Tuesday Notes: Some Images from WWDC
By Graham K. Rogers
Overnight I was sent several images from the participation at Apple's WWDC, by a local developer. As I have yet to digest the announcements or view the video, it seems more useful to share these photos now that real people have been able to attend WWDC.
Panoramic View - Apple Park
A couple of days prior to the Apple Keynote Event, several sites reported that B&H - a company known for cameras, accessories and related tech, like computers - put a couple of what could be placeholder pages on its website. There was some excitement because these seemed to jump the gun on new Apple hardware (Lee Morris, FStoppers).
The new products were reportedly, an "M2 Mac Mini and a seemingly all-new Mac Mini Tower". Other rumors were suggesting a new MacBook Air in a couple of nice colors, including blue. Would that have an M2 chip too? We now know that there is a new MacBook Air with the M2 chip and a MacBook Pro along with the expected new versions of the operating systems. The rumor-mongers did not spoil all the surprises and a number of new features will be arriving in the next months.
Although I added the Keynote to my Calendar, I was not planning to watch this live. It started at 10am Monday in Cupertino, which is 12 midnight here: way past my bedtime. As always I look at headlines when I wake up, for example in Twitter, then over breakfast I read through the news. That gives me an overview of what was announced and general opinions. On Tuesday I run the video of the Event and take notes, stopping the feed from time to time as something interesting appeared. This also allowed me to look at the detail on some slides. Always examine the small print.
However, overnight (and over breakfast) Brian Triya CEO of Bonku Technologies, the company developing the local Bonku app, sent me over 50 photographs and a couple of videos of Apple Park and its surroundings, including a tour of the new Developer Center.
All invited developers were required to do this tour before entering Apple Park. Brian, who is a former student from Mahidol University's International Program, was one of the lucky few to have been invited. I have added a selection of some of these (above and below). All the photographs are from Brian.
From the guided tour of Apple Park the developers learned that Steve Jobs wanted the building to be "performant". The best ideas he had were from walking with Jony Ive in Hyde Park or Central Park. There are secluded areas throughout the park as he believed employees also wanted to be alone sometimes. I have left out a number of other comments about how some things operate as this may have been confidential information.
As part of the design, hills are used to create the illusion of nature and isolate the noise. The glass Windows are only cleaned twice a year. It had been in the plan to use robots to clean the glass, but most of the dust comes from the roads. The main cleaning problem is pollen which sticks on the white roofs. They had not planned for that.
Apple Park and hills
Although Apple never admitted the true cost, it was allegedly $5 billion. The building was designed to withstand an 8.0 earthquake with an 8 ft. isolation buffer zone in front. There is normal HVAC, but this is only used 20% of the time. Natural ventilation by tubes built into the concrete maintains the temperature.
Everyone has to walk a lot by design. The parking building is described as being "super far". Each section of the park is designed to represent a region in California, with most emphasis on the hills of San Francisco. Apple grow their own fruit, each morning fruit experts are brought in to maintain the trees. There are 11-13 Apple type plants here. Employees are not allowed to touch the trees or fruit.
The Engineering Department had the best location with a view facing outside the ring to real mountains. They had a meeting and stole the best one: much envied among Apple employees. Apple event and PR staff were not happy when this was brought up.
Time now for me to watch the keynote presentation and comment on some of the announcements. . . .
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)