#131 MacWorld Expo

Netflix doesn’t work on the Mac, but they’re not the enemy, SpinRite testimonial from Donald and grc.com. Macworld Podcasters meetup, the mac Mixer, interview with educators Joe & Regina, Al meets John C. Dvorak (dvorak.org/blog), Bart & Al discuss the actual MacWorld announcements.

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[tags]Macintosh, podcast, Tivo, MacWorld, Dvorak [/tags] Today is Sunday, January 20th, 2008 and this is show #131.

Well I’m back from a whirlwind one day trip to MacWorld, but let’s get some business done here first!

Chris Morrison wrote in an interesting note:

Here’s a little tidbit for you and your listeners directly from the Q&A section of Netflix. Given the Apple TV announcement I wonder what will happen.
Love the show, Chris

Q: Can I watch movies instantly on my Macintosh?
A: Currently the Netflix Movie Viewer requires Internet Explorer Version 6 or later running on Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Vista. We’re required to use Digital Rights Management to protect movies watched instantly online, and right now we only have approval for this protection on Windows Operating systems, not the Mac.

Apple does not license their DRM solution to third parties, which has made this more difficult, but we are working with the studios and content owners to gain approval for other solutions. As soon as a studio-approved DRM for the Mac is available to us, whether from Apple or another source, we will move quickly to provide a movie viewer that enables you to watch movies from Netflix instantly on your Mac.

Hey thanks Chris! I actually feel a little bit of sympathy for people like Netflix – they did a good job of saying “they won’t let us!” which I believe to be true. Perfect example – I bought a Roku Sound Bridge to stream my audio from my macs to my TV. turns out if I had just stolen my music, this would have worked, but since I bought my content on iTunes, I could not. Windows DRM WAS supported, but of course I didn’t have any of that. Obviously Roku would have done it if they could have, sounds like Apple blocked them out like they did Netflix.

I think that Steve Jobs in charge of a monopoly is at LEAST as scary as Bill Gates in charge of a monopoly!

Tivo Hard Disk
Donald Burr of Otaku no Podcast wrote in with another suggestion for how I could have solved my Tivo hard drive failure. He suggested that i should check out SpinRite, the hard drive recovery software from Steve Gibson of Security Now! Here’s a little bit of what Donald explained: “Basically, Spinrite is a complete drive recovery and health maintenance program. It will go through a hard drive’s sectors, find any damaged areas, and attempt to recover them, and bring the drive into working order. And it does this EXTREMELY well. It has personally saved my bacon on more than one occasion, and I’m not the only one who sings its praises – just check out their Testimonials page on grc.com.

he gave me a lot more information, but basically it works on any drive with any operating system installed on that drive, but you do need a Windows PC to run SpinRite. So I could have taken the Tivo-formatted drive out of the Tivo and slapped it into a PC to run Spinrite on it.

onald signed his email “NOT an employee of Steve Gibson, Leo Laporte, GRC (Steve’s company), or any of their advertisers, etc. I don’t even know them socially! I’m just an extremely happy and satisfied customer.” thanks Donald for a great suggestion! SpinRite only costs $89, which I don’t think is a very high price at all considering you could be talking about precious data.

entire panelThe main reason I went up to MacWorld was to go to the Podcasters Meetup on Thursday night. that was a lot of fun – there was a podcaster panel that was pretty fun to listen to, and of course i got up to the open mic and played around with them too. The panel was getting a bit cranky arguing with each other, so I jumped in and asked them each to describe their “ah-ha!” moment in podcasting – that moment when they realized how cool and fun this was going to be. I retold my story of how when I first started I did 4 or 5 shows and then stopped, and a few weeks later listener Neil wrote in and said, “hey, where’s the ‘cast?” They all seemed to enjoy reminiscing about the magic moment for them, and I think it got them back into the groove of having fun. If you’d like to hear the entire panel discussion, keep an eye on the MacCast and the Typical Mac User podcast, they should both be posting the audio soon.

