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Tuesday Rant: Pre-Expo Jitters? No Way! By Grayson Steinberg

Editor’s Note: Since I’ve already said my piece about what’s to come later today, and then some, I’ve decided to give Grayson the floor. We’ll have a full update after the keynote ends.

Well, here I sit on my father’s laptop relaxing in a comfy hotel room in the heart of San Francisco. The rumor mills are swirling about, and in the case of Think Secret and some others, this swirling has already led to lawsuits, which may have caused Apple to play its hand and create unintentional publicity for products that may or may not exist and have not even been officially announced yet. A cheap headless iMac, a flash memory iPod, and a speed bumped PowerBook are among the various cards on the table and all, some, or none of these may be presented by Steve Jobs in today’s keynote. Either way, his announcement will set a precedent for what will become the future of the Macintosh platform and indeed Apple itself.

The cheap headless iMac may finally give Apple a heads up in the sub-$600 PC market, currently dominated by PC box kingpins like Dell and Hewlett Packard. People looking for a cheap, but decent computer discouraged by Apple’s relatively higher prices may finally consider the Mac as a viable alternative, especially those who have now had experience with the company’s products through the iPod and iTunes Music Store. In the case of the flash memory iPod, it would expand the hot-selling MP3 monster to an area of that market it has not yet reached (or conquered for that matter). If the specs are remotely decent, and it’s as stylish and easy to use as the previous incarnations of the device, then it is sure to sell like hotcakes.

No matter what is introduced, it will surely be exciting to watch. In the meantime, I want to enjoy my time in San Francisco as much as humanly possible, as this is my first visit to the city. So far, I’ve enjoyed a fantastic meal at an authentic Chinese restaurant, taken an extended walk through the vast streets of San Francisco, visited Fisherman’s Wharf, and taken a lot of pictures to satisfy my growing fascination with amateur digital photography. And now I await the event that brought us here in the first place.