In January at Macworld Expo, I gave my annual "Best of Mac OS X Hints" talk (gave it twice, actually, as the room was overflowing). The objective of the talk is to distill 9,900+ hints down into 75 minutes or so of my favorite hints. The challenge every year is to find hints that are neither too hard nor too easy (which means some of my actual favorites aren't actually included, as they'd fall into one of those categories), have visual qualities that make them good demo material, and that can be easily demonstrated to a crowd of a few hundred people -- and to find as many of those hints as possible that fit in the allotted time.
If you'd like to see how well (or poorly) I faired at that task this year, Macworld Expo (a sister company to Macworld) has made the video of my Best of Hints talk available free of charge to Macworld and Mac OS X Hints readers (640x480 96mb download). What you'll see in the video are my Keynote slides and real-time demos of each hint; what you'll hear is my voice; what you won't see (thankfully?) is my smiling face, as the video is restricted to the slides, demos, and audio (whew!).
This freebie is part of a promotion for Macworld Expo's new Macworld Encore service, which will allow you to purchase any or all of 80 different sessions from this year's Expo talks. (As of this morning, the Macworld Encore site isn't working, but it should be back online shortly.) If you thought some of the talks this year looked interesting but you either couldn't get to Expo, or couldn't make a given session, this might be a good way to see what you missed.
Today the USA is observing President's Day. I'll be spending the day with the family, and trying to finish up a handful of deferred home maintenance activities (I suppose the Christmas lights really should come down now).
As many of you know, I rewrite and expand upon some of the best and most interesting hints from this site for a Mac OS X Hints blog over at Macworld.com. Recently Macworld launched a weekly Mac OS X Hints newsletter that features items from my Macworld blog, along with a few links to interesting articles here on macosxhints.com and on the forum sites.
I realize that the hard-core users of macosxhints.com might not find a huge amount of value in getting an e-mail about tips they've already read, but if you're a more casual OS X Hints reader, you might find the newsletter a useful addition to your inbox. It's free, and if you'd like to sign up, just visit the newsletter subscription page over at Macworld.com.
And yes, we're still talking about a Hints newsletter that can deliver all of the latest hints into your box every day -- it's not here yet, but we know you want it!
Late yesterday, I was struck by a particularly nasty and fast-moving stomach flu of some sort (both our kids have been fighting something, so I assume I caught it from one of them). After being up all night fighting the virus, I'm going to spend much of today asleep, trying to recover (twelve hours after this thing hit me, it seems to now be mostly gone...but it wasn't a pleasant 12 hours!).
There's a new poll today, and this time the focus is on your home. Specifically, how many networked computing devices you have there. Count anything directly on your network, such as computers, printers, video cameras, scanners, etc. Do not count things shared through or connected to a Mac (i.e. an Epson printer shared via Printer Sharing would not be counted as a networked device).
Thanks to reader rpg for this poll idea; I think it will be interesting to see how much stuff we've got wired together in our homes (for the record, my response was six -- four Macs, one wireless video camera, and a network printer).
To help make searching macosxhints.com easier, and to take advantage of the Google index of the site, I created a Firefox search engine plug-in to search MacOSXHints using Firefox and Google.
To use, first download the archive and expand it (and then make sure you quit Firefox). Take the two files inside the expanded folder, googlemacosxhints.gif and googlemacosxhints.src, and place them in your user's Library -> Application Support -> Firefox -> Profiles -> profile_name -> searchplugins folder. Note that you may have to create the searchplugins folder, and profile_name will be unique to your system.
When you re-launch Firefox, you'll see a new Google | Mac OS X Hints entry in the Google search box. Select it, enter your search terms, and you'll search macosxhints.com via Google's index.
[robg adds: This plug-in does the same thing as running a site:www.macworld.com search_term search on google.com, but makes it much easier to do so. It worked as described when I tested it.]
Typically, the week after a Macworld Expo, I post a poll asking everyone to pick their favorite new piece of hardware from the keynote. Given that we had but two products this time, and one had but 15 minutes of stage time, I figured a "most interesting product" poll would be sort of meaningless.
Instead, I thought I would ask about your iPhone purchase plans. I've probably left out some reasons for "yes" or "no," but this should give us some idea as to how popular the iPhone will be when it comes out in six months or so -- at least with the macosxhints.com crowd!
Macworld's offices are closed today in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr's. birthday. I will be posting a Pick of the Week a bit later today, however -- one of my New Year's resolutions is to get each week's Pick actually posted on Monday this year :).
Today is the last day of Macworld Expo. I've had a busy, fun, and interesting week. Starting with the excitement of the iPhone, to the disappointment of no new Macs or Apple OS X applications, to the amazing stuff being shown in the 325+ booth on the show floor, it's been a whirlwind of a week.
I give my final talk today on the show floor, in the Macworld booth at 11am. The subject is, of course, Mac OS X Tips and Tricks...but with a twist. I'll be presenting things in a Jeopardy-like manner, showing the answer ("OS X can do this interesting thing...") and asking attendees to explain just how the trick is done. Anyone with a right answer will win something interesting from one of the vendors at the show. After each question (and hopefully answer), I'll demonstrate the solution. At the end, we'll do some sort of random giveaway for any unclaimed prizes. So if you're at the show, stop by around 11am and see if you can pick up a nice prize (limit one per attendee!).
For those who are curious as to what I've been doing all week, and who may not read macworld.com regularly, read the rest of the article for a summary of my week's activities over there (including a couple of podcasts).
Tomorrow morning, along with 4,500 or so of my closest friends, I'll be watching Steve give his annual Macworld Expo keynote. After that, it's off to the show floor, where 20,000 folks will try their best to cram into an area (Apple's booth) sized to hold perhaps a tenth that number. For the remainder of the day, I'll be visiting vendors to see what's new and interesting in the world of Mac (and, I'm sure, iPod).
If you'd like to say hello at some point, here are the dates/times when I'll be stationary for more than a few minutes:
Tue Jan 9, 8:00pm onward: I'll be at the Macworld Blast! at Mezzanine (444 Jessie Street). Party ticket required to attend.
Wed Jan 10, 11:00am - 12:15pm: Best of Mac OS X Hints presentation, room 303. A Conference pass or better is required to attend. I'll be presenting an assortment of my favorite OS X tips and tricks.
Thu Jan 11, 11:00am - 11:45am: Macworld booth 408 on the show floor. Dan Frakes and I will be presenting some of our favorite apps and utilities that you've probably never heard of.
Fri Jan 12, 11:00am - 11:45am: Macworld booth 408 on the show floor. A scaled-down version of my Favorite OS X Hints talk.
Other than that, I'll be around the show floor, in and out of Macworld's booth, and generally trying to wear out my shoes visiting all the vendors...