Al, David, Victor, Katie & DonI had a great time all day playing with my podcasting buddies, Victor from the Typical Mac User, Don McCallister from screencastsonline.com, Ken Ray from macosken.com and Adam Christianson of the maccast.com. I also enjoyed meeting some of my buddies for the first time – David Sparks from macsparky.com, Katie from the themaccore.com and Jonathan Cost of Mac Tips Daily at thinkmac.net. It’s fun to finally meet people that you’ve talked to for ages!

After the panel discussion, there was a Mac Mingle which was really fun. What blew me away the most was having strangers walk up to me and say “Hey, I’m a fan of your show!” It was so enjoyable meeting James, and Timothy and Regina. I should mention that before I left for MacWorld, I dithered back and forth on whether I should bring my OLPC with me – you know, the One Laptop Per Child. I thought people at the show might be interested. Well, I’m SO glad I did bring it, because when i opened it up on the show floor and at the Mac mixer, it was like moths to a flame! People loved playing with it and really enjoyed talking about what the OLPC organization is trying to accomplish. To a person they were shocked at how small it was, and all but one person seemed to really “get” the idea. one guy on the show floor was totally in my face though, practically yelling at me asking why we can’t have them here for us. Um, cuz we have laptops? Um, cuz we have electricity and money and technology? Oh well, they can’t all be winners, right?

At the Mac mixer I met two really interesting people Joseph Bustillos and Regina Wagner, who are both educators in California. Joseph teaches middle school while Regina teaches high school. I thought they were both fascinating, and we bonded over the fact that we all bought the OLPC. We talked for hours, and at one point I whipped out my Zoom H2 recorder and recorded some of our conversation. Considering the fact that we were in a bar with about 150 people eating and drinking and talking and laughing, I think the H2 did an AMAZING job of recording our voices. I didn’t shove it quite far enough into Regina’s face so she’s a bit quieter, but I hope you can still hear enough of the conversation to enjoy it.

=============INSERT JOE & REGINA=====—–

I’d sure like it if Joe and Regina would write to me – love to hear from you guys since I didn’t get your contact information!

I did some more recording on the show floor, but there’s not enough time to play them this week. As a teaser I’ll tell you that one interview was with Jean MacDonald of Smile on My Mac talking about DiscLabel, their software for creating nice labels for your CDs and DVDs. I’m going to be doing a review of the software too because it looks pretty darn cool.

I also have a treat for Sam Caldwell of the Windows 2 Apples podcast. As you might remember, he likes speech to text software, and was extremely disappointed with the iListen software which is the only option available on the Mac. iListen is written by the folks at MacSpeech, and at the show Cindy was demonstrating their new software called Dictate. Dictate is built on the Dragon engine, which is the basis for Dragon Naturally Speaking, the fantastic speech to text software that’s Windows only. Cindy’s demo was very intriguing so I hope you’ll enjoy listening to the interview next week.

John C Dvorak with AllisonBefore we kick in with Chit Chat Across the Pond where Bart and I discuss the various products announced during the Keynote, I wanted to tell you about the most exciting thing that happened at the show – I met John C. Dvorak! I was wandering the show floor and i saw this guy holding up a camera way above his head and walking. I recognized him and said, “John, what the heck are you doing?” He told me he was doing a little movie, and then we chatted a bit about his show Cranky Geeks, which as I told him is the only video podcast I regularly watch. We chatted for a bit and then he graciously accepted my podcast business card (can’t skip a chance to plug the show you know!) anyway, it was great fun and he was delightful.

I posted a link in the shownotes (and the right sidebar) to my photos of MacWorld, hope you like them! I took all but one of the photos with my new Sigma f/1.4 fixed 28mm focal length lens and I never needed a flash! they came out really good! I think you might get a kick out of the last photo – it’s a high res version of the panorama I took of the crowd. Technically interesting as somehow the HP Panorama Stitching software created a panorama in which I haven’t found any errors! I didn’t look super carefully, but it’s really pretty amazing – I mean nobody has two heads, or a half of a head or anything like that. If you click on the photo and then click it again, all 17MB of it will come on screen – pretty fun! Maybe if you were there you can find yourself in the crowd!

