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There and Back Again: Surviving Macworld Expo

TMO Quick Tip - There and Back Again: Surviving Macworld Expo

by , 7:00 AM EST, January 11th, 2008

Macworld Expo 2008 starts in a couple of days on January 14, so it's time to load up the important gear -- like your iPhone, toothbrush, and credit card -- and make the annual pilgrimage to the Moscone Center in San Francisco. While a trip without any pre-planning can make for a fun adventure, a little work ahead of time can make your Expo excursion that much more enjoyable.

Leaving on an Airplane
Check the Transportation Security Administration Web site in the United States, or the Department of Transport Web site if you are coming from the United Kingdom, to see what you can bring in your checked and carry on luggage. The rules are always changing, so you never know without a quick check what will get you or your luggage flagged and lead to unexpected delays.

This year, for example, the U.S. Department of Transportation is limiting the number of extra lithium ion batteries you can fly with. The rechargeable electronic devices most Macworld bound travelers will be carrying include batteries that fall well below the maximum allowable lithium content, but it's still a good idea to check and see if there will be any potential issues with your gear.

If you plan on using your laptop or iPod touch on the plane, be sure to shut off Bluetooth and AirPort before flying. The iPhone includes an Airplane mode that disables all wireless features with a single finger swipe. The airlines don't want our black magic-voodoo radio waves bouncing through the cabin, and it saves on battery life.

Make sure your iPod and laptop are fully charged before you go to the airport. If your flight is delayed, at least you'll have some music to listen to. Several airports offer Wi-Fi, so you can check your email and hang out on Twitter, too.

The Expo Two-step
San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center can get overwhelming when you are trying to see all of the vendor booths, hit some conference sessions, and maybe score tickets to some of the after-hours parties like TMO's Cirque du Mac 5.0. Figure out your schedule ahead of time, otherwise you'll miss something you really wanted to see.

You can check the event schedule on the Macworld Expo Web site. iPhone and iPod touch users that can get Internet access can also visit the iViewr Web site to see the expo schedule.

If your Expo pass includes access to the Steve Jobs keynote event on Tuesday morning, arrive early. Seating is limited, so not everyone is going to get in. Shelling out the cash for an expo pass with keynote access does not guarantee you a front row seat, either. This cattle call is first come, first served.

Also, if this is your first trip to Macworld Expo, buddy up with an expo veteran. Odds are they can turn you on to stuff you wouldn't have discovered on your own.

Macworld Expo runs from January 14 through January 18, 2008, at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. For additional information about the Expo and events, visit the Macworld Expo Web site.

Jeff Gamet is TMO's Morning Editor and Reviews Editor. He lectures, teaches and speaks on Mac OS X and design-related topics, and is the author of The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X from Peachpit Press.

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