On the road to WWDC, what to pack?


I’m starting my preparations to head to this year’s WWDC and as part of that, I’m working on my list of stuff to jam into the Brenthaven backpack. Since I’m going to be hauling this across the country, as well as through a week’s worth of conference, lightness and utility are the two things I always need to keep in mind. Toss in that I’ll have to do everything I normally do using only the computer equipment that’s in the bag, and getting the right stuff into the bag becomes even more important. With that in mind, here’s the list so far:

1. PowerBook G4 with AC adapter- Without the laptop, why go? Almost everyone at WWDC has a laptop with them. Last year, my informal poll had 99% of them as being Apple PowerBooks, with a few people using Dell or IBM laptops.

2. Airport Express – For me, this is a must-have for the hotel. I know where I’m staying has broadband hookups in every room (one of the reasons I stay there), but the only wireless is down in the lobby. Packing one of my Airport Expresses along means I’ve got wireless in my room. It’s also more secure, as I can lock down access by MAC address and enable WPA encryption. I can also take it with me to the Moscone center to have it available for those times when the conference wireless gets overloaded, which happened a few times last year.

3. External 2.5″ bus powered Firewire hard drive – Half the fun of WWDC is trying out the software. Toss it onto my work machine’s boot drive? No thanks, I need that to be working later. Instead, I’ll clone a copy of my boot drive onto the Firewire drive and run the software I’m testing off of that.

4. Two spare batteries for my PowerBook – People will be lining the halls of WWDC, mobbing the community areas, and hunting along the walls, all in search of the almighty AC wall outlet. If you can’t find a wired network connection, there’s always wireless. But power. Everybody needs it and nobody has enough juice to last the whole day without recharging at some point. The extra batteries will help me out in this area, making me less tied to my power cord.

5. Retractable Firewire, USB, Ethernet and phone cables – The less space in the bag, the better and especially when it comes to cables.

6. Treo 650 sync and charge cable – My Treo’s also running on battery power, and sometimes syncing via Bluetooth isn’t fast enough. With this, I can kill both of those birds with one stone.

7. DVI – VGA adapter – Never know when this might come in as useful.

Anybody else heading out on the road this summer with your Mac? What are you taking? Let me know in the comments.



Will bring alot aswell i will bring iPod, Pocket PC, PowerBook, airport express 2 extra batterys hope i will survive on the flight im flying from sweden so i can expect 15houers of traveling to get to SF and 26 to get home need all the electric stuff i can get my hands on. Invested some money in audio books so my iPod is loaded now aswell. This is my first wwdc and im really looking forward to it. anyone have some tips on what else to bring?

Rich Trouton

Dan, I saw that combo kit at the last MacWorld and I was definitely interested in it. Since I already had the USB retractable kit, I asked one of the booth exhibitors if MacAlly was planning to sell the dongles separately, as I don’t want to buy it all again. No dice so far.

Rich Trouton


There’s no registration after the initial WWDC registatration, where you pick up your badge, so it’s first come, first served for good seats at the sessions. There’s usually enough room for everyone who wants to attend a session, though you may wind up sitting on the floor or standing up against the wall. The hands-on sessions work on the same basis, as far as I can remember.


This is my first time too. I’ll be bringing my ipod with my iTalk adapter so I can record audio of any class I attend.

Speaking of that, does anyone know where we register for classes or is it first come first served?


I’ll be at WWDC this year (my first!). I’m planning to bring along an aged PowerBook G4 with an Airport card for wireless. I’m also bringing along my sketchbook. Stop me at WWDC and I’ll sketch and autograph your favorite PC Weenies character. :)


Rich Trouton

Pretty cool, Chris. I’ll be on the lookout for you.

Chris Holland

Hey hey Rich! glad you’re going! I’ll be there too :) It will be my first WWDC ever, and i’m finding your tips most informative! I may have to do some shopping.

I’ve got a car charger/adapter for the powerbook, i don’t know that it’d be of much use there, heh :)


I plan on brining my IBM Thinkpad t20, ac adapter, extra batteries, wireless pc-card, cat 5 cable, palm Vx, and notepad.

I know that last two items are a bit old-school, but they’ve been working for me.

My new pbook (and first apple h/w) won’t come until after the WWDC :(

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