Thursday, January 27, 2005

MacWorld 2005 San Francisco

Early in January every year, I go to MacWorld at Moscone Center in San Francisco. This year I spent parts of three days, which was not enough, but I had other commitments. Here I am, all ready for the Expo to open on Tuesday morning. You can click on this link to see a movie of the crowds pouring down the escalator into the entry area. MOVIE

Of course I love high-tech gadgets. (I joke that I inherited this tendency from my dad.) Here are two different TINY speakers for your iPod. The one on the right is designed to leave in one place; come in and plunk your iPod into the middle and away it plays. The set on the left fascinated me, clearly designed for the Road Warrior. The case has a cover that slides open to play; that uncovers a set of connectors for jacks from the iPod. Disconnect the cables and close the cover, and the whole unit slides into a large-ish pocket. All in stylish white, of course. Now I just need an iPod.

Now that we've gotten used to carrying our entire audio libraries with us, Several vendors want to persuade us to carry all our videos as well. Here's a nice-looking player from Epson, which I liked more than any of the other similar devices that I saw.

Some of the most interesting booths are usually in the center back of the exhibit hall, behind the big Apple.

(But of course, I had to stop and admire the new tiny new Mac-ette: here's the banner flying over the Apple pavilion.)

One booth I enjoyed sold bags and carrying cases for practically anything. Their booth was wonderfully low-tech, with walls built from oil drums on the outside, plywood on the inside that was painted with blackboard paint. Artists had drawn outlines of people, and the
bags were draped around the drawings. And there was plenty of chalk, so every day the booth walls got more and more crowded with notes, drawings, aphorisms, and phone numbers. The booth featured other low-tech as well: they actually had a manual typewriter for receipts, and a battery-operated record player used old LPs to provide musical ambiance.

Then there was my buddy the robot, reminding me of Clayton Bailey's finest.

My lunch stop was at little crepe place hidden in the back right corner, where I had a wonderful savory lunch. In case the Moscone exhibit hall view was getting a bit dull, a whole village of miniature buildings surrounded the booth, complete with Victorian painted ladies, the domed centerpiece next to the Exploratorium, and the TransAmerica pyramid!

Then it was back into the fray. I was very impressed by the wall of experts at the Canon booth; they seemed ready to field ANY question you might have about photography, digital cameras, lenses, and photo printing.

Before I left, I wandered into the main section of the hall again, and noticed this very effective, semi-transparent banner for a mouse manufacturer. Behind this was the John Lennon bus -- but more tomorrow.

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