Post MacWorld Reckoning

Now that we’re back, unpacked, and some­what caught up on email, laun­dry, gro­cery shop­ping, and all of those oth­er chores that await when you return home, I can write a lit­tle about the past week.

Mac­world is still fun, but its even more fun when Pam comes along, because it real­ly just turns into a mini-vaca­tion for both of us with Mac nerd activ­i­ties thrown in. We got there on Mon­day night, only a lit­tle late. Our hotel was the whim­si­cal and friend­ly Tri­ton Hotel, a bou­tique inn on Grant Street, right by the gate to Chi­na­town. Besides the decid­ed­ly off-the-wall décor, they had a free wine and beer hap­py hour every day, and the young and hip staff fre­quent­ly hit the switch to open the front doors for us so we often felt like we were mak­ing grand entrances (and exits). While the room was small, it was cer­tain­ly usable, and the free wi fi Inter­net in every room was­n’t too shab­by either.

Rather than get up at 3:00 AM to get in line for the Keynote (like some peo­ple I know) we arose at a decent hour and spent most of Tues­day at the two show floors, see­ing new prod­ucts and occa­sion­al­ly bump­ing into old friends. We had a great din­ner at the near­by organ­ic food­ie restau­rant ‘Roots’ (no rela­tion to the Cana­di­an cloth­ing chain), includ­ing a Duck con­fit sal­ad and an excep­tion­al­ly deli­cious ‘Dun­ge­ness Crab/Mac & Cheese’ dish that I think should become a clas­sic.

On Wednes­day, I man­aged to make it to sev­er­al Con­fer­ence ses­sions. The one on using the new Find­er in OSX Leop­ard turned out to be far too basic for me, so I left ear­ly and dropped into a near­by ses­sion on using the iWork appli­ca­tions (and got some very good tips on Num­bers, the spread­sheet pack­age in iWork). I also went to a ses­sion on iLife which was heav­i­ly weight­ed toward using iPho­to, although I did get a bet­ter feel for how to edit in the new ver­sion of iMovie. I guess you could say that it was a high­ly ‘i‑centric’ day. In the evening Pam and I decid­ed to go out for some lighter fare, and end­ed up in a small Thai restau­rant that odd­ly enough was the very same site (a 1938 din­er that has seen count­less restau­rants) where I had first dis­cov­ered fusion cui­sine in Bar­bara Trop­p’s now long-gone Chi­na Moon Café of the mid 1990’s. It was sad to think that restau­rants, like the peo­ple who run them, are all too mor­tal.

On Thurs­day I caught a few more ses­sions, but I real­ly want­ed to spend a bit more time at some key booths (Par­al­lels, Microsoft, File­mak­er, and El Gato were all on my list), as well as make a short trip to the Apple Store to get…(drum roll, please) an iPhone. Now, with the swift­ly shift­ing sands of the jail­break­ing of Firmware update 1.1.2, the new 1.1.3 Firmware update that adds new func­tion­al­i­ty, and the soon-to-be released Devel­op­er SDK next month, I’m frankly a bit torn as to how to Unlock this phone. While hard­ware solu­tions might be the the most effec­tive, I real­ly would like to be able to update the phone like every­body else, espe­cial­ly to add the whole new raft of 3rd par­ty appli­ca­tions due to hit in the com­ing months. So, I’m going to have to go slow­ly and care­ful­ly, with the goal of get­ting my iPhone work­ing in the least inva­sive and destruc­tive way (hope­ful­ly with­out saw­ing off pieces of my SIM, or doing some oth­er destruc­tion). It would have helped if Rogers would final­ly offer the iPhone, but if Telus rolls out GSM and offers it first, I’ll switch car­ri­ers before you can say “Ring”. Hear that Rogers? You’ve kept me (and thou­sands like me) wait­ing long enough, so I’ve got zero loy­al­ty to you.

On Thurs­day evening we, we met with an old friend of mine for din­ner (at a near­by bistro — Steak with Bor­de­laise sauce, Frites and Leeks Vinai­grette — Oh yeah!), and then took a taxi to Davies Hall, where we heard the San Fran­cis­co Phil­har­mon­ic. They gave a con­cert of Bach’s Orches­tral Suite No. 2 (with the flute soloist being Tim­o­thy Day, an old friend of my par­ents who even per­formed a piece of mine years ago), Xenakis’s sur­pris­ing­ly beau­ti­ful and affect­ing L’Ile de Gorée for harp­si­chord and large ensem­ble, and Schu­bert’s 9th (‘The Great’) Sym­pho­ny in C Major. I had­n’t heard Michael Tilson Thomas con­duct since I briefly met him many years ago in Lon­don, so it was great to see how he had matured as a con­duc­tor. The orches­tra was first-rate and played every­thing beau­ti­ful­ly, and I had to admit that I was prob­a­bly grin­ning for near­ly all of the Schu­bert —it’s a fun piece, full of good ideas, great tunes and rich colours, but I also know it real­ly well. I could have almost sung along for the whole per­for­mance (but I did­n’t, thank good­ness for Pam and all the rest of the peo­ple sit­ting around me).

Fri­day morn­ing, after a light break­fast (incred­i­bly but­tery crois­sants from the Café de la Presse next door), we head­ed on to the air­port, and caught the Qan­tus 747 home. By 3:30, we were back, which takes me to the chores I men­tioned at the begin­ning of this post. Now it’s late Sun­day night, and hav­ing gone through my mail for work, I see that I have a busy week ahead of me. Oh well. The iVa­ca­tion is def­i­nite­ly over.

3 Replies to “Post MacWorld Reckoning”

  1. Once again your food reviews have my mouth water­ing, David! And before break­fast, yet .…

    Great review of your i‑week. When do you antic­i­pate actu­al­ly being able to uti­lize the iPhone, BTW?

  2. Hi Bob — Not sure what it will take to get the iPhone jail­bro­ken (opened up so you can install new soft­ware) and unlocked here, but my goal is to do so in the safest way (in oth­er words, with the great­est chance of being able to con­tin­ue to use it nor­mal­ly if Rogers or Telus sup­ports it some time in 2008 or 2009. Like many oth­ers, I’m done try­ing to antic­i­pate the date).

    I’d also real­ly like to be able to use it with ver­sion 1.1.3 of the firmware, because that means the phone could tell me where I am on a map (pre­vi­ous ver­sions did not have this fea­ture). It’s not GPS, but rather a data­base of cell tow­ers and Wi-Fi points in the US and Cana­da (yes, Steve Jobs actu­al­ly said ‘Cana­da’ when he intro­duced the fea­ture — crazy when you con­sid­er that there’s no car­ri­er here, but this fea­ture is still sup­posed to work here!).

    So, to make a long sto­ry short, I’ll either have it work­ing very short­ly via some hack, or at the begin­ning of March using the the new Devel­op­er tools, which will make Jail­break­ing a thing of the past. The new tools will allow peo­ple to install new appli­ca­tions on the phone, includ­ing, I hope, some sim­ple appli­ca­tion to let it oper­ate unlocked on for­eign car­ri­ers.

  3. Nice write-up David and wel­come to the world of iPhone

    You’ll have to come over and I can help you ‘in the least destruc­tive’ way 😉

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