Macworld Expo in San Francisco has no parallel in its status as the event for the Macintosh industry. Tens of thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors pack the two halls of San Francisco's cavernous Moscone Center. But there's far more to do than wander up and down the aisles, trying to remember in the crush of the moment precisely which companies' products you wanted to see. Here then are a few suggestions to help you break out and see something a little different during this year's show from January 9th through 12th.
TidBITS Events -- Come show your support for TidBITS by helping fill the audiences at the various different presentations members of the TidBITS staff are giving throughout the four days of Macworld. Wear a TidBITS t-shirt to one of my presentations and I'll sign it on the spot! If you don't have one yet, I have several to hand out to a lucky few at my events.
On Tuesday, January 9th, I'll be signing copies of my Eudora Visual QuickStart Guide and doing a Q&A session about Eudora, email, TidBITS, and anything else you want to throw at me (other than tomatoes) at the Aladdin Systems booth (#1707) at 2:00 PM. Or, if you're into Web authoring, TidBITS Managing Editor Jeff Carlson (along with Glenn Fleishman, his co-author and the editor-in-chief of our defunct NetBITS publication) will be signing copies of Real World Adobe GoLive 5 at the Peachpit Press booth (#643). That's also at 2:00 PM, and Jeff and I are competing to see who can draw the larger crowd. Then, at 5:00 PM, I strongly encourage everyone to make it to the Macworld Magazine booth (#1207) for another installment of Macworld editor Chris Breen's tremendously enjoyable Pundits Panel, with me, Andy Ihnatko, and a player to be named later (possibly Jason Snell or Bob LeVitus) commenting on Steve Jobs's keynote and what we've seen so far. (The keynote is open only to conference and workshop attendees, and you'll need your badge and badge holder to get in on the first come, first served basis. You can register and pick up badge holders at Moscone's Upper North Hall until 6:00 PM Sunday and Monday before the Tuesday morning keynote.)
On Wednesday, January 10th, at 11:00 AM, Jeff Carlson will be back at the Peachpit Press booth (#643), signing copies of his Palm Organizers Visual QuickStart Guide. At 11:45 AM, I'm giving a presentation at the O'Reilly booth (#2523) about the main irritating things a Macintosh user will encounter when using Windows. I'll also be giving my opinion of what's really wrong with Windows programs and signing copies of my Crossing Platforms book. At 1:45 PM, TidBITS Contributing Editor Matt Neuburg (who was the best professor I had at Cornell University and whose talks are extremely enjoyable) will present "Who's Afraid of Object-Oriented Programming with REALbasic" at the O'Reilly booth (#2523).
On Thursday, January 11th, at 2:00 PM (Pacific), those of you who aren't attending Macworld Expo can tune in to a Web-based chat I'm doing from the floor of the show for World Without Borders. I recommend getting set up to listen in a little early, since it can take a few minutes to log in and get the Java chat applet running properly. Then, at 4:00 PM, I'll move over to the Peachpit Press booth (#643) to field any email-related questions you have for an "Ask the Email Doctor" Q&A session.
On Friday, January 12th, we're all on simultaneously. At 10:15 AM, Jeff will be on a panel opining about the future of the Palm platform at the Macworld Magazine booth (#1207). At 10:30 AM, I'll be reprising my "Backup Strategies for Macintosh Managers" conference session with Craig Isaacs of Dantz Development in Salon 12/13 of the Marriott Hotel. And also at 10:30 AM, Matt Neuburg will be holding forth to conference attendees a topic near and dear to his heart, macros and scripting.
Party Lists -- Although it might seem that the end of the show each day is a signal to get some dinner and rest, much, if not more, of the real movement in the industry happens after 6:00 PM every night at numerous parties, receptions, and informal gatherings. These events aren't for everyone - they tend to be loud, crowded, and filled with people who know each other. They can be a great time, though, and they're often a good way to meet people. The canonical list of parties and other events remains the Robert Hess Memorial Party List as maintained by the indefatigable Ilene Hoffman, and if that doesn't contain enough parties for you, check to see if the KarenNet list has any additional ones. If you're hosting an event of any sort at Macworld Expo, you should make sure to submit it - after all, we're talking free publicity here. And as always, we encourage anyone planning parties to read our "Macworld Geek Party Guide" from TidBITS-415 for tips on throwing successful trade show parties. Some companies have clearly read that article; others would still do well to do so.
Netters' Dinner -- The main public party I go to every year is the Netters' Dinner, a huge banquet of spicy Chinese food attended each of the last 15 years by Macintosh users from the Internet. Fifteen years ago, that meant a small group of subscribers to Info-Mac; today it means up to 300 people who have found the group a most congenial and enjoyable alternative to the company-sponsored parties. Jeff Carlson and I will both be there, and Jon Pugh (who organizes the dinner each year) will lead the traditional march from Moscone to the Hunan on Sansome and Broadway, and attempt to moderate the boisterous show-of-hands survey we do every year.
The Netters' Dinner is Thursday, January 11th, at 6:00 PM. Meet at the top of the escalators on Moscone's south side and be ready for a brisk, traffic-stopping walk. Dinner costs $17, and you must register in advance via Kagi. Also, if you'd like to submit questions for the show-of-hands survey, visit the editable WikiWeb page I've set up, click the Edit link at the top, and add your question to the others.
San Francisco via Vindigo -- Finally, if you have a Palm handheld and you're new to San Francisco, and particularly if you plan to do some wandering around the city, check out the San Francisco edition of Vindigo. Just tell Vindigo where you are, and it can display nearby restaurants sorted by price, cuisine, or distance. Reviews for many of the restaurants are available, and there are always walking instructions.
See you in San Francisco!