WWDC 2018 Social Recap

I just got back from my WWDC 2018 Social trip and it was a lot of fun. I figured I’d do a quick recap of the social side and leave room to talk about the tech stuff as I get deeper into the session videos in the weeks to come.

Costs

With a nod to Manton’s lead I thought I too would share my costs in order to help others understand what is possible despite WWDC generally being a large cost these days.

  • Plane fare (Southwest, Philadelphia to San Jose Roundtrip taking the early and late times to save a little bit extra): $564.00
  • Hotel: ($125/night, 4 nights + taxes & early checkin fee). Booked early on event date assumptions, was cancelable.: $642.00
  • Airport cab fair: $25 each way.
  • WWDC conference ticket: $0 (Big savings here obviously. If you can get value from the labs, the $1700 ticket cost can pay for itself but if you just want to watch the sessions, enjoy the free video streams on delay).
  • AltConf conference ticket: $0 (I’ve bought the $300 Hero ticket in the past but held back this year since I’m on my own again and trying to keep costs down. Kind of feel bad considering how well I enjoyed the talks there this year.)
  • Food and drinks: ~$300 Made a point to get some supplies at a grocery store early in the week so I could supplement eating out with some in-room breakfast mornings and snacks.
  • Podcast and other event tickets: ~$50

Total: ~$1600

TL;DR: Make your decision about WWDC early and keep an eye on the rumored dates. Book early with hotels that are cancelable. If you need some more help, find a roommate to split hotel/cab costs with.

Events

On Sunday night I attended the sjMacIndie party and saw a lot of conference friends. Venue was a little on the warm side but plenty of space so it didn’t get too stuffy. I did not recognize much of San Jose from my earlier WWDC trips (2002-2004) but I did recognize this venue as the previous pool hall where the student scholarship winners once had a party. In fact it was at said party where I won an iPod which I later sold to help cover my plane fare back in the day.

You can check out some of the old WWDC 2002 Student coverage we did via Wayback Machine and this video, with footage from the pool hall, I was able to find and re-upload.

On Monday I watched the Keynote and State of the Union with friends at the hotel. We had to jump wifi networks a few times but overall was very successful. Afterwords I headed to the live recording of ATP podcast which was a lot of fun.

On Tuesday I took in a few AltConf talks and also attended the Micro.Blog meetup. Really enjoyed the Setapp talk about their growth/recommendations and the detailed talk on improving app startup times. I also took some time on Tuesday to work on my own project, finally breaking down a long list of tasks into a new Pivotal Tracker project so I can start to track things better.

On Wednesday did more AltConf stuff. Really enjoyed Paul Hudson’s review of new iOS 12 additions. Also had a good time in the Finding Product Fit lab. At night I attended the Relay FM podcast recording which went great. Afterwords I went to the Breakpoint / AppCampForGirls event. I didn’t stay too long though, place was really dark and loud. Also kind of irked me that there was a separate VIP section. I really dislike the social cliques that pop up at industry conferences and seeing the VIP thing put a bad taste in my mouth.

Aside: I’d love to see some options for non-bar night events at conferences. A 24 hour hacking lab with whiteboard grouping around ideas; maybe with room corners for Mario Karting or boardgames/poker. I like hanging out but I don’t like drinking too much and I can’t hear people over the crowds. I miss MacHack in many ways. Maybe I’ll lead by example some day should I ever dawn my event organizer hat again.

On Thursday I got to attend a few morning talks at AltConf before heading home. Of them I really enjoyed the review of what Firebase is offering these days. I’ve been watching them since before they were bought by Google. Like any third-party component you have to accept some risk but I welcome the opportunity to use them to bootstrap a new idea some time in the future.

The journey home took a long while. I didn’t sleep much but did enjoy a bunch of podcasts.

Overall WWDC 2018 Social was a great success. It was awesome to say hi to some internet/conference friends and hear how everyone is doing. Now that I’m home it’s time to jump into the technical content and see what the WWDC sessions have to share. I’ll post more on that as I experiment.

Say Hello at WWDC!

A short message to say, yes I will be in San Jose for WWDC next week. No, I will not be in the conference itself but I will be hanging around AltConf and other events. If you see me, please say hi.

Gaming Update, May 2018

From April trends, I continued to play Stardew Valley into early May. It kind of died off over the last few weeks though since I don’t have much left to do, beside more and more money.

I also finished April pretty heavy into the new Hearthstone expansion. It was fun to see the new cards and decks. Nothing ground breaking, fun times and good fodder while I also listen to podcasts.

What’s new for me is my second attempt at Zelda on Switch. I’ve made it much further than my first attempt (~ 15 hours in) and am getting better with the controls (though some mistakes still happen in the heat of battle). Exploring is fun though if I’m honest I feel like I would benefit from a little more direction. In my last play session I was tasked to fetch some arrows on a hill. There is a mob up there who I attempted to kill. I say attempted cause he kicked my ass repeatedly. I’ve been trying to avoid walkthroughs for this game but I wanted to take a peek to see if I was suppose to be here later in play, with more hearts and armor — turns out you are suppose to be stealthy and avoid this mob. We’ll see how that goes.

Second big update for me is Civilization 6! I bought the game when it first came out but never got too deep into it. I think I tripped over a YouTube video or something which put it back in my mind but yeah, I’m really enjoying it. It’s my first ever Civ game and the rules are overwhelming but fun to learn. The games last forever and it’s hard to put down so be prepared to dump major hours into game sessions. I’ve been playing standard games but it does have a lot of scenarios for a quicker experience I want to try out.

What’s next? Probably more Civilization 6 and Zelda. I also did purchase via pre-order Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze and Hyrule Warriors for Switch. I never got to play them on the WiiU but they look like fun. Also getting excited for E3 in June. There have been some Pokemon leaks for the Switch game and I’m a little nervous about the Go integration rumors but we’ll see how it turns out.

Micro.Manton

Long time Apple developer Manton Reece is broken, sources in the Reece household have shared. After embracing a micro format with Micro.blog and now microcasts, Manton has now instituted “micro” all over his household, from Micro.bed to Micro.dinner.

“Dinner is now severed on these little Barbie-sized plates. It’s a sick joke. I’m starving.”

Apparently the family is looking into a Micro.therapist for assistance. Manton could not be reached for Micro.comment.

Right to Repair

Via phoneArena:

It has been reported that iOS 11.3 has disabled some iPhone 8 touch displays. The devices affected are those who have had third party displays installed. These displays are typically installed by local repair shops and are not affiliated with Apple.

I’ve been a supporter of the Right to Repair movement and Apple once again disappoints. Perhaps the issue is a anomaly but if the past is pattern and without providing comment, then it feels like spite.

Louis Rossman has a good breakdown video you can watch for more info.

UPDATE: Another relivent story today: FTC: Warranty-voiding language like Nintendo’s and Sony’s is illegal

Hello from Linode

If you are reading this, then the DNS gods have shown you to my new Linode web server!

Not really sure if I’m happy with WordPress in the long term, but I wanted to move this blog off my old server asap so I stuck with it through the migration. This was the last site to be moved off that old server and now I can close up that account and save $40 a month.

Feels great to be back on Linode too. We used to use Linode back in the day during a old startup I was in (had a few app server nodes, node balancer, db node). I really like the raw access we get on Linode and that it feels like a real computer (unlike AWS which feels like witchcraft for me).