Macworld Expo is No More

Saddened to hear that Macworld Expo is in hiatus.

I suppose that really means it is finished for good, at least in its most recent format.

I’ve been a regular attendee and speaker at Macworld Expo since 2007, the year the iPhone was launched.

Yes, I was there at the famous iPhone launch, except I wasn’t.

As it was my first Macworld Expo, I was unfamiliar with the arrangements and bought a show floor pass. Little did I realise that this did not give me access to the keynote. Even worse, I discovered on arrival that the keynote was not even broadcast to all attendees.

So my first Macworld Expo keynote, the blooming iPhone unveil no less, was followed just as I would at home, via multiple live blogs on my laptop. The only difference was the venue was less than 100 yards away as I ended up in the Starbucks right next to the Moscone centre.

The famous live call Steve made on stage to order coffee for the audience was allegedly made to the same Starbucks I was actually sitting in, although I have to say, I never heard a phone ring. At least I did get to see the iPhone in its domed glass enclosures when the show floor opened.

I was fortunate to attend every Macworld Expo since and once knowing the ropes, I even got to see all the keynotes. I even didn’t have to queue up at some ungodly hour some years due to speakers privileges!

I’d be the first to admit that it was a body blow when Apple pulled out and Macworld did lose some of its sparkle. But despite all adversity, it bounced back with a vengeance and morphed into a different kind of event.

My main take away from Macworld has always been the people.

I’ve met my heroes, made lifelong friends and generally had a blast.

So long Macworld Expo and thanks for all the fish.

Nuke and Burn? Probably not…

Office for Mac _ Simplify Your Work | Office For Mac.jpg

I”ve had Microsoft Office Mac:2011 on my desk for the best part of two weeks now, still wrapped in its shrinkwrap.

The problem has been I’ve just been crazy busy trying to prepare for next year’s MacWorld and MacMania cruise.

Along with all the prep for the presentations, I need to organise and prepare for the shows to deliver whilst I’m away.

However, this morning I needed to do some heavy number crunching on some huge spreadsheets and unfortunately,  Numbers just wasn’t cutting the mustard.

The version of Office 2011 I have includes Word, PowerPoint and Excel, and to be honest, it was only Excel I was interested in.

So I rip open the shrinkwrap and pop the disk into the drive, expecting to be presented with a selection menu to just install Excel.

Unfortunately this wasn’t the case and the installer ended up installing all three applications, and even some apps I wasn’t I wasn’t even aware about. Seriously Microsoft, Remote Desktop Connection?

I have to admit, I was even more miffed on discovering that Microsoft Office installs itself automatically into my dock without asking – bad show!

Update: My bad! There is a customise button on the installer as pointed out in the comments. Don’t know why I never noticed that! Apologies Microsoft ;-)

But anyway Excel was now installed, along with Word but also Powerpoint.

Excel I wanted, Word is probably worth me taking a look, but as a hardened Keynote user, PowerPoint was really wasn’t on the radar and surplus to requirements.

Couldn’t find an uninstall option, so I sent out a tweet to find out how to install it.

As you might expect, I received a mixture of responses,  from nuking or burning the machine (a bit drastic there chaps!) but also the advice to just drag PowerPoint to the trash. It looks as though there’s no uninstall in this latest version of Microsoft Office.

I was just about to trash Powerpoint when I received a solitary direct message from someone suggesting

…you should give PowerPoint a fair chance. In many ways it is better than Keynote, especially when it comes to diagrams.

I have to say that I wasn’t expecting that!

My knee jerk reaction was just to get rid of the app and stick with Keynote. In retrospect, this perhaps was a bit blinkered of me.

Powerpoint 2011 is obviously the result of many months of work by teams of people and it’s very dismissive of me to just delete without even trying it out.

So although I haven’t got a chance at a moment to try it out, I’ll leave PowerPoint on my hard drive and when I do get a minute, I’ll will give it a spin.

As I expected, Excel is much more suited to handling the large spreadsheets, so I’m happy for now and can get on with all this number crunching. I’d forgotten just how powerful Excel is and I look forward to being re-united with Pivot Tables again.

I’ll check out Word and Powerpoint soon, but wouldn’t it be funny if I ended up using PowerPoint for my MacWorld and MacMania presentations after all!

MacBook Air is in the building…

skitched-20080229-131501.pngLess than 24 hours from ordering to doorstep delivery!

Many thanks to Leon Walsh from GBM Digital in Manchester for the personal service.