Chit Chat Across the Pond
It’s time for another exciting episode of Chit Chat Across the Pond with Bart Buschotts from bartbusschots.ie/blog. today’s topics:

Al – lots to talk about from MacWorld, but first we have to eat our vegetables

Bart – Quicktime RTSP issue – Time to batton down the hatches again, another QT RTSP issue and it’s NOT patched by yesterday’s upate 🙁
Source: securosis.com
Follow Bart’s easy instructions from show 124

Macworld Intro
Allison – we didn’t go up for the keynote, but luckily Victor Cajiao from the typicalmacuser.com was there and chatted both of us through the whole thing. Very civilized way to enjoy it I thought.
Bart – Was less fun because the rumours were all true. But when you think about it, was a great keynote, the surprise was just ruined 🙁

MacBook Air
Bart – A real technical marvel – pushing beyond where I thought the limits lay
Ahead of it’s time – no Optical drive, cool wireless remote disk thingy
Fantastic second mac for “road warriors” or people who fly a lot (backlit KB really comes into it’s own on planes) – TERRIBLE only Mac.
Allison – Actually got to touch one – see pic in shownotes – asked the guy if you could get a papercut. Agree with Bart, not necessary for me, but man it’s cool
why do people get so excited about the backlit keyboard?

AppleTV + Movie rentals
Bart – Movie Rentals from all major studios at a fair price
New Apple TV is a real improvement – no need for a Computer anymore!
This is a game-changer. It will change movies as much as the iTunes store changed music
Wish we had it in Europe 🙁 – though Steve did explicitly say he wants to go international this year
Allison – I was leaning towards a PS3 now that Blu-ray beat out HD, but maybe this is all you really need?
Like that it has podcasting, but the directory only shows the big guys – for anything but the top 25 in a genre you have to search by name. Can save as favorites tho. Very “Tivo-like” in it’s interface.

Time Capsule
Allison – An Airport Extreme with built in 500GB or 1TB server hard drive, does 802.11n
I think this is a marvelous idea, because I keep coming up with all these multiple solutions for backing up the different computers. Would be nice to have one only. Pricing is very good – 500GB drive and 802.11n router for $300. Added up the components and that’s less than it would cost me to buy both separately, much less with the integration of Time Machine.
Bart – Mock Allison for saying she could never get time machine to work
Seems like a fair price for a good product
Leaves us in limbo with regard to USB drives plugged into aiports – some people not so happy about that

iPod Touch Upgrade
Bart – This really made the keynote for me – instant gratification
Gives us five apps, plus editable home screen and VPN – now have Wifi Access from home and work
Simply love Mail
20 dollars to turn an iPod into an iPod + PDA seems really good value to me
Apple had to charge – sarbanes oxley … people seem to want something for nothing
Allison- new Map feature to find yourself
Cell triangulation from Google + WiFi triangulation from SkyHooks
Worked fantastically in SF
Half-works on Touch, only has SkyHooks
Should Rose buy a Touch or wait? – Bart says go for it, could be waiting for ever and the new Touch is very feature-rich

It’s time to wrap up the show for this week, thanks again for all the great feedback you’ve been mailing to [email protected], keep it up! comments are rolling in like crazy on the blog too – I love it! Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

16 thoughts on “#131 MacWorld Expo

  1. Drew - January 21, 2008

    Hi Allison,

    I’ve got to disagree with you about Netflix being hampered by Apple’s non-participation in helping them with DRM. I think it is simply a lack of motivation on Netflix’s part. Other companies have streaming video that works on Macintosh. Hulu.com is perhaps the best example.

