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OS X Con: Final thoughts

Tinderbox -- Once again, this application proved invaluable for taking and organizing session notes. This time I experimented more with Agents that automatically categorized my notes. This really worked out well when I added notes that I didn't write, allowing me to quickly find items that interested me. (See SubEthaEdit comments, below.)

Wittiest post-presentation comment -- "Home automation is a gateway drug to Ham Radio." Rael Dornfest

Networking, Social -- It was a pleasure to meet so many folks. Not limited to Tom Ridge, of MacSlash, whose excellent session notes I have really enjoyed. If you didn't attend, his blog will give you a good idea why you should have. If you did attend, you'll probably find that you've forgotten more than you learned. :-) Another person that stands out is Damien Barrett, a long-time web maven whose blog is a good mix of fun, technology, and NYC.

Networking, AdHoc -- iChat's Rendezvous buddy list was an essential tool for this conference. It made it possible to find friends (like Scott Knaster), meet new folks (like Brent Simmons), and in general just broadcast information to the crowd. Adam Engst, for example, used his iChat status message to invite folks to join the SubEthaEdit collaborative notes for a session.


And SubEthaEdit itself was another real treat. Every session had a shared document, used for collaborative note taking and kibitzing. Additionally, I used it to "lurk" on sessions that I didn't attend, grabbing copies of those notes so I could see what I'd missed. Finally, In Ted Stevko's session, he hosted his own SubEthaEdit document that attendees could use to provide him feedback about this presentation, and a document with a sample AppleScript for us to all take home and play with. Very cool.

Personal Web Sharing over Rendezvous was useful too. During my session, participants could connect to the PowerBook that was showing my Keynote slides and download a PDF version to take home. I used pMachineFree, so attendees could also enter a comment for me to read later, but few did so. Scott Richert also used Rendezvous Web Sharing to provide supporting materials to the audience. I consider my experiment a great success (over 100 visitors during my session, according to the Apache logs) and I'll definitely do it again at my next presentation.

Another great conference. Thanks to Rael, Derrick, and Vee at O'Reilly for making it easy to be a speaker. In fact, all of the O'Reilly staffers that I met were just top-notch. I hope to be able to attend again next year.

Egads, what does that say?

I'm at the OS X Con, listening to Adam Engst's excellent keynote presentation on what Apple still needs to do to improve Mac OS X.

Nodding to the improved unicode support in Panther, Adam just displayed a spam he received in Eudora. It's in Korean (I believe) and Adam showed it as an example of how much better it is displayed in the new OS. However, when asked, he said that he had no idea what it says. Neither do I.

But, my heavens! What if it's some totally over-the-top sexual-orientated message? (There are no pictures, thankfully.) Is it possible he just offended everyone who can read that language? He's a braver man than I.

Give your iBook a REST (OS X Con)

Matt Barger's session, "Give your iBook a REST" was the most refreshing of the day. (Sure, Tim O'Reilly is always insightful, and David Pogue entertaining, but there's more meat in Barger's work.) This is exactly the kind of "emerging topic" that I've come to expect from this conference. Matt's website is just getting started, you can be sure that I'll be tuning in. He says that his (beautiful, Keynote-based) presentation will be posted there soon.

As a bonus, he's a Mac OS X-swither, a Tinderbox-user, and a good presenter. Welcome to the Mac community, Matt.

Nicecast looks, um, nice

Paul, from Rogue Amoeba, gave me a nice little demo of their newest app. It's Nicecast, and I'm eager to try it out.

A couple of things that really stood out for me are the ability to mix-in a live voiceover (so I can do my best Dr. Johnny Fever imitation) and that it is able to hook into iTunes for playback and playlist management.

I think that's great, no need to learn (or suffer with) another method of managing my music -- just use what I've already got set up. To my mind, that's smart.

PS: I swear, I really am interested in Nicecast. I deny any allegations that I only feigned interest to get them to stamp my "OS X Con Exhibit Passport". (Only 3 more stamps and I can score a free O'Reilly book. Whoo-hoo!)