Just got an email from Apple that my iPad reservation was fulfilled, and as soon as the store opens, I’ll be there to see if it’s true; I was resigned to waiting for at least 5, possibly 7 days! At least I already a good man-bag for it; not the one Matt‘s wearing in that picture, but this one:

It’s got lots of pockets and zippers, and the main pocket is almost big enough for a MacBook Air. That said, it’s not specific for the iPad, and I’ve already thought about putting in some extra padding in the bottom. But the upscale larger bags are all on back-order.

OK, now for the WWDC tips for newbies. I recommend also (or first) reading the tips from John Martellaro, Brent SimmonsMarco Arment and Peter Hosey – not necessarily in that order. There’s also Apple’s official FAQ.

  1. Come in a day early, two or three if you’re from outside the US. It’ll give you some time to get over the jetlag, explore the area around Moscone Center, and meet some people early.
  2. Pick up your badge on Sunday in the afternoon. Don’t come in on Sunday morning; although registration opens at 9:00AM, that’s when I will be registering, and I don’t want to stand in line… 😉
  3. Take care of your badge. That’s important; if you lose it, there’s no replacement unless you pay again for the entire conference. You may be able to wheedle some Apple employee to give you his badge if your name is Steve Jobs, but otherwise, it’s a huge hassle. What I always do is to bring some small cable ties. Cole Hardware on 4th Street carry them, just a block from Moscone. The trick is to fasten two ties to the badge in a way that locks it to the neckstrap, and I leave the two tails sticking out, one to a side, which keeps the !@#$% thing from flipping over (which it otherwise will do constantly).
  4. Unless you’re a legend in your own time, you’ll notice people constantly sidling up to you and stoop to squint at your badge – that’s why it’s important to keep it from flipping over. Even if you go up to someone you’ve talked to a dozen times before, they’ll do that, so don’t be offended; many geeks look alike, and geeks aren’t good at face recognition, anyway. So my tip is to make a special T-shirt for the conference. As long as it’s not too blatantly commercial and/or mentions some direct competitor, they’ll allow it – I recall one of the last WWDCs held in San José, where someone onstage at the keynote mentioned “Brand X” and the next day, all Microsoft employees showed up in “Brand X” T-shirts. Anyway, I have my shirts done at Zazzle, and I use their microfiber shirt; it’s not cheap, but it’s light enough for tropical climates, washes easily on trips, and the colors keep vivid for over a year, even if you use them almost daily.
  5. Network. Don’t be shy – almost everybody at WWDC is. Well, you’ll notice the exceptions immediately, anyway. If you’re in a boring session, either walk out and find a better one, or sit down at one of the corridor tables and talk to people there.
  6. The WWDC lunch wasn’t too bad in the San José days but has gone downhill steadily since then. Even so, the lunch is also an excellent networking opportunity; don’t waste it. Find some marginally acceptable liquids and solids and sit down at a table, and talk to people. Unless you really need to have that particular meeting right there, avoid going with your old clique.
  7. Parties. Well, you should go to at least one – I’m going to sfMacIndie on Sunday (which falls on my birthday, ahem 😉 ). However, YMMV, as they say here; most parties are too loud and crowded, unless you enjoy that sort of thing. If you go, keep your badge on and/or wear that T-shirt. There are partial lists of more parties; just google for wwdc 2010 party list. The same goes for the beer bash on Thursday evening; last year the food there was actually good, but the lines were long, and the music was loud and not to my taste.
  8. Bring a laptop and the extension cord for the charger; there are lots of outlets, but not always within reach. Bring a travel surge protector or at least an outlet splitter, so you can ask someone to share an outlet if none is free. Pack a long ethernet cable just in case.
  9. Many fellow developers will be glad to talk to you, but won’t take kindly to in-person bug reports; more efficient to send an email. If you have a bug report for any of my products, please do email. However, if you have questions about my source code, we can set up a meeting.

That’s about what occurs to me now; be sure to read the other tip pages, though.