October 28, 2002
O'Reilly's First Mac OS X Conference Forges a New Community
Sebastopol, CA--Just a stone's throw from Apple's Cupertino campus,
over 500 developers, power users, and programmers inaugurated O'Reilly
& Associates' first Mac OS X Conference in Santa Clara, CA. Participants
took stock of past forces that converged to create Mac OS X, explored
why the operating system is creating such a surge of interest across a
variety of technologies, and speculated on what changes and
enhancements might be in store for the platform.
Hailed by Adam Engst, a respected fixture in the Mac community, as "the
first major new Macintosh conference in years," the four-day event
brought together members of the Mac, Unix, and Java camps. "We realize
that a new community is being forged out of the fusion of the 'old' Mac
community, and many 'switchers' (whether from Windows or other versions
of Unix) who weren't previously part of the Mac community," observes
Tim O'Reilly, president and founder of O'Reilly & Associates.
After a full day of in-depth tutorials (Sal Soghoian's two-part
AppleScript workshop was a runaway hit), three busy days of conference
sessions and events followed. Highlights include:
David Pogue, a "New York Times" columnist and bestselling author of
"Mac OS X: The Missing Manual" gave a hilarious yet cogitative keynote
on the history and future of the Mac OS. His crystal ball revealed that
Mac OS XX will have enormous memory, Bluetooth, a 55" screen, and
unresolved battery issues.
Dan Gillmor of the "San Jose Mercury News" moderated one of the most
thought-provoking sessions, "Mac OS X, a Digital Rights Management
Panelists Cory Doctorow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, J.D.
Lasica of Online Journalism Review, El Gato Software's Victor Nemechek,
and Tim O'Reilly debated DRM issues, and how Mac OS X illustrates
Apple's support of fair use.
In his "Mac OS X: Unix Moves Out" keynote, Apple's Jordan Hubbard
concluded that "Mac OS X can win the war that Unix lost and get Unix to
the desktop. Twenty-five million users is a compelling argument."
The conference provided an opportunity for a number of Mac User Group
leaders from around the nation to meet face to face.
David Mash of the Berklee College of Music took attendees on an audio
tour of Mac OS X's musical prowess.
Several sessions attracted overflow crowds, including "Zero
Configuration Networking with Rendezvous" with Stuart Cheshire and
Chris Bourdon; Paul Hoffman's "Jaguar, VPNs, and Ipsec," "Serving Your
Site From a Mac" with Dori Smith; "End-user Troubleshooting for Fun and
Profit" by Ted Landau and Dan Frakes; Cory Doctorow's "Tricked-out X:
How Do Alpha Mac Geeks Arrange Their Mac OS X Workspace?," and "Mac OS
X Security," with Leon Towns-von Stauber.
One of Pogue's predictions--that wireless will have an increasingly
important role in future Mac operating systems--was already playing out
at the conference. The sleek terminal room Apple stocked with
"drool-worthy" hardware was nearly devoid of visitors. Attendees
preferred to use the wireless capabilities already built into their
Apple laptops, turning the session rooms and break areas into informal
O'Reilly Network Editor and professional photographer Derrick Story
describes another side of Mac OS X: "As I was sitting in the audience
at the conference watching David Mash create beautiful music with his
talent and a TiBook running Mac OS X applications, it seemed like a
good time to dispel one of the lingering myths for this platform: 'Mac
OS X is just for Unix geeks'...It's true, Mac OS X is great for geeks.
Guilty as charged. But as a photographer, amateur movie maker, and
former (bad) musician, I can also tell you that this is a great
platform for creativity."
Exhibition and Sponsorship
If you are interested in exhibiting or sponsoring an O'Reilly
conference, contact Andrew Calvo at 707-827-7176, or
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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