Macworld quick takes

I spent the day at Macworld today. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to provide a detailed Macworld report. Here’s a few quick takes.

First, IDG made some kind of absurd error in dealing with registrations and had people stuck in huge lines with long delays in picking up badges (even for pre-registered attendees). It was a disaster. People were stuck for hours and getting really pissed off. Meanwhile, the self-service registration stations at the south hall were out of commission. Real sillyness. This was mostly over by 1pm or so but a lot of people missed parts of the event they wanted to attend because they were stuck in lines. Jobs does love the scarcity business model!

Number one funny irony: Dead iPhones Everywhere. The iPhone AT&T data network (Edge) didn’t work in Moscone and there was no general show wi-fi, so anybody doing iPhone live demos was screwed unless they had their own separate network. So while I could use my non-Apple Nokia with T-mobile GPRS fine at Macworld, I couldn’t use my Apple iPhone.

Overall, the Macworld exhibit hall is a weird mix of the high-end and low-brow. It’s kind of E-tech meets the West Coast Computer Faire. There will be a booth with all the latest and greatest Web 2.0 trimmings, Apple motif, hipster booth dudes etc. and then right next to that will be a booth with hand-made signs written in felt tip pen saying things like “We the best for all your need product ODM”

Anyway, it was kind of interesting. Saw a few interesting products that I will try to report on. The new “air” laptop impressed many people. We’ll see how it plays out. I think the Apple TV downloadable “movie rentals” is potentially very interesting. That could be a really big deal.

This show certainly gives weight to the observation that the “Cult of Mac” that at one time bragged about “creativity winning out over conformity” are in fact now some of the biggest conformists of them all – waiting in long lines for iPhones (and today, geting into Macworld). They appear to be somewhat blind to flaws in both the company and the products, and especially the exalted Mr. Jobs. It sometimes feels more like a temple of worship than a computer show.