There are around 5,000 people at WWDC this year. Excluding Apple and Moscone employees, I think I have seen 25-30 women, total. The ratio of males:females is quite literally 100-150:1.
It’s odd interacting with the Mac geekery, being the old Linux/UNIX head that I am. After attending the “Stump the Experts” session last night, I now know what my wife feels like whenever tech/geek talk comes up. These guys were even more full of in-jokes, bad puns and general geeky weirdness than any of the equivalent Linux/UNIX sessions I’ve ever taken part in. There is a cult of Mac and it became evident that I’m not worthy to even swim in the kiddie pool out back. I’m a Linux user pretending to like Macs.
Apple treats their guests right. There’s always a good supply of food, at breakfast, lunch or snacktime. The drink of choice (at least as Apple supplies) is various Odwala fruit concoctions. Along with the DVDs with the beta Leopard on them, all attendees get Apple t-shirts and WWDC ’07 laptop bags (very nice!). It would seem as though ADC members get a lot for their money.
The WWDC ’07 laptop bags are generally the most commonly seen on the floor, followed shortly by Timbuk2 bags. And here I thought I was going to have some cache, some clout, inspire some envy with my own Timbuk2 bag. Not a chance — Apple users are apparently willing to not only pay for quality, usability and durability in their choice of computing environments but also their choice of computing accouterments as well. They’re like some sort of touchstone, some physical manifestation of a lingua franca for geeks.
Skype rocks! I was able to see my family from 3,000 miles away. Ain’t technology grand?
The 15″ MacBook Pros appear to be the most commonly used Macs here, followed shortly by the 17″ variety. Quite a few people also have the old 12″ Powerbook.
While the crowds and lines have been massive, I have never seen such a large group of people act in a uniformly polite and orderly fashion. Everyone is willing to strike up a conversation on a moment’s notice or keep watch on someone’s stuff during restroom breaks and there was nary a bit of shoving when the pizzas were brought out last evening. It’s rather striking.
The airport offers a most fascinating intersection between the ordinary and the extraordinary — for the airport workers, the departure and arrival of passengers is a part of the flow for a day’s work, while the travelers themselves often experience a sense of adventure, mystery and stress.
Speaking of the airport, SFO is a building in desperate need of some moving sidewalks. The terminals are insanely long. The views are pretty, though.