Monday, January 14, 2008

Getting to the Promised Land known as The Moscone Convention Center

Sitting in the Albuquerque "Sunport." Trying to connect to the Sunport Wi-Fi network. Full strength signal, but no connection. Hmmm. The Wi-Fi seems to be working because in the Finder. sidebar, under the "Shared" item, I see "Pamela's Powerbook." Tip #1: When you're using a public Wi-Fi spot, you might want to turn File Sharing off. And disable the Guest account (if you're running Leopard). Robin walks around the gate area, spotted a woman with a PowerBook. "Is your name Pamela?" she asked. Pamela seems surprised, and even fatalistic that her PowerBook is being shared with anyone on the public wireless network. Robin offers Tip #1, and Pamela, being smart like most Mac users, jumps into System Prefs and turns off File Sharing.

Now we're in the air and I'm listening to the soundtrack of Walk Hard: The Story of Dewey Cox. Tip #2: Get a pair of Bose Noise Canceling Headphones. The difference in ambient engine noise is not just nice, it's awesome. If you buy from the Bose web site you can set up payments (they're not cheap, but they're superior to the less expensive models).

Between the Oakland Airport and our hotel, we have an interesting conversation with our cab driver, a nice guy from Kabul, Afghanistan. He and most of his family left Afghanistan during the Russian invasion period (1980s). Mostly we talked about the movie, Charlie Wilson's War. Charlie seems to pretty popular with Afghani types, having boosted the CIA budget to covertly fight the Russians there from $1 million to $100 million. We hope to hook up with our cab driver next year at Macworld Kabul.

Before meeting Robin's sister for dinner at the Hayes Street Grill we hook up with friends from Santa Fe -- Joey, Linda, and Corey -- at The View Bar on the 39th floor of the Marriott Hotel. Joey Wilson and Linda Pedelty are long-time Mac mavens. Joey, Linda, and Corey are going to get in line for the keynote at about 4 am. If I can't sleep I'll go visit them in line (ha!).

Our hotel's Wi-Fi connection is not bad -- it's hideous. Totally unusable. Thankfully I brought my Verizon Wireless Broadband EVDO card with me. Tip #3: Pack a wireless broadband card when you stay at the Westin in San Francisco. Unfortunately, Verizon's EVDO service doesn't allow you to watch or do video. You can do it, but they might cancel your service if you do. It's always sumthin'.

Better stuff tomorrow after the Expo keynote.