Yeah, yeah, this is like two weeks late -- we were drunk(er), and our minds were still struggling to encompass the sheer overwhelmingness of it all. Guardian assistant art director Ben Hopfer toured MacWorld. Here's his report.
Ah MacWorld, the one place in the world where I can completely geek out and still not be the biggest dork in the building. I’ve been going to MacWorld for almost 10 years now; originally because I got to talk my dad into buying me a bunch of cool computer shit I couldn’t afford myself and now so I can play around with a bunch of cool computer shit I still can’t afford. Never less here’s my quick and dirty breakdown of this years’ event.
Mac me in slick Louis
My first thought this years MacWorld was where are all the computers? It seemed like every booth was either for speakers for you iPod, a case for your iPod/iPhone, or some fancy smancy bag for your laptop. Now at one point I had a nice rubber case for my iPod, but all it was useful for what getting dust and grime on itself. Now I know there’s millions and millions of iPod’s out there, but how can one product spawn so many companies wanting to wrap it up on rubber and plastic cases? Haven’t we hit critical mass yet?
The same can be said for all the companies trying to sell speakers for the iPod. It seemed like every other booth had something you could stick your iPod in. I mean being able to listen to your music without the need of earbuds is awesome, but do they all have to look so ridiculous? I mean until recently I was just using a cheap pair or battery powered speakers to play my music, do we really need a toilet paper holder with built in speakers so we can listen to music while we take a crap?
However, there are some really cool things to see scattered throughout MacWorld. My personal favorite was the Modbook, a hacked MacBook with a built-in touchscreen. I’ve used some Wacom tablets before, but it has been so much fun being able to doodle straight in to Photoshop. If it weren’t for my complete lack of funds and the $2,279 sticker price, I would have bought one right there on the spot.
Rad, but a tad pricey
Another awesome tech gadget was the Solio solar powered charger for your iPod/iPhone/cellphone. Basically it’s this little object that you fan out and can charge your electronics off the sun. Not bad for when you need to hear some music camping and what not. I mean who doesn’t need to rock out when hiking up a mountain? With a sticker price of $99, it’s actually affordable, just not to me.
Fanning the solar flares
But not everything that I found cool, is actually productive, take the array of USB gadgets available. Need a small refrigerator for one can of soda? They got it. Need a cup warmer for your tea? They got it. How about a webcam that shoots Styrofoam darts at your co-workers? They got it, and I really really want one. Not content with just taking control over your videogame consoles, Guitar Hero 3 has made the jump to desktop computers everywhere. Say goodbye to your productivity, and hello to the rock gods.
To usb or not to usb ...
Of course the last item that I covet most would be this years’ biggest product at MacWorld, the much-hyped MacBook Air. Goddamn I want one of those! Basically it’s a stripped down version of the MacBook family with tons of wireless functionality. I mean who needs a DVD drive when you can just download a movie anyways? When I actually got to play around with one of theses little bad boys, I had some dark thoughts. While talking to the Apple employee standing next to me about how cool it was, I was secretly thinking that if I was able to cause a disturbance, maybe, just maybe I could make a run for it with the notebook. I mean it’s so small that surely I could stash it under my shirt, and how are they going to frisk every geek in the building. Alas, I’m a pussy and my object of desire is still sitting in a box somewhere in a warehouse.
Moths to a flame