Sunday, June 05, 2011


It all began back in March at an Apple Education event: I jokingly asked Corey and Pete when dates for WWDC would be announced, and Corey mentioned that they (Apple) were expecting to sell out within 1 day.

That afternoon I went back to work and wrote a script to monitor the WWDC home page and text my phone if there were any changes. Literally the next week, my phone woke me up, and within an hour I was registered. Less than 11 hours later, the conference was sold out.

Now I'm here! I flew in to San Fran early this morning. I was lucky to have had a seat - when I booked my flight I'm pretty sure I was one of those "overbooked" passengers, since I wasn't allowed to choose a seat assignment; fortunately when I checked in yesterday (all from my iPhone, while on a walk, in nature) I had a seat number, so yay.

Had a wonderful flight. The people sitting next to me were really friendly, we talked more than half the flight, and the conversation didn’t seem forced. This is new for me - usually when I get on a plane my neighbor and I exchange pleasantries, maybe talk for a few minutes into the flight, and then that’s it, end of conversation until we land. Today, nice change of pace there.

Flight was shorter than expected and landed over half an hour early, I got a shuttle right away, no waiting, and was at my hotel before noon. Sporting my WWDC10 jacket, I hurried over to Moscone, snapped a photo, and checked in. Favorite moment: the Apple staff member saw my jacket and said "Welcome back". It's good to be back. Ever since they [finally] announced the sessions and labs on Thursday, I've been giddy. The official app is pretty sweet, too. In a nerdy I-can't-believe-I-get-to-be-here-I'm-so-freaking-lucky-and-happy-and-excited sort of way.

Got back to my hotel, dropped off my new WWDC11 fleece, then Google Mapped a path to Golden Gate Park. Walk two blocks, catch some form of public transportation. Ummm. Is it a bus? A train? A trolley? Uhh. I'll figure it out when I get there, I guess.

Or rather, I stopped in a gift shop and asked the cashier what she thought Google was trying to tell me; she said I could take that bus (ha! it was a bus! figured one thing out...) but it'd be faster to take the train - walk a block, go to underground station, take N train outbound. She even drew me a map, complete with hippies smoking weed in Golden Gate Park.

I don't take public transportation often. Or ever. So this was going to be an adventure. I found some stairs that went into the ground, and, assuming they'd eventually lead me to some trains, I descended. I found a ticketing area, where people were buying tickets. Maybe I should buy a ticket. Oh no. What ticket should I buy? There's a "Muni" ticket and a "BART" ticket. Umm... Oh, look, a sign that has the letter N in a circle, next to some other letters. I bet those are the trains. Okay, buy a roundtrip ticket, charge my credit card, check. Now there are cattle stalls with automatic doors in my way. Wave ticket by logo. This logo? No, not that logo. Not that one either. People going by on either side, I'm standing there waving my ticket all around and the doors aren't opening. Ohh, THIS logo! Wheee!

Down stairs, now there are tunnels on either side of me. Look! A train! Wrong letter. Disembodied woman's voice announcing arriving trains. Kind of soothing. And eerie. Mostly soothing. Wait patiently. Try to blend in. "Double train N-N outbound, arriving in 4 minutes". That's mine! Doors open, step on board, take seat, try and figure out how soon I'll to disembark. If only I knew how to read that map on the wall, I bet it would tell me. After some squinting and quick learning, I figured out how to follow the colored line on the map until it said my street names, and then I knew I was only a few stops away.

Anyway, long story short, I made it to Golden Gate Park, walked around the eastern-most part, saw some flowers, trees, a lake, hippies smoking weed (several offered me some, caught me off-guard). Anyway, weird thing about Golden Gate Park is there are giant ROADS cutting through it. Major traffic all around. At first this bothered me - this is supposed to be a relaxing park! Then after walking an hour and only making it one-third into the park, and Google Maps on my phone saying it was another hour's walk to the ocean, suddenly I understood why there were roads. That place is ginormous.

I never made it to the ocean - too tired, and turned around to start walking back. Grabbed a creep for dinner (they're spelled "crepe" but I call them "creeps" because it's funner), and took one to-go for breakfast. Because I'm gonna have to be up at 4 or 5 a.m. tomorrow to go stand in line with all the other crazies who stand in line for the Stevenote that early.

Waited for the train, found out there's a really really slick website where you can watch the trains live on a Google Map and it tells you how long until it gets to your stop. When I got back I stopped over at Moscone again - there's a bug in my WWDC app that's really annoying me, and since it hasn't been fixed in the two updates this weekend, I wanted to find out if anyone else is having the same issue. The info folks were super friendly, I showed them the bug, they told me they haven't heard anyone say anything about it (until now :), and then one of them filed a bug report for me.

Now I'm here, writing this. Almost everything else that happens this week is considered Apple Confidential and under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), so I might not have many other blog posts this week, at least that are WWDC related.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting, Jeremy! It's fun to hear about your adventures in SF.