A night at the opera (Wednesday Redux)

More observations of the show…and after effects.

I started the morning off with a keynote done by David Pogue, always an entertaining event. Actually, technically it started when my roommate staggered in after last night shindig, mumbled something about drinking too much in overly enunciated english, then passed out. But after I woke up for real, I went down to the Pogue Keynote. The early part of the show was maligning the rumor sites, and how wrong they got things. There was a special place for Jason O’Grady and the PowerPage’s “Apple Plasma Display”, earning him the butt of more than a few jokes. David was showing everyone how to use his Mac OS X Secrets to poison someone else’s machine (let’s call them Jason) with little tricks; like how to take a snapshot of their screen, use it as a desktop pattern, then hiding everything else so while it looked like their machine, they couldn’t click on anything. And other fun stuff. I personally used to like to assign shut-down as one of the users start up items. Good for about 15 minutes of fun. But with Pogue, there were guest speakers, demos, and lots of humor. But there’s only so much fun I can take in the middle of a serious show — so I wandered out about 3/4ths through and got back to the show.

There appear to be a lot more of the little micro-booths this year. Which is good, it means entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the Mac — and some of the interesting little goodies can be found in these booths.

EVDOinfo.com had Verizon cards and data services that work with the Mac, so basically you can get “high speed” access, anywhere in the Verizon network (for $59 or $69), depending on if you’re already a Verizon customer. Hey, it’s like having your own traveling hotspot. If I was on the road more, just saving the $10/night for hotel high-speed could make it worthwhile.

Workstrip threw a card at me about their dock replacement at www.softchaos.com And IFF Softtware had their iBiz and iBank products to do invoice and time management, or financial management, respectively. I was thinking I’d like to look into the latter two for review, when I get back and get re-introduced to humanity.

I was headed over to Jambo networks which was all about connecting you to people who are in the same airport zone or within a certain distance as you are. (Social networking). So it will let you see info about people who are within “range” (say using the same hotspot you are, or close) and let you chat or exchange pictures and expand your network. Often if you have similar interests or some group that you belong to. You can check out more at www.jambo.net/macworld While interesting, I wasn’t carrying around a laptop or other 802.11 device, and just wasn’t that social.

JAMF Softwware at www.jamfsoftware.com had a cool system administration tool called Casper 3.0. It was a little like ARD’s more system admin like tools, but has some different coverage. They also put a nice new FREE tool called composer to make packages in a very new/unique way. You snapshot the machine, make the changes, then press save changes. It notes everything that changed, and replicates it as an installer package for other machines. This is a very useful way to build simpler builds, and integrates for much larger things if you remember to do it for all the dependencies. It is an interesting way to do things, like the rest of their package. If you’re and admin of more than a few machines, you should probably check it out.

I was writing some stuff, and sat and chatted with Peter Lewis of Fortune Magazine, who was at the table next to me. I enjoy a lot of what he has written, and we chatted about Apple’s marketshare. He’d used the 5% U.S. number, which is better than the 2.5% World PC sales number to describe marketshare — but we got talking about other forms or marketshare — like software sales, installed base, filtering out non-desktop machine and so on. His article that Apple is still a small market that has a huge impact on the industry was very valid — but it any stat to represent how large the maret is, doesn’t seem to get the nuances of what makes up the market.

I wandered over and talked to a friend that works at Blizzard (they won an interface design award), and watched the world’s of warcraft demo. It took me about 30 seconds of watching that game in the background to be thankful that I’d never bought a copy of that time-sink, or I’d have lost weeks or months of my life to playing. Another friend is trying to get me into secondlife.com, which I’ve avoided for the same reasons.

LaCie had really fascinating drives that I’m going to want to test more. Including a little orange credit-card sized thing with built in USB connector that has a baby HD in it — giving you up to 8 gig. If I can get an emergency boot OS on it and a few apps (which I think I can), it would make an amazing little time-saver. But they had so many other products, I had to keep from giggling and saying, “I want one of those, and two of those, and one of those”….

I also got back to the Garmin booth (amother dozens of others) — and they were much better this time. I avoid the prickish engineer, talked to the head of marketing. The marketing director explained why they were releasing the fitness product first; because they were writing it from scratch so it was easier. While they were rewriting the other products, and it would take a little longer. Made sense. I talked to another Garmin rep about which model I should get for GeoCaching, and he was very helpful and didn’t just suggest the most expensive model. (Scoring points for me). So, almost all better.

A little Sushi for dinner, chatting with Tim which put me on the podcast, and I was out with some friends for another party. I’m not exactly that much a partier any more; too melowed in my age. But I do get out, now and again, and enjoy a little networking. The night before I scored a few spousal points when I relayed the story of how some hot young thing came up to me outside the expo, stuck a card in my hand and said “Come party with me later”. I looked at the card and it was for a “Gentelmens strip club”. I quipped, “Why go out for burgers when you have Filet Mignon at home? Pointing to my ring”. Obviously not what the stripper was used to hearing, she started targeting her next “intimate” target. However, a bunch of freinds were going to the MacObserver party, where Chris Breen was turning 50, and the usual Macworld All Star band-of-geeks was playing rock music. (They are really good musicians, with OK vocals).

It was a fun time. Drinking, dancing, fighting over the single bathroom, the crush of people, the loud music, free SWAG (computer tradeshow giveaways). And people shouting to each other, “did you see the new routers over at booth X”. I had some guy SERIOUSLY checking me out (giving me the eye, up and down), to my friends amusement. “He likes you”. Yes, I got that — actually I’m sort of flattered as it is kind of nice to know someone finds me attractive, if you get over the hetero-insecurity-creepy thing of what that actually means. Hey, it is San Fransisco, if you can’t take being eye-balled by a few of your own gender, don’t visit. I did have to get just a little flirtier with the women I met, just to get some attention from the preferred gender. I cabbed home just before they shut the place down, and I had to fight the throngs for a cab.

Well, another day gone. And in fact another show. My wife is a flight attendant, so I fly when they’re are openings, and I’ve been in since Saturday, and am ready to go home (and there’s a Window). So this will likely be my last report. But there’s plenty of other MyMac’ers there for at least a couple more days. I’m ready to go home and use my own shower, and sleep in my own bed.|


Leave a Reply