Macworld Party Report

(Editor's note: This Macworld Expo, Macworld.com's Brett Larson was given the toughest assignment of all: cover as many Macworld Expo parties as humanly possible. How Brett got this job was the subject of much speculation. We may never know for sure which high-powered Macworld executive Brett's got dirt on. In any event, here's Brett's first dispatch.)

Eddy Awards - Tuesday

First up was Macworld's own Eddy Awards and CEO reception on Tuesday at the SF Museum of Modern Art. The Eddy Awards show was great — John de Lancie (TV's 'Q') did a wonderful job as presenter — and the pre-show reception was fun. Everyone gathered wearing their best duds, and mingled while sipping beer, wine — bad wine, sorry — and other mixed drinks.

The food was different: a large selection of cheese (one of my favorite snacks) and steak sandwiches, fruit, what looked like squid in a cup and, for the veggies, some kind of vegetable noodle Chinese food thing that was mighty tasty. After the awards ceremony we were treated with a large selection of deserts, most of which were very delicious. Considering this was my first party, I would rate it high:

Food: 4
Crowd: 4.5
Party Guy Index: 4.25

Dantz Development Party at ThirstyBear - Wednesday

From the beginning, I knew this would be fun. Why, you ask? Well, I just had a feeling about it, and I've heard that Dantz's parties are usually very well done. This year they held the event at ThirstyBear on Howard St. just across from the W hotel, and a block away from Expo.

The crowd was very fun! Everyone seemed to be there to have a good time and enjoy a few glasses of the appropriately named beer, "Backup Brew." I had one, and it was great. The food, Spanish tapas, was very enjoyable — not your average bar food (what I like to call People-Chow) but shrimp, chicken, rice, sausage, vegetable, potatoes, and another appearance by squid.

Are you getting that I'm not a big fan of squid?

I talked with the staff of the bar, and they said the crowd was fun, and plentiful, a bigger crowd than one food server had ever seen at ThirstyBear. This server also told me one of the older male guests told her — and I quote here — "If I were a young girl, I would take you out and show you a good time." Perhaps he had too much of the Backup Brew.

I also over heard someone refer to TurboMax's RAID software as a "RAVID... or Redundant Array of VERY Inexpensive Drives." I won't reveal the names of the perpetrator of that nasty jargon.

Since I attempted to meet Steve Jobs after the Keynote, and he turned his back on me before allowing me to shake his hand, I was hoping to sight him at one of the parties I attended. Unfortunately, the Steve-O-Meter for the Dantz Party didn't even flutter. No chance of sighting him, no sightings of him. I did run into one Apple Employee.

Here's the thing about Apple employees: They all give the same answers. "We find out things the same time you do!" "Steve doesn't tell us anything." And my favorite, "What PowerBook?"

Food: 5
Crowd: 5
Steve-O-Meter: 0
Party Guy Index: 5

Iomega Party - Wednesday

Wasn't I just at SFMOMA? But at the Eddy Awards, the museum was wall-to-wall fun and excitement. This time, the party was quiet. The music was weird. There were angels on stilts — see a photo of me with one of them at the top of this column — and a woman wearing a dress with flashing lights on it. They also had large screens overhead with artwork that was being created "Live" at the event.

By the time I got to my favorite food snack, the cheese plate (see photo) it had been pretty well picked over. Everyone seemed to just stand around and talk quietly with one another, not a lot of movement here. The wine was good, but didn't have a creative name like Zip Merlot or Pinot Jaz. Also, no sign of Steve Jobs.

However, unlike a party I'll mention momentarily, the good folks at Iomega served their drinks in real glasses.

Food: 2.5
Crowd: 3.5
Steve-O-Meter: 0
Party Guy Index: 3

Apple Party - Wednesday

Friends, your Party Guy wasn't invited to the Apple party. I had to schmooze my way into this one, which made it a little more exciting than it probably was.

Here, of all parties, you'd think I had a good chance of seeing Steve Jobs. But alas, I did not.

The line to get in was so long, it went down the street, and around the corner onto the freeway on-ramp — not a place you want to be standing at 9 o'clock at night. The crowd seemed pretty excited as we waited in line for the party to start. Once we got in... well, not so exciting. There was different music, and odd snacks in just about every room. On the video screens were Apple ad's played over and over, and their were "iMac" "X" and "Apple" lights all over the place — I felt like maybe I was in a strange Apple-related alien abduction movie.

Overheard Apple dirt: "I couldn't believe [Steve] typed in whitehouse.com [a porn site he entered during the keynote address]. I was like 'Oh my god, I hope that page doesn't load!'" Me, I kind of hoped it did. It sure would've been a lively keynote.

Overall, this party was rather dull. Sure, it was crowded, there was music, and dancing, and food... but the people didn't seem to know how to have fun. Maybe all that hard work on Mac OS X burned people out.

Food: 3.5
Crowd: 3
Steve-O-Meter: 4 (I think maybe he was there, but I didn't see him)
Overall: 3.25

That ends my first report. Now, off to more parties! Maybe Steve will be there. I can only hope.

Go to: Macworld Expo Central

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