I won a MacBook Pro

A few nights ago I got a call telling me that I won a MacBook from Drive Savers at Macworld Expo. At first I thought it was a scam, but it was real.

Late this afternoon, FedEx delivered a large box, containing a brand new Apple computer box along with this letter.

Grand Prize

However, it wasn’t a MacBook – it turned out to be a new 15″ MacBook Pro! I was expecting a low end model, or even an older one.

Grand Prize

The screen is gorgeous, but it’s a lot heavier than my current MacBook. I’ll probably keep this one as my desktop system and use the MacBook for travel, since it’s easier to carry around. This weekend I’ll swap the 320G hard drive & 4GB RAM from my MacBook into the MacBook Pro.

This leaves my old MacBook Pro that I was using for software testing & debugging, which I’ll sell now.

Macworld Wrapup

I got home from Macworld late yesterday and spent most of today just catching up.

I posted a two part Macworld wrapup at MacMegasite and I still have several reviews to write.

This year I stayed at the Hotel Milano, which is by far the nicest under $200/night hotel I’ve stayed at in San Francisco. The room was very large and the wireless internet was reliable. It’s just around the corner from Moscone West, which makes it very convenient.

Netter's Dinner

Last night was the annual Netter’s dinner, the traditional old fart’s Macworld event. As always we meet at the stairs in Moscone South, where Jon Pugh wears his traditional Hawaiian shirt and herds the crowd for the walk to Henry’s Hunan. This year I chickened out and rode, since my FastPack 250 with the D90 and Macbook was killing my back.

The crowd was smaller than usual this year, only 30 people, so we were packed into a smaller room down stairs instead of the usual upstairs hall.

After dinner we had the usual survey and free swag. When the Netter’s dinner started in 1985, the survey asked things like “how many people have an email address”. This year the questions were more like “how many have only one email address” and “how many have a personal email address”.

Free Swag included a complete set of Take Control books on a CD and Christopher Allen’s iPhone Development book (which I got and will review when I get home).


My Macworld predictions

Here are my predictions for Macworld 2009:

  • Snow Leopard If it isn’t released, Apple will at least announce a release date. Apple *may* add some user features to make it an attractive update.
  • iLife and/or iWork updates I don’t believe that iMovie will be moved online, although it may be able to take advantage of other computers on the network for rendering using XGrid. I think there will be an online version of iWork similar to Google Docs. Applications like iMovie & iDVD will most likely take advantage of Snow Leopard features such as using the GPU to speed up rendering.
  • Mac Mini There will most likely be a new Mac Mini, with a lot of the technology introduced in the new MacBook line. It will almost certainly use DisplayPort instead of DVI. It might provide easy access for hard drive & RAM upgrades like the new MacBook & MacBook Pro, although that may be just my wishful thinking.
  • iMac Minor update, probably a speed bump or quad-core processor and adding DisplayPort instead of mini DVI. No design change.
  • Mac Pro May also receive a speed bump, new processor (16-core maybe), DisplayPort.
  • MacBook Line A Unibody 17″ MacBook Pro?
  • AppleTV Possibly new software with official support for Hulu and/or Netflix streaming.
  • iPhone New software. If there is an iPhone Nano, it will be a stripped down model which probably won’t allow you to install additional applications from the app store at a much lower price ($99?).

Going to Macworld

I’m getting ready to leave for San Francisco in a few hours. I’ll be spending much of the day traveling. I’m bringing my MacBook and my D90 with an 18-105mm VR and a 50mm f/1.8 lens. I decided not to bring the 55-200mm and my SB-600.

I’ll be covering Macworld Expo at MacMegasite and I will attempt to post live keynote updates at http://macmegasite.com/macworld, provided I can get internet access during the keynote. If that isn’t possible, I’ll attempt to post updates from my iPhone.

Macworld Photowalk

I’m setting up a photowalk for the Monday before Macworld, probably starting around 2PM. We’ll meet near Moscone center, probably in front of the registration area. There should be some great locations to photograph, including Yerba Buena Garden, Powell Street cable cars, and the Union Square area. If it goes late, we can probably start working our way towards 21st Amendment for the Macworld Monday Tweetup.

End of an era

As you’ve probably heard, Apple announced today that this will be their last appearance at Macworld Expo and Steve Jobs won’t deliver the keynote address. Although Apple wasn’t an official sponsor of Macworld Expo, the event revolved around their announcements. This doesn’t mean that Macworld Expo will end, but I really don’t expect it to continue without them. Most likely the show will die in a few years, like the east coast Macworld Expo did after Apple stopped exhibiting there.

The timing of Macworld Expo soon after New Years was probably bad for Apple, since it meant they had to time their major announcements for January and miss the holiday shopping season.

TidBITS offers some good perspective on the announcement.

I already have my tickets & hotel reservation for Macworld Expo, so I’m still going and I’ll savor what will most likely be the last one I’ll attend. I probably won’t get up at 4AM to line up for the keynote, though.

I went to my first Macworld Expo in 1988, after I moved to Los Angeles, since it was a quick & inexpensive trip.

During Macworld Expo 1991, I got the news on the last day of the show that my father died and I walked around in shock the rest of the day before flying back to New York the following day.

After I left the west coast, I stopped going until a few years ago. Last year was one of the biggest shows, but this year was already showing signs of being a disappointment with Adobe and several other companies pulling out.