Tag Archives: MacWorld

Stanford Laptop Orchestra (SLOrk) at Macworld


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I was lucky to catch this performance live. They were on stage right before I was this year. The Stanford Laptop Orchestra, or SLOrk, is just amazing to watch.

The Stanford Laptop Orchestra is a large-scale, computer-mediated ensemble that explores cutting-edge technology in combination with conventional musical contexts. This unique ensemble comprises more than 20 laptops, human performers, controllers, and custom multi-channel speaker arrays designed to provide each computer meta-instrument with its own identity and presence. The orchestra fuses a powerful sea of sound with the immediacy of human music-making, capturing the irreplaceable energy of a live ensemble performance as well as its sonic intimacy and grandeur. At the same time, it leverages the computer’s precision, possibilities for new sounds, and potential for fantastical automation to provide a boundary-less sonic canvas on which to experiment with, create, and perform music.

Just watch and listen – and decide for yourself how high this goes on the awesome factor scale.

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How Do You Manage Your Passwords?


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Yes, there are several utilities to help you manage passwords on Windows, but Mac OS X users love 1password for a reason: it’s amazing. Plus, there’s a free iPhone app tie-in!

In short, 1Password keeps track of all your web passwords, automates sign-in, guards from identity theft, and allows you to stop worrying about your safety while online. 1Password takes care of all your online passwords so you can use strong and unique passwords for every site and never forget any of them!

As I said already, there are tons of utilities out there that can do the password basics for you. But can your utility or software do these things:

  • Enters online usernames and passwords so that you don’t have to remember them.
  • Strong Password Generator automatically creates and fills passwords.
  • Built-in Anti-Phishing and Keylogger Protection provides security and peace of mind.
  • Take your information anywhere on your iPhone/iPod touch or Palm.

1Password keeps this information all in a database. You’ll set a master password, which you’ll use to access all of your others. No one will be able to see your saved passwords, as long as you don’t share that master one with anyone. Be sure to set this password as strong as possible, using all of the rules for creating good passwords.

When using strong random passwords it is important to be able to access your information where ever you go. 1Password provides solutions for iPhone/iPod touch and Palm so you can take your data anywhere. This is an excellent feature, because so many of us are always on the go. We cannot afford to lose or forget our passwords – or have them hacked!

Keep yourself safe and easily remember all of your login information using 1password.

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Do You Have Network Media Storage?


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There’s something to be said for having network attached storage. If you haven’t invested in any hardware yet, you might consider HP’s new offering. It’s a bit more than the average NAS device. Not only was HP at Macworld showing off their Media Smart Server, they also received a trophy for “Best in Show”!!

Maximize the power and potential of your home network with the HP EX475 MediaSmart Server, which enables you to conveniently centralize your files and access them from multiple PCs in your home. Based on AMD Live processing power, the MediaSmart Server enables you to back up your home’s PCs as well as share and enjoy digital music, home videos and photos from any computer or entertainment system on a home network. The server also has the expandability to grow with your family’s changing needs.

This is so far beyond a regular old NAS drive. The HP Media Smart Server runs what is called Windows Home Server operating system. HP introduced the first generation about fifteen months ago, and feedback was amazing! Install the client software on your PC. Once it’s installed on the PC, you can connect to your Mac as well.

You’ll get a preferences pane that opens up, and all of your computers will connect to it. Time Machine on the Mac will even back up to the Media Server. Simply specify how much space on the HP you want to use, and schedule your backup. It couldn’t be simpler to keep copies of all of your files for safe-keeping. The fact that you can use the HP Media Smart Server to do backups across all of your network is something that the folks at HP are very excited about.

They Media Server is expandable up to 9TB of storage!! That’s a lot of file storage, folks. Think about it… an average home user will likely never have that much stuff to back up. Imagine putting every file from every computer on your home network all in one place. If there’s ever a home emergency… grab that ONE machine and go! That type of peace of mind is well worth the cost.

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How to Get Tons of Mac Software for Free: MacHeist


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You’ll never have more fun finding free software for Mac OS X. This is one of the reasons I love the Mac community – you’d never find such an effort happening with Windows shareware developers.

If you’re looking to save money on Mac software, you may want to stay tuned for the next MacHeist. You can have fun while you save money and get free software. I met up with two of the guys involved with MacHeist while I was at Macworld.

What happens is that people attend MacHeist, and complete missions – such as puzzles and riddles. As they solve them, they pick up free software. MacHeist’s missions are an opportunity for members to live out some of those secret agent fantasies, including mission briefings, simulated web espionage, and a storyline packed with tech-mystery intrigue, while earning free Mac software.

