I Am Joe’s Blog:

January 9, 2006 • 9:59 AM

My Birthday Present

Morgen has the misfortune of having been born on December 25, meaning that her birthday celebrations always get intertwingled with Christmas festivities, so she really doesn’t get a special day all to herself. I have a somewhat lesser, but similar problem: my birthday typically falls during the five days of Macworld Expo. Such is the case this year; today’s my birthday—39, thus putting me, alas, into my late late 30s—and also the opening of the Expo. (Gosh, how time flies—it seems like just a year ago that I turned 38.) This is a mixed blessing: on the plus side, I have numerous friends and colleagues in town for the show, and I’ll get to feed some of them cake and ice cream tonight. On the minus side: I have to clean the house today. One should never have to clean the house on one’s own birthday.

As usual, the rumors have been flying about what Steve Jobs might introduce at his keynote address tomorrow morning. Will we see the first Intel Macs (my guess: no), new iPods (my guess: probably), or iLife ’06 (my guess: inevitably)? I find myself feeling strangely indifferent about all these things. I’m not in the market for a new Mac right now, I’ve become numbed to the endless iPod releases, and I’ll upgrade my copy of iLife to the next version, whenever it comes out and whatever its features are, because I always do. But what I am counting on for tomorrow, with a mixture of anxiety and anticipation, is that Steve will, for the umpteenth time, announce something that makes one or more of my books obsolete.

Intriguingly, this post on MacMinute this morning pointed out that there’s a message in the lower-left corner of the Mac.com home page stating that all .Mac services will be down from 7 a.m. through noon tomorrow. Apple always takes the Apple Store offline during the keynotes when there’s a new hardware announcement, so if I were a betting man, I’d wager that some significant changes to .Mac will be announced tomorrow. Thus, chances are that the (e)book that will be urgently in need of an update as of noon tomorrow (yet again!) will be Take Control of .Mac. I don’t have the remotest idea what changes may be in store, but whatever they are, they’re sure to make my life interesting for the next few weeks.

So I guess that’s going to be my birthday present from Apple this year: another rewrite. Gee…thanks! But really, next time just send me an iPod. That’s much easier to wrap.