Report from the MacWorld Trenches

Mark Wieder mwieder at
Wed Jan 12 03:05:55 EST 2005


A few comments after the first full day of the MacWorld expo.

The show definitely feels smaller this year - the whole thing is
packed into the south hall at Moscone, the north hall is being used
for smaller meetings and groups and food vendors. I'm not sure if the
number of vendors is down from previous years (as in "is IDG pricing
themselves out of the market?"), as the south hall seemed very crowded
both with vendors and attendees.

There's no Developer Central. It's not just RunRev that wasn't in
attendance this year, none of the other usual suspects could be found
(Metrowerks, RealBasic, etc). BareBones was there, as was another
great little company whose name escapes me and I'll have to dig
through a pile of papers to find it (more on that later), but they
were in the back in the single-person "special interest" alcoves.

Unless I missed it, there's also no education section. Things
scattered here and there, but no focus.

The Spin Doctors were great. I'm not quite sure what the tie-in with
the show was, or for that matter exactly what the tie-in with the John
Lennon educational bus was, but it didn't matter. The bus itself is a
wonderful thing - this is a non-profit that takes the bus around the
country to various schools to teach kids how to do studio recording:
everything from setting up mikes to post-production techniques to
handling the video production.

The show seemed pretty evenly divided between iPods and computers. I
find this mildly disturbing. I'm glad Apple has found a revenue stream
and all that, but it seems that they're getting into the mold of the
company that makes uber-cool multimedia devices and, oh, yes, also
incidentally makes computers.

Speaking of multimedia devices, the new iStick-of-gum thing or
whatever it's called is very, very cool. I want one, but I'd be scared
of misplacing it somewhere, it's so small.

And the unfortunately named MacMini looks like a great device. The
price point is something that Apple has badly needed. I'm hoping it
doesn't go the way of it's predecessor, the Cube. It's a very cute
powerful box which may replace a machine over here. I'm allergic to
Steve's keynote speeches, so now I'll have to dig up the archived
video to see what I missed.

...and there's still no Saturday MacWorld. Back in the old days the
expo used to extend for a weekend day. This brought in the folks who
have problems getting there during the week. You know the kind... the
ones who work for a living on weekdays, school teachers, kids who are
in school then, etc. Some years ago the weekend was dropped and the
expo ended on Friday afternoon. When will IDG realize that for the
extra cost of keeping things going for another day (maybe trading off
by running Tuesday-Saturday instead of Monday-Friday) they could bring
in a whole different set of attendees?

Oh, by the way, the revvers dinner was much fun. A half-dozen of us
gathered after the show to talk of things Revolutionary, tell jokes
and family stories, and wind down from a day on the show floor. I
resolved to work on getting Bay Area rev users' meetings together, if
not regularly, at least occasionally, aiming for next month. Vamos
ver, no?

-Mark Wieder
 mwieder at

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