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Visiting the Mothership. San Fran Day 2
wwdc
bovinator
Today I joined the AUC (Apple University Consortium) bus tour that was organised to Silicon Valley.  A bright and sunny morning greeted us in San Francisco and we left the hotel at 9am. 

The first stop was Fry's Electronics.  This store was something else - the closest I could come to describing it is Jaycar + Dick Smiths + JB HiFi + Harvey Norman + Food.  It had everything, and I mean EVERYTHING.  From Paintball guns, BB guns and Tasers (!)  to computer parts to hifi to white goods.  We had a bit over an hour there and I only was able to go through three quarters of the isles.  Some people bought items, but I didn't (although I was tempted).

Next stop was the Computer History Museum after grabbing some lunch at a 7-Eleven store (the bus stopped at the museum, across the road there were some shops, I chose the 7-11 over Starbucks).  The museum was pretty interesting.  They had three main exhibits: one on computer chess and it's history, including one half of Deep Blue, the only computer to defeat a Grand Master of Chess; one on digital storage (which included a whole range of old computers and main frames - including Google's first production server, the Apollo Guidance Computer and other pioneering computers); and Charles Babbage's second Difference Engine.  The Difference Engine was a working machine and was demonstrated to everyone.  What I found amazing that Babbage didn't actually get around to making the second Difference Engine, he only designed it around 150 years ago.  It wasn't until last year that a couple of computer buffs decided to build it and it worked exactly to Babbage's intentions without any modification to the origianal design (apart from some minor engineering corrections due to modern materials).

After the museum, we called into Apple's main campus in Cupertino.  Funnily enough, Apple's campus is located on 'Infinite Loop'.  You can't get into the buildings due to the tight security in them, but they have a company store there, where you can buy merchandise which is not available at any official Apple store; such as 'I visited the Mothership' t-shirts.  I bought a couple of pressies for Caitlin and Laura there.  I resisted buying myself an Apple t-shirt as I'll probably get at least one from the conference.

Once everyone had finished buying items from the Apple store, we made our way back to San Francisco to the Moscone Center, where the conference is to be held to check in and get our passes.   Each delegate also received a t-shirt (photo probably tomorrow) and a wwdc09 branded bag.  Headed back to the hotel for the Australian and New Zealand delegate reception, where we could mingle and get to know the other Australian delegates here for WWDC.  

After the reception ended, I decided to head to an Irish pub with some other people and have a drink and some food, which was pretty good. I'm back here at the hotel mucking around on the internet before heading to bed.  Tomorrow we get up around 5ish to go line up for the Key Note address first thing tomorrow morning.  You literally need to get up this early so you get a seat in the auditorium as not everyone will get a seat.  Hopefully there's not many people who get up at this time.



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