Tuesday, July 13, 2004

REBOOT

Macintosh computers boast of being easy to use, but Boston’s Macworld trade show, and its home at the new Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, can’t make the same claim.

Well, they can. But with the same credibility of Windows-based PCs.

Take the shuttle bus from South Station: Out those doors. Take a left. Go to the lights. Cross the street. Go to the left again. Take the bus.

Strangely, no bus. No signs. But you find yourself at another entrance to South Station, which brings you right back to the person holding the Macworld sign who gave the confusing, incorrect directions in the first place. This time the directions are a little different: Out these doors. Take a right ...

But that 180 degree difference isn’t even the real problem, which is the distance to the shuttle buses and lack of signs, making it easy for people to wander off in the wrong direction. When the shuttle buses are found, boarded and have arrived at the convention center, though, there’s more clunkiness. The buses bring you to the second level of the convention center, but registration and the exhibit hall -- so, basically, everything -- is downstairs. Go forward. Take a left. Take another left. Go down the escalator ...

Downstairs, there are several desks scattered around, none with large signs explaining their purpose, none for registration, and there are no signs pointing visitors in the right direction. Wander around. Take a right. Keep going. Keep going. Take another right. Approach one desk. Wrong desk. Turn to the left. Keep going. Keep going. Turn to the right. Approach another desk. Give name. Now go back to where you came from. No. Not that desk. The one next to it ...

Macworld Boston -- taking place without Apple’s support, downgraded to 10,000 expected visitors from 40,000 -- needs some work. So does the convention center -- a $700 million project upgraded to $834 million with marketing costs, expected to have 38 shows in its first year, lucky to get 16.

Unlike Macintoshes, though, at least there isn’t a better version available the instant you’ve spent your money on the current one. These improvements are likely to take a great deal of time.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

as a first year mac owner, my question is, so do you recommend MacWorld aside from the crappy convention center? Is it really too far for an able-bodied person to walk from SS? Did you pay to get in?

3Jake said...

Macs rock, Macworld silliness aside. But more important than all that, goddamnit, is that there is no post that your buddy Jake sent you a CD that she promised forever and that Napolean Dynamite is a kick ass movie.

Jesus Marc, and I made out with you in high school. What was I thinking?

Scape7 said...

The BC&EC is a relatively long distance from South Station. It's walkable -- but so is Kenmore Square. I don't think I'd recommend you walk it, especially since the shuttle bus is free and only minimally irritating. Would I recommend Macworld Boston itself, though? Yes, if only because you may as well take a look at it and support the scene. But it's going to cost $35 or so just for the exhibition hall. And there's only Pepsi drinks available.