Queues of Mac users eagerly awaited the opening of MacExpo 2003, braving the morning's drizzle and London's usual transport chaos to count themselves among the first to make it into the UK's biggest Mac-only event.
Coming all the way from Tipperary in Ireland, 17-year old Jonathan Blackmore said: "I love Macs and Apple because they are cool, reliable and the design is brilliant." Blackmore visited last year's MacExpo, and couldn't resist making the pilgrimage once again.
Mac fans Howard Cowan and Tim Vanns headed up the queue at 8.45am – the first to arrive. Vanns said: "I'm here to buy an LCD screen, I'm looking for good deals and advice without being harassed in the shops."
Cowans spoke up for Macs: "They are more reliable," he claimed, "except for two I purchased last year," he added. One of his Macs packed up in September; another in January. Stoical, he added: "But since these were fixed I've had no problems."
Graphic designer, 23-year old Jane Crawford, said: "I'm mainly here for work – I'm here to take a close look at Adobe's new Creative Suite of graphics products, as my company hasn't yet made the move to upgrade."
Creative Mac-user Martin Smith was also at the show to put creative applications through their paces, he said: "I'm here to weigh-up InDesign versus QuarkXPress; in my business it's essential I invest in the applications that will form the backbone of tomorrow's publishing industry".
During Russell Preston-Brown's well-attended Photoshop CS presentation, the Photoshop guru shared the secrets of Adobe's new-breed application with the crowd, "to prove why you should upgrade", he said, "and to plug my new book, which is full of unethical things you can do to photographs."
While some attendees feel the show is less busy than last year, MacExpo's group event director, Bob Denton, said: "Yes, it was a slow start this morning, as people faced a lot of transport problems – yet again."
He explained: "But by midday, there were just 14 people less through the door than last year, and the seminars and conferences are extremely popular."
Denton is very optimistic for this year's event. "Registrations are strong and traffic is steady," he said, anticipating another successful year for the UK's biggest Mac event.