More Than I Needed to Know

Being the huge Apple fan boy that I am, I live for Steve Jobs’ keynote speeches. Like millions of other devoted Mac users, seeing Steve take the stage and throttle up the Reality Distortion Field is a special pleasure. There’s something about the man that makes you believe in miracles. Call it charisma, call it vision, but whatever it is, he’s got it and Bill Gates doesn’t. As much as I love Steve’s keynotes, I love surprises even more. Sadly, thanks to the ever present leaks, educated guesses and prognostications of the Macintosh community, this year’s Macworld keynote was almost 100% devoid of surprises.

As all of us at the Iconfactory huddled around the Macbook Pro to watch MacRumors’ live keynote feed earlier today, I started to get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Point after point in Steve’s address seemed like old hat. Corey even managed to guess several of the next words out of Steve’s mouth before he spoke them. Apple TV, check. iTunes movie rentals, check. iPhone firmware update, check. Macbook Air subnotebook computer, check. Check!?

If you paid attention to the Mac sites late last week and over the weekend, then you probably knew the Macbook Air was coming, as did iTunes movie rentals and all the rest too. About the only thing in the entire keynote that was a surprise was Time Capsule and the fact that all the major movie studios were on board for rentals. While I’m very impressed with just about everything Apple announced today, I felt disheartened that I already knew most of it. It totally took the fun out of the keynote and dampened my spirits as everything was laid bare. John Gruber’s prediction piece right before the keynote was so accurate, I was actually sorry I read it after Steve left the stage.

Growing up, one time while my parents were out, I carefully unwrapped a few of my Christmas presents to get a sneak peek. I was quite proud of myself when I even managed to play a copy of Asteroids for the Atari 2600 and then successfully re-wrap it without my mother so much as suspecting anything. It felt great to blast chunks of pixelated rock days early, but faking my surprise on Christmas morning ended up taking all the fun out of it. Given how I felt watching today’s keynote, I think for next year I’ll leave the presents wrapped and my rumor web surfing habits under the tree where they belong.


  1. I totally agree. I felt the same way. This time around all the rumors sites seems to have much better intel which tells me with Apples growth comes more opportunity for leaks. I’ve been imagining lately how hard it would be to be Jobs and meet with other companies and negotiate deals without grunts in between knowing at least something is going on and shooting an email off to an outside source giving them a heads up as to what may be coming.

    I think I was like 10 and discovered a hidden present in my parents bedroom closet about a month before Christmas. It wasn’t wrapped yet and as I was transfixed looking at the cool drawing table/light box my mom walked into the room and caught me red handed. She played her cards well, because she said to me “Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted. Because I am returning it tomorrow and you won’t be getting it now.”

    So I went into Christmas thinking I had ruined it. A cool gift I thought was a great find one day immediately turned into a major downer. I opened up the rest of my gifts that year and I liked them but not having that one gift was painful. That is until after all the gifts were open and we had been sitting there a while she pulled out one last one and it was the gift she said she was returning. She taught me a lesson by fooling me into thinking I ruined it.

    I guess today I was hoping for Steve to say “But there is one more thing.” and pull out some whopper to do the same but no dice.

  2. W00t! Asteroids on the VCS 2600!! Without the VCS 2600 there would be no xScope or Frenzic, because I’d be an architect now.

    My christmas present story you woun’t believe anyway: Being raised by my mother, without the father, I regularly convinced my mother to decouple christmas from the presents and get the presents days (!) earlier.

    Sounds terrible, but I like to think that my lesson learned from this is that when you really, really want something, and you are clever and have a plan, you can get it. 🙂

  3. It’s too true, you know – I was watching with my intern (oh gosh, I have an intern now?) and we were not really blown away; I mean, there’s some awesome announcements here, but it all seemed so deja vu. I’ll be limiting my rumors-website time next year for sure (although perhaps not, if only -I- bought http://www.macbookair.com before all the others!).

  4. Von – Awesome story! Sounds like your mom was one smart lady. I too was waiting for the “one more thing”. Totally depressing when there wasn’t a number 5 on his list. We’re all spoiled…

    Wolfgang – Didn’t you know that everything in life relates back to either Star Trek or Atari? You do now! Also, yes, if you have a plan and are clever you can get what you want. I totally agree.

    Sebastiaan – Where can I get an intern anyway? I need that.

  5. I ended up spoiling the Season 3 Finale of Lost by reading about it online, so I’ve sworn off of spoilers for now 😉

    So, all of the Apple announcements were a surprise for me, but mostly because I’m not a super fanboy. It was fun to watch the responses on Twitter, and I was actually excited to see the MacBook Air. Anna might be able to talk me into getting a laptop now.

    Does your Mom know that you unwrapped that present?!?

    Being a scientist (or a peeping Tom) at an early age, I discovered the Santa myth by finding a load of presents in our attic, although I didn’t open them. I also later convinced my parents to let me “try” out C-64 games before Christmas to make sure they worked. Because, sometimes the discs were messed up…yeah, that’s it.

  6. Despite the anticlimactic ‘unwrapping’ of MacBook Air! Time Capsule was a genuine surprise for me! I didn’t see Cupertino’s answer to the TARDIS coming at all!

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