I'm home from Macworld. I've slept more than seven hours. I want to review some of the cool products I saw at the show. But before I do, I will add my two cents worth to the discussion about the future of Macworld.
I think it should continue. I hope it will continue. I think it can be perfectly valuable without the presence of Apple as long as the rest of the participants continue to come.
At first reading that might sound a bit trite, but personally I never visit the Apple booth at the show. I can see all that stuff when I get back home. I want to see all the new stuff that I can't see anywhere else. I want to meet the people who write the books I read, talk to the people who develope the software I use, and make contacts that will help me in the future.
As Paul Kent, a Vice President with IDG, the company that actually puts on the event pointed out, 90% of what we see in the trade show is not available in the Apple stores. And that doesn't cover all the training that takes place, some of it free from the vendors themselves.
You can register right now for the Macworld 2010 tradeshow for free. Obviously, this is an effort on behalf of IDG to assure vendors that plenty of people will be attending next year's show, which will be held January 4 through 8, 2010 in San Francisco.
The following products are presented in no particular order. More will be covered in my next column as well.
Back-up Battery For iPhone and iPod
The RichardSolo 1200 Back-up Battery for the iPod or iPhone works for everything except the iPod Shuffle. It charges from either a USB port or a wall charger that is included. It is very small: 3x2x.5-inches and it snaps into your iPhone or iPod when your battery is low (like when you are stuck in the LA airport 4.5 hours and play games on your iPhone because you are bored.) This is not a brand new product and they have an additional version of it, the 1800, that is even more powerful, but for the average user the 1200 is more than sufficient. The suggested retail price is US$49.95. You can find it at the Web site.
BudFits by Innovilis are a new product. Only $8.99, they are soft rubber pieces that fit over your ears and hold the standard issue iPod earbuds in place. See the image below to see how they work. You don't have to stuff anything in your ear canal, and according to the company, they hold the buds in place during physical activity, including running. They come in white, clear, and black.
Verbatim's Musical Keyboard
Verbatim was demonstrating a keyboard that contains an integrated dual speaker system that offers stereo sound and backlighting. It also offers built-in sound controls (muting, volume adjustment, play pause, and stop, and previous and next track control.) Another feature is a mini-microphone that is compatible with Skype. Microphone and earphone jacks are included on the back of the keyboard. It requires Mac OS X 10.4 or greater, and is priced at $79.99. People with small desk spaces, dorm rooms, or any other small work areas should definitely give this a look.
Ladies Only Laptop Cases
If you want style and class in your laptop cases you absolutely must take a look at those offered by Clark & Mayfield. My favorite at the show was the red leather rolling case shown below. It will not be available until the Spring, but it is worth waiting for if you want to make a statement. The case comes in red and black, holds any laptop up to 17 inches. It is priced at $299. If you can't wait, there are several other equally fine cases on their web site. Drooling is allowed.
Clark & Mayfield Raleigh Rolling 17-inch Case
Slim Blade Track Ball
Kensington has a good reputation for the quality of its products and its latest product introduction at Macworld Expo should further enhance it. It is a new ultra track ball called the Slim Blade that should grab the attention of any track ball fan. The ball itself has the look and feel of marble, but the secret "ingredient," for lack of a better term, is the fact that the ball rests on three points that are made of rubies. The staff at the show stated that these points will never wear out. You can get more information about this product, which is priced at $129.99, at the Kensington Web site.
Helpful tips for beginners can be found in my beginners manual, Tips, Hints, and Solutions For Seasoned Beginners Using Apple Macintosh Computers With Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5.
The entire Table of Contents and a sample page are available for free review for anyone who wishes to see them.
I am making this book available in three formats:
|The first is the more traditional printed book format, spiral bound. Cost is U.S. $17.15 each, plus shipping. All the illustrations have been printed in black and white to reduce the purchase price.|
|The second option is a PDF download version. This is the full version of the book available in the same format as that available in the free review The contents are hyperlinked from the Table of Contents for ease of location. This version is U.S. $9.85 After payment has been verified the purchaser will be sent a URL where they can download of the document.|
|The third option is a CD format. It is the PDF version saved to a CD and the contents are also hyperlinked from the Table of Contents for ease of location. This version is $10.85 plus shipping.|
Payment for any version must be made using PayPal. Clicking on the Buy Now button next to the version you want to purchase will take you directly to PayPal where you can place your order and make your payment. Payment can be made through PayPal even if you are not a PayPal member.
Anyone wishing to pay with a money order or cashier check may contact me through TMO.