I spent the weekend in Illinois attending the Macstock conference. Macstock started out as a group of friends getting together following the demise of Macworld, and over the years it has grown into a conference and social event that includes about 200 people having a good time talking about AppleScripts, Shortcuts, and debating the finer merits of the very best text editor; in other words, they are my kind of nerds, and it is a lot of fun.
It took me several years to make it to Macstock, but I finally made it there last year and had a great time.
This year, Stephen Hackett and I had the privilege of recording episode 500 of Mac Power Users in front of a live audience at Macstock, and it came out great (although it won't drop for a few weeks now). I also gave a talk falling somewhere between nerdy tips and hippy-style productivity. Best of all, I got to catch up with some old friends and make several new outstanding ones. Also, northern Illinois gave me more mosquito bites in two days than I've had in the last 10 years.
Just a few highlights:
With a call out to the room something akin to asking for a doctor on an airplane, Stephen sprang into action like a nerdy superhero, replacing RAM and a drive on an aging iMac. In order to do so, he had to peel off the screen, pull every part of the machine out, and then put it all back together. He did that on a lunch table.
Mike Schmitz (co-host of Focused) crushed a presentation on Ulysses and taught me a few tricks.
I made a friend who recently played percussion on a symphonic performance of the Harry Potter score.
I made another friend who came from Perth, Australia, to nerd out with us.
Best of all, when we finished recording episode 500, we received a standing ovation. That was a moment I will cherish forever.
Flying home, I couldn't help but reflect that this was an outstanding use of my weekend, and if they put on another one next year, I'll be there.