November 14, 2003
2003 O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference Takes a First Look at Panther
Sebastopol, CA--Taking place just three days after Panther's release, the
O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference was one of the first organized public events
to delve deeply into the latest version of Apple's remarkable operating
system. From October 27 to 30, keynotes, tutorials, and sessions led Mac
aficionados attending the conference in Santa Clara, CA--developers,
script writers, system administrators, IT managers, and power
users--through all of the juicy new features available in Panther.
"One thing Apple does especially well is to realize the potential in a
technology, and to frame it in such a way that people discover that they
need it," notes O'Reilly founder and CEO Tim O'Reilly. "Apple's
refinements with the latest version of its Unix-based OS increase its
effectiveness in the areas of user interface design, security, bundled
applications, cross-platform file sharing, networking, and developer
tools. Apple has a great sense of where technology is going and how to
make getting there more fun."
Tim O'Reilly and conference co-chairs Derrick Story and Rael Dornfest
opened the conference with a keynote address designed to inspire attendees
to look with fresh eyes at where the network and new applications are
going. Specifically, they suggested that Apple take cool aspects of each
of their apps, such as Rendezvous, buddy lists, and permissions, and
incorporate them into all of their other apps. Other keynotes included
David Pogue and Adam Engst, who scrutinized the wealth of changes Panther
brings to Mac OS X; Andy Inhatko's hilarious tour of the flotsam and
jetsam--and irreplaceable gems--of computer geek paraphernalia he's
squirreled away over the years. Guy "Bud" Tribble and Terry Gaasterland
rounded out the keynote speaker lineup with talks on the exciting role
Macs are playing in the life sciences arena.
Two evening events were conference highlights: On Tuesday, Dr. Srinidhi
Varadarajan wowed attendees with a presentation on Virginia Tech's new
"Big Mac" G5 supercluster, the world's third-fastest supercomputer created
with 1,100 Macs at a fraction of the cost of most supercomputers. On
Wednesday, the infusion of top Mac OS X developer talent at the conference
was embodied at the finale of the MacDevCenter's Mac Innovators Contest,
sponsored by Apple Developer Connection. Three new winners were presented,
and local and international winners from past rounds gathered on stage to
discuss their cool and useful projects.
Immediately preceding the conference, Apple Consultants Network held an
in-depth "Tech Camp" for its members at the Apple campus in Cupertino.
Tech Campers spent three days--including a more than a few wee
hours--immersed in learning the ins and outs of Panther, before heading to
Santa Clara to participate in the O'Reilly conference. Apple's presence
continued at the conference in the form several important speakers, such
as Sal Soghoian, Scott Anguish, Bob Fraser, and mmalcom Crawford; Apple
once again created its signature Rendezvous Lounge at the conference,
stocking it with the latest sleek hardware--all running Panther, of course.
The Mac Developers Journal, a joint publication effort between O'Reilly
and Macworld, was launched at the O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference. This
electronically delivered quarterly journal is the first digital-only
publication for software developers working in Apple's Mac OS X to
create applications in UNIX and Cocoa technologies. Another new product
released at the conferences was Nicecast by Rogue Amoeba, a
platform-neutral product that allows a user's iTunes music library to be
broadcast around the home or around the globe.
The formal learning portion of the conference wasn't the only important
take-away from this year's event--face-to-face networking was a highlight
for most participants as well. As program co-chair Derrick Story noted
after the conference: "I'm sure for many, expectations were set on the
familiar aspects that we all use to justify the time and financial
investment that comes with attending a technical conference. But once the
event began to unfold, it took on the characteristics of those who are
present--innovative software developers, sys admins, part-time
programmers, content creators, QuickTime authors, news media, and
conference staff. The second O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference was as much
about sharing information around a table in the upstairs mezzanine as it
was about dispensing tips and techniques in the session rooms. As the week
moved forward, a new conference emerged, and it was one that I don't think
anyone could have anticipated beforehand."
For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at O'Reilly
conferences, contact Andrew Calvo at (707) 827-7176, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.
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