Pax (funcrunch) wrote,

Macworld Expo

This week boyziggy and I attended Macworld Expo at the Moscone Center in SF. This was the first year I attended while unemployed, which was a mixed blessing. On the one hand, I could go whenever I wanted and on multiple days, which I did. On the other, I couldn't afford to buy most of the fun new toys on the show floor. Thanks to davidhanddotnet for getting me a show pass.

Tuesday morning we got there early so I could see David Pogue's "Macworld Live" presentation, which I've wanted to attend but have missed every year. It rocked! I've loved reading Pogue's columns for years, and had met him once in person years ago, at a BMUG meeting. He's not only a tech columnist but also a fine musician, composer, and amateur magician. He put his song parody skills to good use during the show. I got a few pix, but they aren't very good as I was too far back in the audience and didn't have my long lens.

Pogue's show had three guests. The first was Matt Harding of "Where the Hell is Matt?" YouTube fame. I had never heard of this guy before, but was enthralled watching his latest travelogue dancing video. It was really moving, and as averse to travel as I usually am, it actually made me want to see more of the world. Matt explained that the video was real, to debunk the hoax he'd set up himself at a recent tech talk, which itself was hilarious. Sadly, many people didn't get the joke, and many of the 48,000+ comments on the video claim that it's all green screen technology. I tried to comment and link to Matt's blog entry explaining the joke, but my comments got deleted. I hate YouTube sometimes... Anyway, at the end of the show, we all got to dance with Matt on stage, which was great.

The next guests were the guys from "You Suck at Photoshop" YouTube fame. The videos were funny but the guest segment was a bit of a yawner. The final guest was Ge Wang who created the amazing iPhone app, "Ocarina", which I'd never seen before but made me want to run out and get an iPhone just to play with it. It turns the phone into an actual wind instrument. Wang played along with Pogue on the Beatles' "Yesterday", and parodies of Billy Joel's "Piano Man" and another song. It was quite amazing. He also showed footage of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra which was quite cool.

Afterward the presentation, Ziggy and I grabbed an early lunch at the PowerSource Café, which was quite healthy and tasty, then returned to walk the show floor. I got tired quickly as I'd set the alarm for 5:15 intending to jog before the show, which so didn't happen, but at least I got in a brisk 30 minute walk from home to Moscone. We went to Samovar Tea Lounge for excellent tea and sweet potato dumplings, then Ziggy returned to the Expo (as he had a Union meeting nearby later that afternoon) and I walked home.

Wednesday I returned to the Expo to see Leo Laporte's feature presentation. I had listened to Leo's podcasts and seen him on Screen Savers for years. I got there a bit late and had a seat in the back; even with my longer lens the photos were pretty crappy so I probably won't post them.

After Leo's talk I went to the show floor and got caught up in a presentation by Topaz Labs about their Photoshop plug-ins. I was so impressed that I bought the software on the spot. Even at the show special price of $99 I shouldn't be spending that kind of money on non-essentials right now, but I couldn't resist. I played with it a bit last night, and will post more photos processed with it in time; for now I have just this one which is a cropped re-edit from a series davidhanddotnet took of me a few weeks back; those on my LJ friendslist can see the original at this link.
Tags: photography

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