By the time I joined the line (at 4:05 a.m.) for Steve Jobs’s keynote, the line was already stretched all the way around the Moscone Center West. I joined it pretty sure it was the right line, and this was confirmed by the family ahead of me, three generations of Apple fanatics from Portland, Oregon. Bill, the eldest, is 75 today and has been coming to these events for 10 years. Henry, 13, is here for his second. Last year they arrived at 6 a.m. for the 9 a.m. keynote and were very disappointed to find they were herded into an overflow room, not the main hall.
Bill checked the front of the line and reported back that there are people in tents there, who must have arrived much earlier than we did. A TV news truck is setting up just down the line from us. The two guys behind me in the line are from Denmark, here for their first MacWorld Expo.
Why are we here? “It’s like coming to a rock concert with my father, only it’s technology, so it’s important,” say Mary Agnes, the woman in front of me who is here with Bill. “It’s part of the hype, to be the first to hear it from Steve’s mouth.”
“In Denmark we don’t have Apple stores, but I run an Apple dealership, and we have 17 stores in Scandanavia, so I thought it was time to come and see Steve,” says Morten Andersen, the guy behind me, who arrived at approximately 4:07 a.m. He has stores in Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark. There is still no Apple store in Paris or Rome, so it will be a while before official Apple stores come to Scandanavia. Morten says the iPod is the reason for Apple’s current success. “We have people coming to the stores who say, ‘Oh, does Apple also make computers?'”
As for me, I love an event. And last year at this time I was watching Steve Jobs on my Dell computer screen, prowling the stage of the Moscone Center like a black panther. That sight, and the excitement of Jobs’s presentation convinced me to switch from PC to Mac, and I’ve never regretted it, mainly because the Mac platform is so much easier for podcasting.