Friday afternoon I zoomed across the south-Michigan border (the wrist as it were) on < ahref='http://amtrak.com'>rails (no, not those rails) to the wonderful city of Chicago. I was enroute to the impromptu gathering of Mac geeks dubbed Evening at the Adler hosted by DrunkenBatman.
The actual event amounted to 3 hours of panel discussion by 10 leading independent Mac software developers (well, 2 were Apple developers) ranging from "how to become an independent developer" to "what to do when the big Fruit rolls on your turf", and including stops in "why is DRM bad?".
The discussion was very enlightening. For example, when someone with a lot more money then you rolls out a copy of your product on *every* machine, what do you do? Move on, diversify, cry over some spilled milk but then innovate. The one thing that was missing was more discussion. Many of the 200 audience members would have liked to have shared more of their ideas/questions, but the event was limited in time.
Like any conference with talking heads, it's also enlightening to finally see and hear people you've read about a lot. Putting faces, and real personalities to online personas. The audience was, humoursly enough, filled with about 4 archetypes of male geek and 1 archetype of female geek. Yes, I did fall into a category myself. The panel was a little more diverse, perhaps indicative of why they are successful. Of course, perhaps it's also because they choose to sleep less. ;)
Afterwards we were off to Jak's Tap, a small bar with a large beer selection where I devoured me some yummy Honker's Ale while delving further into what our vision/thoughts were on the plusses/minuses of 10.4 and what should be included in 10.5.
If you can ever make it to a small developers conference, get-together or PUG meeting, I *highly* recommend it. I made it to ADHOC/MacHack and now this and have loved every minute of each meeting.