What I Learned from Macworld 2008

As I’d hoped, the Macworld Expo provided me with a chance to dive headfirst into the Apple pool. Between the exhibits and the presentations and the random conversations that I had with people throughout the week, I was able to get a really good idea of why people like Macs and what things I might be interested in doing with the one that I’m about to get.

Here’s a round-up of the things that I learned from attending Macworld this year:

– Macs really are more reliable. Everyone that I talked to confirmed that they felt their Mac notebook was more reliable than a PC. My PC gave out on me halfway through the week with virus problems that took about two hours to fix. Because I use my notebook as my main computer, I need reliability. That’s the number one reason that I’m making the switch.

– I can go light but I probably don’t want the MacBook Air. I’m totally interested in the new notebook but I’m not convinced it’s the one that I want to spend my money on. I think if I was in a position to have a travel laptop and a second one for home, then I’d probably consider it. But because I’ve got only one computer doing everything for me, this new one isn’t the one for me. Still, I do think it points to a great direction that Apple is going in.

– The John Lennon Tour Bus is totally cool. I don’t know how I didn’t know about this thing since it’s been around for a decade but I didn’t. It’s a cool project that provides some great education and is definitely something that I’m interested in supporting.

– There are more accessories than gadgets that I’m interested in. I love gadgets. I’m probably going to get an iPod Touch this coming week (although I’ve heard some great arguments as to why I should just go ahead and get an iPhone instead so even though I thought I was settled on this, I’m not one hundred percent sure yet.) Nevertheless, I try to keep the number of gadgets that I buy down to a mininum because I try to be thrifty with my money. As a result, I’ve gotten in the habit of being able to overlook most toys. But apparently accessories still catch my eye because I was totally drawn to the booths offering different laptop bags and sleeves.

– Technology is making multi-taskers out of all of us. This was a theme of nearly every presentation that I went to throughout the conference. It’s not Apple-specific but it was something that was really interesting to think about. I’ve always been a multi-tasker myself but many of the people I know aren’t so it’s fascinating to see that younger folks are heading this direction.

– Macs are good for gaming. This was one thing that was really new news to me and I think is fairly new to a lot of people. Macs just don’t seem to have the association with gaming that PCs have. However, after hanging out at the MacGames Pavilion and attending the presentation on how to make my own games for Mac, I’m fully convinced that I could have a well-rounded gaming experience with only a Mac computer.

All of these things were important to learn but the most important thing that I really came to realize this week was that there is truly a community built around Macs. Mac users are passionate about their choice. They’re interested in new technologies that are being released and they’re interested in sharing that passion with others. Everyone that I spoke with this week was more than happy to provide me with information and opinions about technology in general and Apple products in particular. This sense of community is something that I think is good for the industry … and it’s something that I want to be a bigger part of. So, it’s official, my immersion in the world of Mac led to a conversion.