MacWorld Attendance Booming


Yesterday IDG announced it already has over 28,000 registered attendees. That is pretty amazing considering we are still four months away. I know it was popular to predict the end of Macworld with Apple pulling out but the re-engineering of the event (and moving it to February) may prove to make it bigger than ever. If you decide to go to Macworld this year, make sure to check out one of my sessions.

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Speaking at Macworld


I am pleased to announce I’ll be presenting two sessions at Macworld Expo and Conference in February. The descriptions are listed below. If you are planning on attending, let me know. I’m already planning these presentations to be something special.

Mac at Work

Feb. 11, 2010, 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM
While creative professionals and students have always “seen the light” and used Apple Macintosh computers, the business world has traditionally shunned the Macintosh platform. Up until very recently, the only apples you’d find in business were in lunch bags. That, however, is changing. Macs are starting to pop up in the strangest places including boardrooms, corner suites, and courthouses all over the place. This session will tackle some of the most common work related tasks and explain Mac specific tools to conquer them. Topics will include: mail, task management, word processing and number crunching, presentation tools, PDF management, note taking, project management, business graphics, and billing. There will also be a discussion of how to help Macs play nicely at the workplace including networking with the Enterprise and sharing data with PC colleagues.
This session is for people who suddenly find themselves with shiny new Macs but no idea where to start or those with older Macs but want to go beyond Microsoft Word. The session will describe software and hardware advice, tips, and recommendations to squeeze all the juicy goodness out of that Apple on your desk and, better yet, make participants look fantastic to their bosses, co-workers, and clients.
You will hear about software recommendations, tips, and workflows for using your Mac to do the most common work related tasks better, faster, and with more panache.

Numbers Lab: Spreadsheets with Flair

Feb. 9, 2010 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Apple’s Numbers application isn’t like the worn out spreadsheet programs you are used too. While it certainly can crunch numbers with the rest of them, Numbers is much deeper allowing you to sort and organize just about any information and share and report your data like no other spreadsheet application. Attendees at this interactive presentation will create Numbers spreadsheets and learn several intermediate to advanced Numbers techniques in a fun and entertaining environment.
This session is for all Mac users looking for a better way to manage information and supercharge their Numbers prowess.
Attendees will learn:
To build and customize Numbers sheets and templates
Formula and function power tips
How (and when) to make compelling charts and graphics
Numbers’ robust reporting and printing tools
The best techniques for sharing their Numbers data with Mac and PC users
How to customize the Numbers interface and templates to their own needs.

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Macworld Moves to February

Today IDG announced 2010 Macworld moved from January to February 9 – 13, 2010. The location will remain at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. I spoke with several developers, exhibitors, and attendees at this year’s Macworld and the one point everyone agreed to was that having the event the week after New Years and the same time as CES was madness. I think the move to February was a good thing and should make it easier for attendees and exhibitors alike.
Free Expo Hall registration for Macworld 2010 will remain open, for a limited time, so if you are thinking about it, go register. I’ve been to several Macworld expos and for me the experience has always been defined by the community, not the Apple booth, so start making your plans now.

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A Lawyer’s Take on Macworld

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In addition to my job at Macsparky (the business card really does say “Chief Slacker”), I have another job that actually pays money as a business attorney. So every year in addition to looking for things new and geeky at Macworld Expo, I also take a look for tools useful in the practice of law. Here is this year’s take:

Daylite Touch

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Marketcircle’s Daylite has become the “go to” applicaiton for running your law practice. This year they had a strong presence at Macworld including numerous demonstrations, presentations from the David Allen company, and previews of their soon to be released iPhone client. It supports full synching with your Daylite database. This is excellent news for Daylite users.

Livescribe Smartpen


Livescribe’s Pulse Smartpen is coming to the Mac. This is, essentially, a computer in a pen. It records all pen strokes and then recreates the pages on your screen. It also records audio while you are taking notes and indexes it to your notes. You must use their paper (printed with the required microdots to give the computer context) but I could use this every day in my practice. This could also be a nice gift for any university students in your life.

FileMaker Pro 10

The new version 10 of FileMaker took several lessons from their consumer product, Bento. It still uses the same file format so the upgrade should be relatively painless. With features and improvements such as persistent sorting, dynamic summary reports, and editable table views, it is clear this upgrade is all about the user experience.



