Wednesday, January 16, 2008

San Francisco Nights

It's not just a song by Eric Burdon & The Animals (mid ’60s), it's a melody that captures the feeling of the city.

Be sure and wear some flowers in your hear. You're gonna meet some lovely people there.

Lots of Macworld parties going on tonight, but not like in ancient times (the late 80s and early-90s) when all the big companies tried to outdo each other with extravagant parties. Like the Kai Kause/Metacreations party at which a couple thousand people took over the Exploratorium for a night. Or the giant party at Filmore West featuring Jefferson Starship and Timothy Leary, who gave a unintentionally hilarious, spaced out welcome speech. And with artists tucked in every corner sketching caricatures with Wacom tablets.

Times change, and a lot of companies realized it wasn't that smart to spend the previous year's profit on a one-night party. Dang.

Tomorrow night we check out the party.

Robin at the Peachpit Press party held at Varnish, an art gallery.

Varnish 2.jpg

The Marriott at night.

Marriott at night.jpg

San Francisco is wonky place

San Francisco is sometimes a strange place. Buildings don't always follow the rules you expect buildings to follow. It's cool looking, but I'd hate to go to work here everyday and deal with that slanted office floor.


And I'm familiar with Casual Friday dress codes, but here they obviously have Caveman Wednesdays. Maybe that's just in the Comic Life booth. Yeah, I'm sure it is.

Comic Life.jpg

Macworld is a spiritual place

Echoing the theme that Mac is not a hardware/software product, but actually a religion, The FileMaker Cathedral… uh, I mean booth… puts you in a quiet, contemplative mood as you learn about database heaven. The extra-high pulpit is a nice touch, I think, as the oracle speaks to the devotees.

The new consumer level database app, Bento, looks great.

Bento Cathedral.jpg

Honda Accura

We have two cars, but I'd like something really small for trips to the grocery store. There's a Honda on the show floor that is pretty much what I had in mind.

Robin & racecar.jpg

RouteBuddy is way, way cool

A couple of years ago I discovered RouteBuddy, GPS software for Mac, and fell in love with it. It's beautiful, elegant, and being updated regularly to make it beyond great. They're based in London, so it was fun to see that the free demo map was actually of Santa Fe, our home.

I exchanged a couple of emails with this guy named Neil Wilson-Harris soon after I first bought the first version of the software, and I was immediately impressed with how nice and helpful he was. Of course, the first thing that hooks me or repels me about new software is the quality of the graphics, both in the app and on the app's website. So RouteBuddy had me at first glance. Really beautiful stuff.

If you want to explore the world of GPS and Mac, definitely check out RouteBuddy.

RouteBuddy Neil and Robin.jpg

Neil Wison-Harris shows Robin a map of Santa Fe, using RouteBuddy.

The Macworld Nap

If you're from San Francisco, you probably see this all the time. Or Redmond. Or even Roswell, where aliens hang out. It was new to me. I heard a rumor that it was a scam and that Microsoft is behind it. When they wake up, they have an insatiable urge to install Vista. Creepy.

The Macworld Nap.jpg

Being cool with MacBook Air

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I sat in on a MacBook Air presentation at the Apple Theater today. A couple of interesting things, in case you missed it. The MacBook Air doesn't have an optical drive, but you can buy a special external USB SuperDrive to connect to it. But you don't need that if you have a fast wireless network. MacBook Air has a special feature that enables it to detect any other optical drives on the local wireless network. Other computers' optical drives show up in the sidebar under "Devices." If you want to install an application that's on an install DVD, put the DVD in a computer, and it shows up on the MacBook Air, as if the optical drive and the disc were part of the MacBook Air. How about using the Migration Assistant to transfer files to your new MacBook Air? Same thing. Mac Book Air's Migration Assistant works wirelessly on your wireless network.