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WWDC: Chris is in the building!

by David Winston

Hello everyone, this is Kristen here, Chris’ sidekick for his WWDC adventure.  We went to the Moscone Center this morning at 5:00 am local time and were #169 in line; by 7:20, the line had wrapped around the building, I’d estimate it at well over 800 people.  I took some video of the line and also interviewed Clay, the man who was first in line who arrive at 5:30 PM last night – yes, last night!  

Around 7:30 am PST, Chris decided he was cold and needed a new laptop battery so he handed me his badge and said he was going to run back to the hotel (The W, a block away).  He handed me his badge “just in case” the line started moving.  Surely, we thought, with two and a half hours until the keynote, there’s no way they’d bring us inside…right?

We made a few jokes about the badge being the Ring and that I was Frodo, I said I was going to call it “the precious”, we had a nerdy laugh or two and then Chris was off to make the battery switch.   Two minutes after Chris left the line began moving; bear in mind it had been moving about ten feet every 30 minutes all day so I thought nothing of it.  I picked up my purse and Chris’ big bag of gear and walked ten feet, dropped them off, and went back to pick up our coffee/muffins.  When I turned back to the purse, I noticed the guys I was standing around (and yes, 99% of the people in line are guys) were still moving.  And that people were going INTO the Moscone Center and up the escalators.

OH. NO.

Massive panic set in.  I abandoned the coffee (well, I tried carrying everything for a few feet but almost spilled coffee on the video camera) and began frantically calling Chris.  I got a hold of him as I was walking into the building, but it was too late – the line was going right up an escalator and I was going with it.  The guys around me were quite helpful, “no, stay here, wait until we get wherever we’re going, then go swap out for him”, “you’ll be fine”, “your laptop is about to fall out of that backpack, you should really zip it up.”  We finally made it all the way around the 2nd floor of Moscone West, the movement stopped.  I was right outside the doors where we’d be let in for the Keynote, surrounded by excited developers all going for the coffee and donuts Apple was providing inside.  I talked to a very nice Apple employee in a neon orange shirt (they were the crowd control/logistics people).  They sent me back around (which amounted to a long, long, long walk all the way back around the Moscone Center) where I finally found Chris.  He took the badge and apparently is back at his prime place at the front of the line.

Anyhow, while this isn’t any interesting tech news, I figured I’d give you that little tale of almost-disaster to tide you over until the Keynote at 1 pm!  If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be here at the event or have ever thought about coming, now you know – get there early, and then NEVER assume the line isn’t moving!  Oh, and bring along a buddy to get you coffee and hold your place in line.  The line for coffee at the Starbucks across from the center is longer than the line to get into the Keynote, and it’s cold outside, so trust me, you’d want something to warm you up.

Stay tuned for the Keynote at 1 pm EST!