There is a vibe, aura about the whole MacWorld Expo and Conference. Previously my experience had been watching snippets on the web, and then filling in the gaps through blog readings. This year my son and I got to go see the live show. My family was holidaying in San Francisco, and Gordon a friend from Apple invited us for the pre-keynote breakfast and to watch the keynote. A good friend Jan who works for http://www.targus.com/ got us tickets to the exhibitors areas. We where smiling!
The day seemed immersed in the lack of Steve Jobs presence at the keynote. As we took the BART (metro), the local papers had pictures of Steve Jobs on the cover with an open letter stating he was experiencing a hormone imbalance, and at this time his focus was on getting his health back. Naturally that morning rumors floated about that he might make a cameo appearance which kept the conversation going in the hallways. No show! ~For me the whole enhancement of iPhoto was quite amazing, and to go into details would be silly but do check this link out for a overview, impressive. http://www.apple.com/ilife/
Walking around the stalls, and bumping into attendees and chatting there was a clear perspective shared, that future we are waiting for is actually here. The whole convergence of ubiquitous technology available at a lower and lower cost, and the interface and learning curve needed to embrace it being simplified to the benefit of the user was so apparent in many of the new tools, software and hardware we got to see and play around with. This coupled by the reality that a wireless connection now is an expectation a bit like when you turn your lights on electricity automatically delivers the light. This is something I noticed was just a given in this setting. The key was a large percentage of the tools, gadgets, and hardware available made the assumption connectivity is a given.
We where somewhat surprised by the large amount of small companies who are piggy backing on the iPod, iTouch and iPhone success. Accessories, add ons, plug ins, integrated solutions, a plelifery of headphone options and even a set of glasses that plug into your iPhone or iTouch which lets you have a full screen experience with surround sound….the future has come to us :).
We got to see Steve Wozniak (inventor of the first Apple) and his new collaboration the modbook. This a tablet Mac developed by Axiotron. The presentation and conversations of both Steve and the Axiotron CEO Andreas, was a lovely glimpse into IT ingenuity, customization and venture capitol money all blending together to bring an interesting product. You got the sense from many of the stalls that inventiveness, ingenuity, and the comfort and capability to unlearn, learn and relearn was the nectar which made many of these developers and IT folks tick.
A perfect place for my 13 year old son, to get a taste of the learning and collaboration which he will face in the real world. A setting with humor, marvel and a lovely edge to ideas. ~a reminder that throughout history change has always been embraced by men and women not scared to be a little crazy, out of sink and comfortable forgetting a box exists ……a good way to transition back to work on Monday.