The Best Moments Had Less to Do with the Mac

by Derrick Story

In a week that featured the Boston Red Sox ending decades of frustration by winning the World Series, a blood red lunar eclipse hanging in the evening sky, and Steve Jobs making his first public appearance since cancer surgery, I was reminded of the real reason why I prefer the Mac community.

Those of you who attended our Mac OS X Conference will know where I'm going here. But I think everyone in the Mac community will catch on right away.

On Wednesday night I was hanging out on the Mezzanine before Sean and Vikki's presentation on Real-Time Filmmaking. I saw Adam Goldstein's mom, Risa, keeping a hawk's eye on the front door. Her son, the Mac whiz kid, was out having dinner with David Pogue. I went over to help her pass the time and started up a conversation.

Risa told me that the conference had been an incredible experience for her. She had accompanied Adam so he could lead his first session at an O'Reilly event. But once they fell into the flow of energy, things took a turn beyond her expectations.

"I can't believe how kind everyone has been to Adam and me," she said. I watch all of you support each other in ways I haven't seen for so long. I'm a professional in NYC and have to deal with people constantly walking over others as they climb up the ladder. This is amazing."

I told her that the people here understand that any one person's success equates to the betterment of the platform, and by ripple effect, the entire community. Nobody preaches this. They just get it.

Risa smiled and had to take a couple of deep breaths. She then spotted her son emerging through the front door with David. I wished her safe travels home, she smiled and left.

There's no other event that I can think of where people seek out conference staff to say good bye before returning home. But that's what happened time and time again all day Thursday. Any community whose luminaries -- such as Andy Hertzfeld, David Pogue, Andy Ihnatko, Sal Soghoian, Dan Wood, Brent Simmons, James Duncan Davidson, Ted Landau, Scott Anguish, Aaron Hillegass, Tom Negrino, Dori Smith, and on and on, -- hang out, engage, and give of themselves long after their session or keynote has passed, is a community that's going to thrive.

In a way, this week wasn't as much about hardware and software as it was about the people who use these tools. Risa isn't the only one who feels that way. I know this for a fact.


2004-10-29 10:41:31
David, Adam, and Risa
You can see a picture of David Pogue, Adam, and Risa on the Wednesday Photo Page.
2004-10-29 17:04:46
It's about the relationships
I couldn't agree more. The O'Reilly Conference was a great opportunity to spend time with other people in mutual support--even though I could only attend for one day this year.

The coolest t-shirt I ever saw at any Mac conference was worn by a young woman, it said "I Love My Geek." I would have asked where she got the shirt, but I didn't want her to think I was staring at her chest. I would like to find a copy of that shirt for my wife.

We could all use a such a t-shirt to remind us that the best use of technology is to connect us to one another.

2004-10-30 09:20:37
It's about the relationships
I think you can pick one of those shirts up at