Apple pundit John Gruber has been a regular read for me ever since he called one of my Slate articles “despicable” in 2003. That’s typical Gruber. On his whimsically named blog, Daring Fireball, Gruber combines solid technical knowledge that runs one layer deeper than most journalists with an entertainingly cranky demeanor, plus the ability to write clearly about technical issues in a way that’s accessible to a wider audience than Slashdot or Tom’s Hardware.

Gruber can be terribly wrong sometimes, but even when he’s pounding home the reasons that there’s no way Apple will switch to Intel chips, his reasoning is worth a read.

Friday afternoon at 4:30 pm Pacific at Macworld here at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, Gruber will take to the stage to talk through his list of “The Gruber 10: Apple’s Top Issues.” We’ll blog it in case you can’t come. But if you’re in the area, you can get into the talk for free by registering with the promo code GRUBER.

A couple of Macworld attendees told me they doubted Apple would have allowed this talk, or would have agreed to David Pogue’s constant ribbing of Steve Jobs on Thursday, if the company had remained in its anchor tenant position for the conference. I’m not sure of that, because I’ve never had a reason to cover Macworld before joining VentureBeat last spring. What do you think: Have there been similar critical-of-Apple events at past Macworlds?

[Photo: Flickr/lonelysandwich]