Yes, the MacBook Air has arrived and I’ve created the ceremonial unboxing photo set if you’re that way inclined :-)

You can check out the photos here:

MacBook Air Unboxing Gallery

Initial thoughts:

  • Damm, Apple really know how to package something
  • Yes, it’s light, really, really light
  • It feels very solid

What, you want me to switch it on?


I’ll probably not be able to post a full report until Monday, probably Tuesday due to some family commitments over the weekend. So check back or even better, subscribe to the RSS feed.

Resistance is Futile….

Ever since Macworld, I’ve started to harbour a strange desire for a MacBook Air.

Apple (United Kingdom) - MacBook Air - Features.png

It’s taken a while and it wasn’t the immediate knee jerk reaction that sometimes occurs when Apple release a new product. No, I thought it was a great machine, but a little bit too expensive for me.

I was in the mind set to upgrade my 1st Gen MacBook Pro but knew that the new MacBook Pros would be along soon.

So I waited…..

Then I started to re-evaluate what I needed my existing MacBookPro for. It’s a 17″ and the original thought process was that the beast would be my portable Video editing machine. I needed that huge screen for FCP and some raw horsepower to encode that video when on the road.

In the two years I’ve had the machine, I must have done this, ooh. let me see… a total of three times!

So I need a 17″ MacBook Pro for working when not tied to my desk. You know, such processor intensive tasks such as answering emails in front of the TV, answering emails when in hotel rooms, browsing the web, reading RSS feeds, writing blog posts……

Hmm, not really very processor intensive stuff really.

And then there’s the weight and the heat!

It’s impossible to use the MacBook Pro as a proper laptop as I need some thermal protection between it and my lap. Plus it’s very unwieldy, it’s a great desktop replacement but not very portable really.

Then I started to read some blog posts and see repetitive twitter posts..

After consistent MacBook Air usage since it shipped, I now feel comfortable calling it the best notebook I have ever owned.Dan PourhadiTwitter

I agree, and I’ve owned everything back to the old Mac Portable (which wasn’t). The MBA is one sweet machine Steve Sande Twitter

The MacBook Air: What a Laptop Should BeKirk McElhearn Blog

Everyone I meet who has a MacBook Air loves them Scoble Blog

MacBook Air Haters: S**k My D**k (Ahem!) Wil Shipley Blog

MacBook Air: Rambling First Impressions (PG!) Wil Shipley Blog

MacBook Air early review: GAME CHANGING! Jason Calacanis Blog

Need I go on…There’s plenty more rave reviews if you need them!

And so the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros were released this week and although good in every way, nothing really that caused me to whip out the credit card and replace my existing beast. I toyed with the idea of selling the 17″ MacBook Pro and getting a new 15″ MacBook Pro for portability but you know…….

I really want a MacBook Air and it would fit the bill of portability, lightness, coolness (in heat terms!) and plenty enough horsepower to do what I need to do with a laptop – just basic computing.

So with that m’lud, I rest my case and complete the self-justification for the fool-hardy action of ordering a new MacBook Air this afternoon.

I’ll keep you posted on my findings!

PS In case you think I’ve recently won the lottery or something as I’ve only just got my Mac Pro, well no! They’re both business expenses and investments for the future of ScreenCastsOnline (or something like that!) I fully expect these machines to pay for themselves over the next few years – mind you, the Mac Pro feels like it’s paid for itself already with the time I’ve saved in encoding – magic!

More Wild Apple Speculation

fingerRegular readers of my blog will no doubt be aware of the wild and wacky predictions I made during MacWorld 2007 – a day or so after the iPhone was announced.

You know, all about multi touch coming to the Mac.

Following the launch of the iPhone, various comments made once people have started to use the device in earnest have only re-inforced my opinion that this surely must be on the cards albeit possibly slightly modified.

I’ve heard a few people really liking the visceral nature of touching your data with your finger on the iPhone and wanting to touch the screen on their laptop in the same way.

The introduction of coverflow into the finder in Leopard is surely a sign that sweeping through your files with your finger on the mac is coming.

One comment that did make me re-consider this approach was from an ergonomic expert (lost the reference) wh indicated that multi touch on a vertical or near vertical screen is a no no due to the stresses and strains it will put on your arm.

OK, So multi touch needs to be on a horizontal surface on the mac. How does this sound….

On a MacBook or MacBook Pro, a separate large multitouch panel where the track pad currently lives. Perhaps twice the width and length of the current track pad. But make it a display as well, just like the iphone so you can customise the functionality of the trackpad.

On an iMac or Mac Pro, have a separate multitouch panel to replicate the multi touch features on the desktop.

Just pure speculation on my part but it’s always good fun to second guess Apple :-)

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