WWDC 2011 is almost here, and as the Faithful plan their pilgrimage to San Francisco, our thoughts turn to memories of WWDC’s that have come and gone.
Which is easy to do when you have a bunch of WWDC bags lying around.
Like any tech conference, the free bag gives the conference a way to brand all its attendees as members of the cognoscenti. Attendees get to use the bag during the conference to load up all the free schwag from the expo booths (back in the glorious old Exhibit Fair days) and to show off when they get home–”yes, I am a member of a privleged few”.
Here are my favorite (and some not so favorite) WWDC bags from over the years:
Sturdiest WWDC bag: WWDC 2000 and 2001
Back in the day when we all lugged around iBook G3s in way-trendy “Bondi Blue”, totally amazed by that newfangled “wireless networking” thing, you needed a Real Backpack to tote your shiny Apple gear:
These bags were the sturdiest, most bulletproof WWDC bags to date. Big ass Fastex buckle on the front. Rubberized bottom to protect your goodies from the icky 14mission Muni floor or MRSA on the BART train seat.
You could even pack away the padded backpack straps when you needed a more “corporate” look–as if you could pull that shit off with your nose piercing, purple tinted hair and ironic Members Only jacket.
Ah, those halcyon dot-com days…
The WWDC 2002 Briefcase: Suitable For Wearing with a Suit
The next year, Apple realizes, along with all the other dot-com refugees, that “Enterprise” is the only sector that still has money, and so the WWDC bag becomes a soft briefcase, worthy of the blue-coat drones at IBM, who are smirking despite our scorn because they still have jobs (but, alas, not Jobs):
WWDC 2003: Going low budget
What happened in 2003? Money must have been really tight, as the WWDC 2003 bag was just a piece of mail order no-style crap.
There was absoutely no cachet in carrying the same bag you could have gotten at the American Urologists Association or Novell NetWare conferences.
WWDC 2004: The Return of Industrial Design
Finally in 2004 we get a WWDC backpack that we don’t mind being seen wearing while walking down Valencia: it’s got the sleek design, ergonomic straps, and Apple Myriad font that marks it as worth of our Apple Style:
Even the zipper pulls had some design thinking! It’s about time.
WWDC 2006: Minimalism or Budget Crunch?
WWDC 2006’s minimalist laptop sleeve (sized for the thinner, sleeker, widescreen MacBook) had some style but was really useless. Maybe they figured you didn’t need anything else but your MacBook, but when you tried to load this sucker up you quickly ran out of space.
WWDC 2007: Messenger Bag
The WWDC 2007 messenger bag made up for the previous year’s laptop sleeve by giving attendees plenty of room, and an easy over-the shoulder/lift the flap/scam the free pen capability for hitting the expo floor. But with no more Exhibit Fair, the space goes to waste.
Look at all that space! Probably the best WWDC bag yet.
WWDC 2009: Back to the Backpack (but cheaper this time)
WWDC 2009 brought back the backpack from 2004 but this time cheaper and smaller. Maybe they figured we were all carrying around MacBook Air netbooks instead of real computers.
What’s in store for WWDC2011? We’ll have to see…