, if I’m not famous, I’m at least a lot more well-known than I was expecting. This is not that surprising to me, since I’m the frequent target of offers for money harboring by Nigerian princes, but it was kind of cool to get a ton of people saying, “What’s it like to work at Fog Creek?”, “What was it like to be in the documentary?”, “Are you really as sexy in real life as you appear in the movie?”, etc. One person, in a mildly surreal echo of a conversation I had with Eric last week, even took the time to explain to me that the equations we had on the board in Aardvark’d to figure out whether you’d make it to the other building neglected to factor in air resistance.
In the afternoon, we began the NDA sessions. I unfortunately am not legally allowed to post my thoughts on these sessions, but I will continue to blog about parts of Leopard that are public and about my time in San Francisco. For now, though, signing off.