They’re calling it a hiatus, but San Francisco’s Macworld Expo – lately called Macworld/iWorld since the departure of Apple as an official presence – is probably done for good. And that made me nostalgic for the one year – 2006 – that I finally made it to this annual Mac event. I documented my pilgrimage with a custom mini-site, built in the then-current candycane-like Mac visual style, and thought this was a good time to revisit that colourful proto-blog post.
Ironically, considering my recent accident where my soon-to-be-sold Mac fell on my hand while I was snapping its picture (my fault for putting it in an unstable place), I also injured myself at Macworld, slipping as I headed off an escalator and whacking my forearm, resulting in a bloody bruise. I document the whole experience – including pics of my visit to the Macworld first-aid station! – in this writeup.
Ironically, it’s the very success of Apple since the late 90’s that has resulted in there being less of a need for an annual user and vendor gathering. Back then, Mac users had a sense of community borne of their minority status. Even though it was an investment by Microsoft that infused Apple with some stabilizing finds during perhaps their lowest financial period, there remained a sense of “Mac vs. PC” rivalry coupled with a sort of outsider, rebel mentality that was slow to fade (witness those John Hodgman/Justin Long ads).
But today, Apple has triumphed in a way us longtime fans could barely have dreamed of in the “dark days” when Apple was struggling financially. And when a technology is literally in every other person’s hand, it’s hard to feel like an outsider.
The need to meet and greet fellow Mac users is easily satisfied on a daily basis, both via friends and family (many of whom invariably use Apple devices) and the all-pervasive Internet, where the kind of knowledge and information-sharing that was one of the draws of Macworld now can be easily found. And face-to-face interaction is only a Meetup away.
So, I’m happy I had the chance to experience Macworld Expo – the Mecca for Apple faithful. A trip to the Apple Store just isn’t the same, but at least it’s a lot closer!