WWDC Survival Guide

2008-06-05 18:46:58 UTC

I’m not attending WWDC this year (sorry!), but I did attend last year, so I have some advice for those of you attending for the first time (and I hear there are a lot of you).

  1. Walk.

    San Francisco isn’t designed to handle car traffic—it’s optimized for pedestrians, in several ways:

    • Most streets are one-way, meaning that a car must take a longer route than a pedestrian can.
    • The walk/don’t walk signals don’t have buttons, because you don’t need them. When drivers get the green light, pedestrians get the walk signal—every time.
    • Almost all parking costs money per hour. Walking is free.
    • Parking is so sparse that you’ll walk one or more blocks anyway.
      So, if you can walk from your hotel to Moscone and back, do so. You’ll get there faster and more cheaply.
  2. Don’t eat the lunch.

    The objects that Moscone serves as lunch are not food. Food, by definition, is edible. Eat out.

    Note that I’m only talking about lunch. Moscone serves food at other times of day: a mid-afternoon snack, and dinner. These are OK, and sometimes even pretty good. Only the lunch is inedible.

  3. Attend parties, or make your own.

    If you’re at WWDC with some friends or colleagues, you may be able to work on some code with them at the conference. This is a lot of fun, especially if you can get together around a power strip.

    Either way, you may want to attend other parties. Some parties are listed on Upcoming. Additionally, there’s CocoaHeads meeting at the Apple Store on Stockton St on Tuesday. If you know any others, please post a comment here and I’ll link to them. (However, I’d stay away from the Thirsty Bear pub. The acoustics in that place are terrible. Forget conversation.)

  4. Bring your (US) AC adapter.

    They have charging stations at the conference, but the week I was there, the MBP chargers were broken. They never did get them fixed. I ended up buying a second AC adapter at the Apple Store.

    Additionally, Tim Burks recommends bringing a power strip—a good idea if you and your friends/colleagues intend to hack code together at the conference. More specifically, Mark Boszko recommends Monster Cable’s (yes, them) Outlets to Go. He also notes the existence of 3- and 6-outlet versions, which you may prefer, depending on how much space you have in your bag.

  5. Grab a copy of The Onion.

    You may or may not know this, but The Onion is not just a website and series of books—it really does exist as a newspaper. It’s available for free in newspaper racks in select cities, including San Francisco. I’m sorry, but I don’t remember where the rack I got mine from was—I think it was on Market Street, but I don’t remember the cross-street.

    Starting in 2009 or so, the Onion is no longer available in dead-tree format, at least in San Francisco. A pity.

Some good eating places:

Enjoy the WWDC!

Also, be sure to read the comments on this post! Already, Jonathan Wight has made two very wise suggestions. You may also want to check back periodically so you don’t miss any.

14 Responses to “WWDC Survival Guide”

  1. Jonathan Wight Says:

    Two tiny tiplets form me.

    Bring the attachment cable with your Macbook(Pro) AC adaptor. Most people just bring the little corner piece and end up hogging huge chunks of power strip real-estate. If you bring the attachment/extension cable you’re taking up a lot less room on the power strip _and_ you can often sneak onto a otherwise almost fully populated strip.

    Also label your AC adaptor with your cellphone/email address. It is a well known statistic that 4.2 million AC adaptors are lost during every WWDC. I’ve lost one myself (fortunately returned). Labeling yours will help a kind samaritan return it to you.

  2. Jane Says:

    One tiny one from me: the WWDC bash is not 21+. Anyone can go, but last year they made anyone who wanted to get a wristband to get drinks show ID at the conference that Thursday. The only thing required otherwise is a wwdc badge.

  3. Peter Hosey Says:

    Jane: You’re right; I’d forgotten about the wristbands. Thanks. I’ve corrected the post.

  4. Jane Says:

    Yeah, it sucks, half the fun of it are the parties and a fair number are either more fun when you’re 21+ or are at 21+ venues but I’m not :( Bah.

  5. Blake C. Says:

    > I’m not attending WWDC this year

    Lame! I was looking forward to saying hi :(

  6. Mike Cohen Says:

    I like Chaat Cafe just south of Moscone South for good cheap Indian food.

  7. John Anderson Says:

    A couple of other great food tips:
    * The food court in the nearby mall (on Mission street, between 4th and 5th) actually has terriffic food. Out the Door is probably the best there but everything is pretty good.
    * If you can tolerate a short walk, the Ferry building at the end of Market street has a great selection of fine foods and a nice wine bar.
    * If in doubt about food selections, check out Yelp. Locals use it to find restaurants all the time.

  8. Alan Says:

    “When drivers get the green light, pedestrians get the walk signal”

    The anti-pedestrian bastards!

  9. Peter Hosey Says:

    Alan: How is that anti-pedestrian? Keep in mind that if drivers going the same way had the red light, cross traffic would have the green light—which would be really anti-pedestrian.

  10. Blake C. Says:

    About the automatic crosswalk lights and lack of buttons- this is not the case with nonstandard intersections. I just got burned at a T-style intersection next to Moscone.

  11. Alan Says:

    It was a joke.
    Since your post didn’t qualify the point, I suggested that pedestrians with the green signal would have to be dodging cross traffic, ALSO with the green signal.

    Upon reflection, I realise your traffic systems are probably very different. In the UK it’s normal (but not always the case) that when pedestrians have a green light, ALL traffic has a red light. Usually any traffic with a green light can drive along the road you want to cross :)

  12. Jussi Says:

    great tips. Thankfully this year the lunch boxes were actually quite nice, or am I just easy to please?

  13. Peter Hosey Says:

    Jussi: I wish I knew. I hope I’ll find out next year. ☺

  14. Spyderco Guy Says:

    Mike….I’m assuming Chaat Cafe is wireless. Is that correct?

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