The Keynote Address, Part 2
MWSF ’03

On January 8, 2003, in Macworld Expo, by David Weeks

FIRST IN, FIRST IN

Andrew Stone of Stone Design jumps out of bed and begins coding his custom software suite in Albuquerque, New Mexico, every morning at 5:00, which is 4:00 in California. On Tuesday, January 7, early-bird Andy dashed from a nearby hotel and was first in line at the Media Only entrance for this year’s Macworld Keynote Address. At 7:30, Nemo and Weeks worked our way to the front of the modest queue, where the irrepressible Stone was conversing with our old friend, hardworking Gene Steinberg, the Mac Night Owl.

Steve Jobs’ talk was scheduled to begin at 9:00, so we had a lot of time to schmooze with Andy, Gene, Dennis Sellers and other nearby members of the Macintosh press. Representatives of Apple guarded the stairway between us and the keynote auditorium, while hundreds of VIPs found their way into the foyer for top-priority front/center seating.

DON’T RUN, BUT MOVE QUICKLY, GEEZERS

And then, at 8:50, without warning, the barriers were removed and we dashed up to the front of the media section, sitting five rows from the mighty Macworld stage. Loud 30-year old Joni Mitchell music played from huge loudspeakers, adding a feeling of mellow intensity to our chaotic assembly. All around us, PowerBookers and iBookers were searching wirelessly for viable AirPort network connections, so they could begin transmitting dispatches. Weeks found plenty of open networks, but put his TiBook to sleep because he was unable to access the Internet. Sounds fishy but turned out to be an insignificant setback. Nemo started taking notes on a pad of paper. Archaic, but effective.

Camera flashes were everywhere, primarily from still digital cameras held by attendees. Fifty professional still photographers were clustered kneeling and sitting just in front of us, scrambling to gain a decent position from which to photograph the presentation. To our right, outside the seating area, dozens of enormous broadcasting video cameras on tripods were crammed against one another, giving their operators scant space to maneuver.

The hall quickly became packed, as the huge, steady stream of participants worked its way into their seats. Nemo did a quick demographic study, and observed mostly middle-aged men within sight; an interesting statistic given that easily half of all Macintoshers worldwide are women. Within our media contingent there was a sense of patient enthusiasm, with no mention of any rumors or potential surprises.

TWO MACWORLDS WORTH OF STUFF

Announcement at 9:08 to turn off all cellphones and pagers, followed by Louis Armstrong crooning ÒWhat A Wonderful World.Ó Facing Nemo and Weeks on the right side of the raised platform (stage left) were two flat-panel Apple monitors on a stand, and one monitor was visible on a table at stage right.

Weeks muttered to Nemo: ÒSomebody was up all night verifying everything works in this demo.Ó Lights dim, modest applause, and Steve Jobs appears, far stage right, smiling slyly, wearing his uniform of black turtleneck shirt and worn bluejeans. Steve informed the world that Apple has 50,000 streams of live video going to 130 countries, including the Vatican.

UPDATES GALORE

Steve provides an extensive update on updates, covering all the good news regarding:

  • Switchers campaign
  • Apple retail stores
  • OS X for teachersPlus the wonderful range of free iApps, which will be covered in our next report. Thanks for reading. More is coming soon, including a gallery of photos from the Expo halls.

    John Nemerovski
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