It doesn’t end with the games and free software. At the end of the Heist, you can purchase a Mac Bundle for only $49.00. That bundle includes over $500 worth of Mac Apps!! In addition, 25% of your purchase price will be donated to the charity of your choice. That’s seriously impressive. In the first year, $200,000 was given to various charities – with an additional $500,000 raised and donated this past year! I can only image what MacHeist III will bring this year!

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The YouTube Booth in Google’s Booth

I recorded a video when I was in the YouTube booth, but unfortunately it wasn’t designed for short people like me.

It was kinda neat to meet people who work behind the scenes at YouTube. They were all around me in the Google booth (in which this YouTube booth was sitting). I got to ask them a few questions, and they had the opportunity to ask me a few questions, too.

I’ve been recording videos and uploading them to the Internet for the longest time, but YouTube has been the best delivery vehicle (by far). It even beats publishing through your own blog – and trumps just about anything I’ve ever seen inside the podcast sphere.

Did you know that YouTube is the #2 search engine right now? Video isn’t going away, and the sooner you realize that – the better off you’re going to be. Even if you don’t like creating videos, you know where to go to watch them.

My dad says he wants to start putting videos on YouTube. I think that’s a great idea (personally), but for some reason – even with simple software installed – he hasn’t started. Maybe this clip will inspire him to do something?

How Community Works: Past, Present, and Future

The following is a partial transcript of my presentation at Macworld. For full effect, you might just press play on this embedded video on How Community Works: Past, Present, and Future.

How Community Works: Past, Present, and Future

I’ve been a geek for much of my 35 years on this Earth. Most of my life I spent as a Windows user. Yes, I know, and I’m sorry. Don’t worry, since I’ve obviously seen the light to a better path now. It took a long time, and there were actually three key things that led me to throw myself deeper into the Apple community:

  • Apple switching to the Intel platform
  • Leopard
  • Vista

You could say that in the past, I was a person who championed the idea of software on the Windows platform. I was a community leader of sorts, writing a lot of material primarily relating to Windows. When Vista’s Beta 2 began to ship, I met Jim Allchin in person at a Blogger’s Roundtable. He told me specifically that he wanted my honest feedback. So – I gave it to him. My post Windows Vista Feedback listed more than 100 issues that I had with Vista. Little things bothered me, such as the developers using three different fonts in the same window. I was cast out of the Windows community because they said “Who cares?!”. Well, I DID care. I DO still care. To make that long story much shorter: one of my most prized possessions is a DVD of Windows Vista Beta 2, autographed by Jim Allchin. Under his name her wrote: “I’m sorry”.

Community is Already There, Inside Everyone.

The idea of community… of belonging… is everywhere, including inside of you. You are a walking Venn diagram. Think of circles that sometimes intersect with one another. You are a part of many various communities. I live in Seattle, so I belong to that community. I’m now a Mac user, so I’m part of that community as well. There are others who both live in Seattle, and use a Mac. There may even be another layer of people who own a Tenori-On. The idea of community intersects – it flows in between us all. This idea goes with you. It may be odd to think about, since the Internet is set up in silos. You have to say you’re someone’s friend on one website, and then again on another, and yet again on another! It’s unintuitive, and very non-user-centric, this idea of community.

Community isn’t about a Company – It’s about a Culture.

Years ago, I read the Cluetrain Manifesto, and the revelation came to me. The book is based on the idea that markets are conversations. Given the news that Apple will no longer be participating in Macworld, it makes me realize more that this is about the culture, but not necessarily the company. Most of you are disappointed in the news. I am not really surprised by it. To me, this is less about the company, and more about the culture… and the people you connect with. Hopefully you’ve made good connections here. That’s my favorite part of going to events like this. If given a choice between an event like this where I know I’ll share a common bond and some hoity-toity “other” conference… I’m choosing this every time. Making those connections, and spending time with people who want to be here, instead of being told they have to be, is invaluable to me. It doesn’t matter how large a trade-show floor is. A conference is all about the value of the connections you make with people.

Community is Becoming Increasingly Distributed.

This idea of community online used to exist in silos, but those walls are starting to be broken down; the idea of being able to connect with someone on one site and know that you are going to be able to connect with them everywhere else. There are people that know me, just as there a lot of people who DON’T know me. That’s fine. The people that do know me, don’t have to know me through a certain website to connect with me. They don’t have to go to website XYZ to get to know me – I bring that community with me. So if I’m on Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, MySpace… if I know someone on one, they are as much of a friend on the others. Community no longer exists in only one place. It’s everywhere – omnipresent. You bring those relationships with you, whether you are visiting another website, or you are actually meeting people in person, in “meatspace.”

Community Requires Tools that Can’t be Built.

