’Tis better to have bingoed and lost than never to have bingoed at all.
The WWDC 2006 keynote is over, and as far as I can tell, none of the twenty-one official keynote bingo cards had a win on them. Some were close, requiring only one more square to win. Arguably, card number three has a “speculative win” (from the top-left corner straight down) if you honestly somehow intuited from the keynote that Quartz 2D Extreme is enabled in Leopard. Also, at least one set of “unofficial” randomized cards had a win in it (card #69) but some of those squares were practically free. (“Black turtleneck and jeans”? “The name of the next Mac OS X”? Come now.)
I’m not sure if anyone actually yelled “bingo!”, but if someone did, it was either inaudible or edited out of the video. I’ve been told that one person held up a laptop with “BINGO” written in large letters on the display while the cameras were scanning the audience before the keynote began, and that the shot was put up on the big screen in front of the hall where it was met with some applause. That was nice of Apple to do, and thanks to whoever hoisted the laptop.
Many people have suggested that I make “easier” squares for the next keynote, but I don’t plan to follow that advice. Apple’s decision to keep some Leopard features “top secret” was unexpected and may have hurt the potential for wins on the official cards. But more importantly, the point of the game is not to make it easy to win. The idea is to make a bingo win the icing on the cake of an improbably fantastic keynote. The sequence should be an audience reaction of “OMG! Amazing new product! I can’t believe it!” closely followed by an actual shout of “OMG! Bingo!” It’s a topper. If the squares are too probable, then the excitement just isn’t there.
Anyway, before I leave the topic of keynote bingo and move on to a series of posts about the actual WWDC announcements, let me do a quick postmortem on a few of my beloved squares.
Universal Adobe or MS Office demo - There were no third-party demos at all, which I found surprising considering that new pro Macs were introduced. Apple used to love to get scientists or developers to show off their new top-end rigs.
Mac Pro model <= $1,499 - The stealth xMac square. I’m not exactly shocked to see it go unchecked.
“Otomatic” - Jobs may have dodged this one by having so many other people present. (Or did he say it? I just watched the video, but can’t recall one way or the other.)
New kernel in Leopard - Going fully 64-bit and adding DTrace support is a big deal, but it doesn’t fit the narrow criteria I set for this square. Nothing was “described as a significant change to the Mac OS X kernel” during the keynote. In fact, as far as I can recall, the kernel wasn’t mentioned by name at all.
Quartz 2D Extreme enabled in Leopard - No idea. Anyone?
Optional dual GPUs in Mac Pro - We got quad GPUs as a built-to-order option. Granted, what I really meant by this square was SLI or two GPUs on one card, but my description did not make that clear. So this square got a marked on a technicality. Speaking of quad…
Mac Pro Quad - They’re all quad! This should almost count for two squares. Quite unexpected.
New case for Mac Pro - The description said, “Moved or altered ports don’t count, but any other external change to the case does.” That was a deliberate attempt to include any dual-optical case. Success!
Resolution Independent UI in Leopard - This one really hurt. It could be a “top secret” feature of course, but this marks the third WWDC where Apple will be telling developers to “get ready” for resolution independence. When will Apple finally pull the trigger?
New file system in Leopard - Not marked, but again see the caveat about “top secret” features. I’ll have a whole post about this soon.
“New” Finder in Leopard - No, the addition of a Time Machine UI does not a new Finder make—or even a “new” Finder, for that matter. (“Top secret”, yada yada.)
“One more thing…” - The most disappointing miss. But you know, maybe it was getting a bit too worn. Now Jobs can save it for something really worthy…like his retirement.
Sorry to end on such a downer. Many thanks to all the WWDC keynote bingo participants. More topical WWDC posts to come. Stay tuned…
This article originally appeared at Ars Technica. It is reproduced here with permission.