WWDC 2006

Right, I believe I have found a no-frills formula for how to make your body think it’s going to self-destruct in an imminent fashion:

  1. Attend Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) thing
  2. Attempt to socialise and meet up with as many people as possible
  3. Attempt to keep up with all the latest and greatest tech news and world news whilst at WWDC
  4. Have three to four coffees per day thanks to the surprisingly excellent (and free) espresso service at WWDC
  5. Combine said three or four coffees per day with beer, wine, and beer (in that order — yes, ouch, me dumb dumb) at night.
  6. After having coffee, coffee, coffee, beer, wine, and beer, we then attempt to stay up at night to:
    • catch up on the deluge of urgent email (as opposed to merely the important emails, which I can deal with later),
    • install beta Apple operating systems,
    • attempt to actually do some coding (ha ha ha),
    • catch up with the folks back home, and
    • rip those 15 new CDs you bought at Amoeba records to your bling iPod (fo sheezy, yo)
  7. Repeat everything the next day

It has been a full-on week indeed. This is the third World Wide Developer Conference that I’ve attended, and it’s by far the best one I’ve been to so far. It was interesting seeing the Internet’s lukewarm response to Steve Jobs’s keynote on Monday morning, although the excellent Presentation Zen site gave it some credit. As the Macintosh developers who attended the conference know, there’s actually a monstrous number of changes under the hood not spoken of in Jobs’s keynote that are really cool (which would be all that “top secret” stuff in the keynote); Mac OS X is truly coming into its own, both as a user experience and a developer’s haven. Apple’s confidence is starting to shine; let’s just hope that it doesn’t turn into arrogance. (I’m praying that Windows Vista doesn’t suck too much and actually gives Mac OS X some serious competition.)

And, of course, it wasn’t just the daytime that providing intellectual nourishment: I met up and chatted to dozens of people outside the conference, from successful Mac shareware developers, to low-level Darwin guys, folks from the LLVM and gcc compiler teams, other Australian students from the AUC, passionate open-source developers, visual effects industry folks, a ton of Apple engineers, oldskool NeXTSTEP folks, and even second cousins.

While the food at WWDC wasn’t particularly stellar this year, they did have a ton of these things:

Yeah baby, bananas! $12/kg back at home? How about take-as-many-as-you-frigging-stuff-into-your-backpack over here. I’m sure it was the Australians that were responsible for the entire table of bananas vanishing in around 90 seconds. (Not to mention the free Ghirardelli chocholate :).

There was something to keep me occupied every night of the week: even before WWDC started, there were Australia and New Zealand drinks organised on Sunday night, where I met up with a huge host of other Australian students and professional developers (some of whom got really, really drunk, and weren’t representing Australiasia particularly well in the international arena, I might add). On Monday I headed out to have the best burritos ever at La Taqueria on 25th and Mission with Dominic and Zoe, headed to the Apple Store and Virgin Megastore (oh dear Lord they are such evil shops to have in such near proximity to the conference centre), and met up with the one and only Chuck Biscuits from my old demogroup along with the Darbat crew to catch up on old times. Tuesday and Wednesday night was spent heading to dinner with some fellow RapidWeaver developers that featured some bloody good steak, and Thursday was the big-ass Apple Campus Bash, where I had wine, bananas and chocolate for dinner, and then proceeded to raid the Apple Mothership Store of far too many goods. (Put it this way: I travelled to the USA with one half-full bag, and now, uhh, I have two bags that are kinda full… oops.)

During the week I ended up discovering the totally awesome Samovar Tea Lounge in the Yerba Buena gardens thanks to Isaiah, where I not only had some Monkey Picked Iron Goddess of Mercy tea (seriously, how freakin’ awesome is that name?), but also snarfed up a handful of Scharffen Berger chocolate. (Hey RSR/RSP folks back home, have you guys finished those damn chocolate blocks on my office desk yet? Of course you have!) Amit Singh of Mac OS X Internals fame was also at the Apple Store at Thursday lunchtime giving a talk about his excellent 3kg 1600-page book, which I briefly attended before deciding that an afternoon of live true American jazz with Dominic was a much more tasty option on the platter.

And, just as I thought the outings were about to calm down when the conference finished on Friday at midday, I end up meeting a like-minded video metadata fellow in the lobby of the W Hotel San Francisco of all places (swanky as hell lobby, by the way), and ended up hanging out of a cablecar on the way to Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square, where a bunch of NeXTSTEP folks were having dinner. I seriously don’t understand how my body’s managed to cope with all the activity so far. But hey, at least I managed to avoid San Francisco’s rather dodgy Tenderloin district (warning: highly amusing but possibly offensive image on that page) :).

So, now that the week’s over, I currently have 31 draft emails that I need to finish writing: time to get cracking (sorry friends and enemies, I’ll get to you shortly!). Of course, clever me managed to get an entire hour of sleep before heading off to SFO airport for the next stop in my trip: Los Angeles. Stay tuned, same bat time, same bat channel…

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