People ask me all the time what I use to build a community. It’s impossible to pinpoint this. A community isn’t something that you just create by installing something. It doesn’t happen that way. The best community tools are ones that cannot be built. It exists in your heart, and extends from there. From your heart, it goes to your mind, then your mouth, and potentially to your fingers (depending on how you are communicating). The idea of putting something in front of a group of people and just expecting things to happen is asinine. I’ve seen people over and over cry out “I started a forum, but no one is joining!”. Well, gee – it’s not like they started the only forum dedicated to whatever it was. What makes one stand out over another? It’s all about what is in your heart, what you take with you wherever you go – that sense of community.

This is just the beginning of what I covered in this presentation at Macworld 2009. There’s more to be discovered about community in this video, including:

  • Community is a Commodity, but People Aren’t.
  • Community Cannot be Controlled, only Guided.
  • Community is no Longer Defined by Physical Boundaries.
  • Community Grows its own Leaders.
  • Community is the Antithesis of Ego.
  • Community needs Macworld more than Apple Does.
  • Community is Everywhere – Including Inside of You.

What’s In the Macworld 2009 Speaker Bag?

I spoke at Macworld this year. Apparently, they decided to give all the speakers a bag filled with stuff… AMAZING stuff. Whatever I don’t have, I’ll be giving away – so pay close attention. If you’d rather not read, scroll down to watch the “live” unbagging.

Here’s some of what I discovered in my bag:

Did you go to Macworld 2009? Did we run into each other, or did you meet other interesting people? Do you plan on going to Macworld 2010? Just because Apple won’t be there doesn’t mean they won’t have it! The Mac community is strong, and we will still be supportive next year.

Street Drummer: Bucketman’s Macworld Song

I was walking on Market Street in San Francisco today, when this street drummer starts singing about Macworld. I had to record the event, and (of course) donate to the artist.

His name is Larry Hunt, and he’s on MySpace – check out his profile and take a listen to the songs he has there. He doesn’t have a computer, but that didn’t stop him from somehow getting his MP3s onto the Web!

I transcribed the sheet of paper he handed to me:

Over the years, I have worked with many top artists and different bands. Presently, I have my own band called “Larry Hunt and the Blue Flame Band.” On April 8, 1992, I won the Jammie Award for “All Around Best Drummer.” Later that year, I recorded my first record: “Cool Papa Legend.”

I was born in Leavenwork, KS. I started playing drums at the age of 3, and owned my first drum set at the age of 4. In 1960, I had my first show with some big-name artists such as Brother Jack MacDuff and Three Sound. In 1966, I played for the senator of Kansas: Senator Reily on TV with Christ Unlimited. In 1974, I met Louis Bellson at the Starlite Theater in Kansas City. From 1966-1978, I played with “The Drifters,” “The Tams,” “Round House Band,” “Pandall,” “Badge,” and “Little Royal.”

In 1979, I worked with Larry Sharp and Gregg Lomt Trio. In 1983, I drummed in the Black Star Lite Band. In 1986, I joined Intervision from Oakland. In the years between 1989 – 1992, I met Cool Papa on TV with Bay Area Backroads. I played with John Lee Hooker, Deacon Jones, Gregg Allman, Steve Ganna, Al Von Johnson, Rockin Earl Brown, Ron Steward of Blues Society, Lady Margaret and the Gentlemen, Perry Walker, Survival Band, and Steppen Stone.

For more information on the drum lessons, please look for me with the “New Funk Generation” at Powell and Geary in San Francisco, Thursday through Sunday night at approximately 8:30pm.

I don’t know about you, but I thought he displayed his talent quite well. I love a good beat, no matter where it’s coming from. Because of my donation, he gave me his most recent CD (and his resume, too). As it turns out, you can hire this guy for lessons or parties.

Here he is, mid jam:

I took another video of him, but it didn’t turn out as well – so I decided to use his first “Macworld” jingle as the soundtrack for this photo montage:

Macworld or Hawaii?


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Yes, I’m in Hawaii right now, enjoying the sunny weather. I thought I’d share with everyone the five reasons I’d rather be here in Hawaii, instead of at Macworld.

  • If I need to update my iPhone, I can do that from anywhere. I don’t need to be at Macworld to upgrade something. I’m sitting here using my wireless broadband connection right from the cruise ship. So, I’ll be able to download any updates!
  • In Hawaii, there are no smelly Mac geeks. This is true! I’ve read it in Wikipedia! Mac and PC Geeks alike have a “bouquet” about them. Have you ever left eggs out too long? Well, that’s the Mac geek smell. That’s not here in Hawaii.
  • A Mac Pro wouldn’t fit inside my luggage. I’m planning to get one, but don’t want to buy it from Macworld. I wouldn’t be able to take it with me.
  • There are no Pina Coladas at Macworld. Pina Coladas… or Macworld? You decide.
  • You can’t beat the view here in Hawaii. It’s amazing, and absolutely gorgeous. Later today, I’ll be climbing a mountain… or not.

Would you rather be at Macworld with the other geeks… or here in Hawaii with Ponzi and me?

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