Archive for the 'News' Category

January 18th, 2012

Speaking at Macworld | iWorld 2012

The conference formerly known as “Macworld Expo”—and then, very briefly, simply as “Macworld”—is back this year as Macworld | iWorld 2012, running from January 26–28 in San Francisco. I am honored to have been selected as a speaker, and I’m looking forward to the show immensely. If you’re planning to attend, I hope you’ll consider dropping in on my talks. I’ve been working very hard to put together presentations that are both interesting and entertaining—a good time will be had by all.

Here’s what’s on my docket:

  • Getting to Know Siri (TT902)—Thursday, January 26, 10:00 a.m.
    In this session, I won’t be doing all the talking—I’ll be joined on stage by my virtual assistant, Siri! The voice-controlled intelligent assistant capability in Apple’s iPhone 4S has made my own life quite a bit easier, and even though it’s still officially in beta, it has become an indispensable tool for a great many people. Together we’ll show you what Siri can do out of the box; explore tips, tricks, and hacks to extend Siri’s capabilities; and have some fun with Siri’s lighter side. I’ll also talk about my expectations, hopes, and dreams for Siri’s future.

  • Unitasking in the Apple Ecosystem (TT937)—Thursday, January 26, 2:00 p.m.
We all know what multitasking is—doing (or trying to do) several things at once. Computers are great at multitasking, but humans turn out to be a lot less efficient (not to mention unhappier) when they multitask. What’s the solution? Why, unitasking, of course! In this talk, I’ll explain how you can increase your productivity and reduce stress by concentrating on just one task at a time. But wait…exactly what is a “task,” anyway? Although you may think that’s self-evident, programmers tend to have a very different idea about what a task is than the rest of us. The result has been products that, paradoxically, make it harder to accomplish one task at a time, even while appearing to make it easier! I’ll untangle this curious mess and show you some of the ways your Mac and iOS devices can help you become a better unitasker. Bonus: In a feat never before seen at Macworld, I will personally attempt to perform as many as six tasks at the same time. Wish me luck!

    I did a video interview about the above two sessions with Chuck Joiner for MacVoices TV, which I think should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect. (Update: link added)

  • Umpteenth Annual Netters’ Dinner—Thursday, January 26, 6:30 p.m.
    Back in the day, this was a get-together for networking geeks—you know, like people who were actually on the internet (or one of its predecessors). I remember when hundreds of people would walk across the city in a truly impressive crowd, cram into the big upstairs banquet room at the Hunan on Broadway at Sansome, and enjoy extremely average Chinese food (they always claim it’s going to be hot and spicy, but it never is) along with excellent conversation. Last time I checked, only ten people had registered for this year, all of us old-timers who seem bent on keeping the event alive for purely nostalgic reasons. But, you know, we’d love to have more company, and anyone—geek or not—would be entirely welcome. Food, drink, and conversation with smart people—what more do you need? Be sure to read the instructions for where to go and when.

  • Ebook Publishing Panel with Chris Breen (Macworld Live Stage)—Saturday, January 28, 11:00 a.m.
In this panel discussion, I’ll join Adam Engst, Tonya Engst, Jeff Carlson, Glenn Fleishman, Michael Cohen, and moderator Chris Breen (Macworld Senior Editor) to discuss the past, present, and future of ebook publishing.

Even if you don’t make it to any of these events, if you happen to be at the show, please keep an eye out for me and say hello. I’ll be the guy with the iPhone.

Morgen, Soren, and I are all making the transatlantic trek to San Francisco, and we’ve arranged to spend some extra time in town both before and after the conference to hang out with friends and family, eat plenty of spicy food, and enjoy some R&R. Then it’s back to Paris, where my February calendar is already overbooked with the usual array of projects.

March 28th, 2011

Care to Join Me for a Cruise?

Hey, are you busy a year from next month? Care to join me for a cruise…and a tour of CERN?

I’ll be a featured speaker on the MacMania 14 cruise, which will run from April 12–19, 2012. This is the first time MacMania is doing a river cruise, and it sounds fantastic: leave from Amsterdam and follow the Rhine through Germany (and, eventually, along the French border), with stops in such interesting locations as Cologne and Strasbourg. The cruise ends in Basel, after which you can opt for an add-on tour of CERN in Geneva (I’m so there!) or a few days exploring Paris (I’m, uh, already there). The classes I conduct will cover both Macs and iOS devices, with a special emphasis on the iPad. (By the way, if you read the descriptions of my sessions, you may be able to find a subtle clue as to the subject of my next Take Control book.) Other MacMania 14 speakers are Josimar King and Chris Marquardt.

But wait, there’s more! This particular cruise happens to share the same ship and itinerary as the Bright Horizons 12 cruise, sponsored by Scientific American. So you can also attend seminars on astronomy, neuroscience, and other fascinating scientific topics.

The cruise and its various add-ons are, as these things tend to be, on the pricey side, but I think it’ll be money extremely well spent. Start saving your pennies (or centimes) now.

A good time will be had by all; I hope you’ll join us!

March 20th, 2011

Tweeting an Entire Ebook: Take Control of Your Paperless Office

Well, I’m doing something kind of crazy: I’m tweeting the complete text of one of my ebooks! That’s right, the entire contents of Take Control of Your Paperless Office is about to be released for free—in plain text, one 140-character segment at a time. You can watch the exciting drama unfold in real time (at the rate of one tweet every 15 minutes) by following @zapmypaper on Twitter. It’ll take 17 days to tweet the whole 118-page ebook, but anyone who’s sufficiently motivated (or crazy) can read the whole thing on the Twitter Web site or via their favorite client. For those who would rather read the book in a more conventional format, Take Control is offering the book at a 30% discount for the duration of this project.

In my ebook, I talk about scanning paper documents and then shredding the originals. So this is my attempt to “shred” an ebook via Twitter—and the first time I know of that anyone has tried to do anything quite like this. I don’t know if this is going to turn out to be the best idea ever or a complete waste of time, but either way, it should be entertaining.

I wrote up a separate page detailing how I’m pulling this off, and talking about things like special styles I use to give Twitter followers some sense of the original style and structure of the ebook. You can read all the gory details at Tweeting an Ebook.

The tweeting commences at noon Eastern time on Monday, March 21, 2011. I hope you’ll join me at @zapmypaper and help spread the word!

March 17th, 2011

Joe Talks Backups on MacVoicesTV

Over the years I’ve done lots and lots of podcast interviews about various things I’ve written, and I’ve become one of the more frequent guests on MacVoices, hosted by Chuck Joiner. Now Chuck is moving more into video with MacVoicesTV, and as a result our most recent interview is available in either video format (embedded below) or audio format. In this episode we talk about the latest versions of my two Take Control ebooks about backups—Take Control of Mac OS X Backups and Take Control of Easy Mac Backups.

Due to bandwidth constraints and the limitations of my Mac’s built-in iSight camera, the video on my side is a bit choppy in places, and the sound is slightly out of sync. We discussed how to improve this next time (I’ll try to obtain a better camera; we’ll also do simultaneous recording on both ends and then edit together the footage), but it’s passable as is. Now I need to work on my video presence—I can see that years of doing audio-only interviews have led to some bad habits. And with some luck, we’ll move to a larger apartment in a few months so we can get that playpen out of the background!