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Back when I worked for the PC magazines, one of my favorite perks was my annual summer trip to New York to cover what was then called PC Expo. It wasn’t as big a show as Comdex, but the fact that it was held in New York City made it my favorite. I got an expenses-paid trip back East, got to take in a few plays, visit my old Brooklyn neighborhood, and, oh yeah, check in with most of the major PC players in the space of a few days without flying all over the country.

This week, I’m back East for a trade show again—this time in Boston for the summer edition of Macworld Expo. I’ve been looking forward to it, too, but for entirely different reasons.

True, it’s an expenses-paid journey back to another of my old stomping grounds. I went to college in Boston, haven’t been back in a decade or so, and am looking forward to seeing the place again (if only to see if Bartley’s Burger Cottage is as good as I remember).

But I also have my professional interests in being back here. It’s not that all the major players in the Mac marketplace are here. One in particular, of course, is conspicuously absent. And, while I’ll be making the rounds of the vendors’ booths and taking my usual meetings with them, I’m not expecting earth-shaking news from those that are here.

The real value of the show to me is wandering the aisles to see who I meet. I’m hoping a few of them are reading this blog. The real value in a show like this is to meet real live Mac users (including, I hope, some real live Macworld readers). As I found out at last January’s Expo in San Francisco, Mac shows aren’t so much about the vendors as they are about the users. That’s the primary reason I’m here. So if you’re at the show, keep an eye out. If you see me (5’ 11”, bald, glasses, check the name tag), please say, “Hi.”

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