MacSpeech has now been with us a year and the software is showing its maturity through increased stability and additional features. Speaking with the developers I was most impressed with their sense of urgency. These guys are working hard to leverage the Dragon engine on your Mac. If you are practicing law without this tool, you are missing out. Give your fingers a break and check this one out. You can read my full review here.



The Mac software community has exploded with task management applications. I have been running my practice out of OmniFocus now for a year and a half and consider it the best tool for the job. It allows management of tasks by both project and context, allows for easy capture of new tasks from anywhere on your Mac, and includes a robust, syncing iPhone application. Furthermore, it is fully supported by a reputable Mac developer, the Omni Group. The cost for both a desktop and iPhone license is under $100 and while there are cheaper solutions, I’ve not seen anything better. You can read my full review here.

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Omni Booth at Macworld 2009

Microvision Projector


One of the most notable new technologies was Microvision’s laser based projector. This tiny projector (about the size of an iPhone) easily fits in your pocket and projects at 10 lumens. Because it is laser based, it focuses at any viewing distance. It looks really sharp and you can get 2 hours of projection off the battery. The unit is expected to be available this summer in the $500 price range.

Timeline 3d


While Timeline 3d has been out now a few months, BeeDocs’ presence at Macworld should be noted. The developer continues to refine and polish this excellent timeline application that is extremely useful in presentation work. You can read my review here.

SMART Digital White Board

These digital white boards combine the benefits of your analogue whiteboard with the technology of your Mac. This could be useful both in the conference room and the courtroom.

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Who wrote that?

iWork 09

While a lot of people still refuse to look at iWork as a serious business tool, I continue to make other attorneys look bad using Keynote. It just about 10 years ahead of PowerPoint. The new improvements, particularly “Magic Move”, will save me hours of fiddling. The increased mail merge hooks between Numbers and Pages will increase your ability to set up forms. I still must admit I do all of my serious writing in Scrivener (review here). Regardless, for me Keynote is worth the price of admission.
While Apple appears to keep focusing its energies toward the Mac as a consumer device, the third party developer community continues to develop excellent resources allowing you to get the edge in your practice with your Mac.

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Getting Social at Macworld 2009

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The social aspect of Macworld should not be underestimated. Imagine being surrounded by 14,000 fellow mac geeks in one big pool of geek soup.
Of course you can hone your geek skills in any of the number of conferene tracks but this atmosphere manifests itself in many ways. Groups of attendees spontaneously drop to the floor of conference halls and whip out their laptops of the conference halls to share their latest cool application and applescript mojo. People break out into arguments over the best use of PHP while simultaneously complimenting one another over their vintage T-shirts. Strangers walk up to you and tell you about the latest booth swag with a conspiratorial grin. It really is a fantastic gathering.
In addition to meeting users, you also get face time with your favorite developers. I have reviewed software and hardware for several attending developers and it truly is a pleasure to meet these people who work so hard on making fantastic Mac products. Not only does it afford you opportunity to catch up but also a chance to explain particular requests. The developers are there to hear your feedback and Macworld floor discussions often result in new features and tweaks in your favorite applications.
This year, IDG also introduced “Birds of a Feather” sessions allowing groups of interested users to have an after hours conference room to discuss particular Mac topics. I attended one hosted by Adam Christianson of the MacCast where several experienced podcasters shared their tricks.
In addition to the show room floor friendships, there are a variety of nightly parties and gatherings. This year I attended several. On Tuesday night, and hosted an excellent gathering at Jillian’s (across the street from Moscone.) At it I made several new Apple friends and got to reconnect with some older ones. I also got to commiserate with Arnold Kim about MacRumors getting hacked in the middle of the Keynote.
My favorite Macworld party remains the Cirque du Mac. The Macworld Allstar Band played including folks such as Bob “Dr. Mac” Levitus, Chris Breen, Dave Hamilton, an others. This year it was held in a burlesque club (turned PG rated for the geek crowd) and included a trapeeze artist.
The best social aspects of Macworld for me, however, is the reunion of friends. Meeting up with my gang of podcaster friends makes the trip absolutely worth it. We shared many meals and laughs and I already look forward to seeing them next year. A well placed grenade at the below lunch could have put a serious dent in Mac podcasting.

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