Macworld 2006

Well, here I am back from Macworld and I have to say this was one of the most fun shows I have been to in a long time. Not just because of the products, the Apple ones will be reviewed below, but also because of the people. My good friend Scottie was there for his first time and I kind of took him under my more experienced wings which led to me seeing the show once again from a newcomers perspective. He spent a good deal of his time chronicling every moment with pictures and very well produced videos and just being excited to be there. Also, as Bethany pointed out to me, people just seemed very upbeat in general. Upbeat about the state of Apple, the Mac, the iPod and the seemingly never-ending event show floor filled with anything and everything one would ever need to match (and beat) their PC counterparts. Not to mention every conceivable way to encase and/or accessorize one’s iPod.

With that said, here are my observations on the Apple announcements:

MacBook Pro – While the name will take some getting used to, the speed, power and features will easily alleviate any twisted tongue. This thing is just plain fast. Looks wise, it is not that much different than the current 15 inch Powerbook. It is a little bit thinner, a little bit lighter, a little bit more curvy on the edges – just enough to make it a little more lust-worthy. The built in iSight, Mag-lock power adapter (I can’t tell you how many times it would have saved my poor mangled power port), amazingly fast speed on universal binary applications, all add up to one very compelling package.

New iMac
– Not much new here except the processor and the speed. Makes one wonder why they even bothered with an update a couple of months ago when the could have saved the design change and slight speed bump announcements to go along with this one.

iLife ’06 – All of the improvements to this venerable digital media suite will force me to pony up yet another $79.00 of yearly Apple tax. The new features in iPhoto alone, the full screen editing, more photo printing options, photo streaming (which you know will be the next big thing because Steve says it will), a painfully needed speed increase – heck those are worth the price alone! iWeb, the new addition to the suite, will certainly cause me to get the most out of my .Mac account once again. Thus adding value to the other yearly Apple tax I pay. It will also help millions who have thus far been too afraid of learning code publish to the web. My only question is why iWeb is a part of iLife and not iWork? It seems better suited to that package. Speaking of iWork…

iWork ’06 – Yawn… New Keynote themes and stuff… Zzzzzz… Hork, snort… zzzzzzz…

Huh? Oh, sorry, dozed off for a bit…

Apple’s Record Sales – Simply amazing. What more can be said? I mean, 14 million iPods in a quarter? Who could ever predict those numbers numbers? Wish I had bought stock back when it was $15 dollars or so a share.

Oh well, there it is for what it is worth. I will follow a little later with some of the other third party stuff that caught my eye including a killer upcoming new Project management tool and a great little camera case for little cameras.

Remainders, Resolutions and the Rest

One of the things I sometimes like to do when I do not have the time for a long and topic specific post is to do a few short blurbs on some things that have been capturing my attention lately. This is one of those times…

  • One |of my new year resolutions is to try to dress better. I have actually made this a resolution in years past but have not been very good with the followthrough. I love nice clothes and love to wear them but more often than not simply find it easier to throw on jeans and a t-shirt. This goal has been helped by the discovery of the clothier Kuhlman. They have very fine, Italian tailored clothing for reasonable prices. I have bought three of their french cuffed shirts in the past week. Beautiful fabric at prices that were hard to believe. Paired with dress slacks or even chinos and one is sure to walk just a little taller.
  • Speaking of resolutions, I recently had an epiphany. Following the GTD principle of vertical mapping, the need to have yearly resolutions is taken care of by 30,000 ft. goals. These are the goals that are supposed to be 12 to 18 months in focus anyway and if your daily actions and projects are in alignment with this, as I have discussed here before, than your resolutions will naturally flow through and be part of a regular review process. Therefore, stop making resolutions and start getting things done.
  • Merlin Mann at my personal fave 43folders has been running an excellent “resolutions” based series of posts called “Fresh Starts and Modest Changes” that have cover many interesting topics including:

    Modest Change: Learn the qualified “yes”

    Modest Change: Cancel something

    Fresh Start: The Email DMZ

    All well worth the read as always.

  • I have recently been playing around with an mindmapping and brainstorming application called Pyramid by MindCad. It is a simple and straight forward mind mapping application with a good tutorial and solid feel. I am hoping to see more applications of this sort when I am out at Macworld next week but so far have like what I have seen with this one.
  • My fave webapp company 37 signals has been teasing us once again with the promise of two more great applications:

    Sunrise: A web based “CRM-ish” tool to help small businesses manage their contacts and customer relationships.

    Campfire: A web based communication and collaboration tool.

    I can hardly wait for Sunrise as I think it will be just the kind of thing I need to help me with Machine Methods. Not sure how much I may use Campfire but I have been surprised at how much I have used Writeboard even if just for personal use.

That is all for now. I will try to do some posting from Macworld next week. Considering that Bethany will not be out until Wednesday I should have few distractions and lots of late and lonely nights for writing.

It’s Official

Bethany and I have officially set a date for the wedding.

* June 17th, 2006 *

Save the date in your calendar of choice.

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