    That said, I have an old PC hooked up to our HDTV for the sole purpose of watching Netflix. I’ve viewed Heroes, Red Dwarf, Alfred Hitchcock and many other programs. As soon as Mac compatibility arrives, the PC departs.

    Keep up the good work, I always move your podcast to the top of my playlist!


  2. Jane - January 21, 2008

    Hi Allison

    Like Rose, I also live in Australia and feel deprived by the lack of attention that Apple pays to this continent 😉
    I was lucky enough to get my iPod Touch as soon as they landed in this country and think it’s a wonderful device, especially with the recent upgrade. Unfortunately a near-total absence of free wifi in Perth, (Western Australia) means that I only get the best out of the Touch when at home or at work, but it’s still a great device. Rose – Go get yourself an iPod Touch now, as goodness knows how long we’ll have to wait for the iPhone to arrive here!

  3. Jane - January 21, 2008

    Loved the photos of MacWorld, It’s great to now be able to put faces to the voices we listen to on the various podcasts.

  4. podfeet - January 21, 2008

    How fun to get to talk to another Aussie! (did I spell that right?) I think between you and Bart you’ll push Rose over the edge. I know Australia is a huge country, is Perth anywhere near Hobart?

    glad you like the pics – we had a great time!

  5. rose - January 22, 2008

    and you spelt Aussie right. Bet ya don’t say it right. It sounds like Ozzie. And I think I’m off to the Apple Centre to touch a touch tomorrow.

  6. rose - January 22, 2008

    Perth to Hobart 4,117 km – about 2 days 11 hours
    and I don’t think that counts the boat trip across the Bass Straight.

  7. podfeet - January 22, 2008

    so you and Jane can just hang out then?

  8. Regina - January 22, 2008

    Hi Allison! What a great pleasure to chat with you at Macworld. Kind of funny to think that the little xo is really what brought me to your podcast and meeting you. The Podcast Meetup was a highlight for me. To meet some of the folks that I listen to on a weekly basis was a blast. I look forward to listening to the nosillacast on a regular basis. 🙂

  9. podfeet - January 22, 2008

    Yay – you wrote in! I was really hoping you would so we could keep in touch. I had a blast with you too – hope I didn’t monopolize your time too much. You and Joseph were so interesting! i really do mean it that I’d like to come to your class some time and chat up the whole tech thing. I have every other Friday off so i could easily come out on a school day that way.

  10. Jane - January 23, 2008

    Yep, not much chance of bumping into Rose down the local supermarket!!
    So Rose, did you give in to its mystical allure and buy the Touch?
    One feature i’d like to see on the new Touch apps is an number indicator on the Notes icon, same as exists on the Mail app, as a homepage reminder that you’ve written yourself a note and/or how many notes there are.

    Love the way it slowly mutes the audio and beeps once when an email comes in, it saves having to go back to the computer to check for emails when i’m listening to podcasts on Touch.

  11. Neil - January 23, 2008

    I’m famous… I’m famous… I saved the Nosillacast…
    Like Jeanie Porshe, who saved Christmas. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fupFba-_7-M


  12. podfeet - January 24, 2008

    yup – I’ve managed to drag out your 30 seconds of fame into two and a half years of fame!

  13. joe bustillos - February 10, 2008

    Hey Allison,
    I’m sorry that it’s taken so long to write you back with my contact info, and not so sure whether I should write this here or just send a genuine e-mail-type-thing. Anyway, I’ve been up to my eyeballs catching up with all the work that piled up while I was at MacWorld, specifically my school’s yearbook. I’ve finally caught up. Yeah!

    I’m still a podcasting-virgin but I’m talking about doing an EdTech podcast with a friend in Madison WI who I got to know when we were both working on our MA in EdTech @ Pepperdine. Busy, busy, busy.

    Finally, I’m still trying to get my OLPC to run on my WPA wireless and after an evening of working with terminal commands I made no progress. Any suggestions? Hope to hear from you soon… jbb

  14. podfeet - February 10, 2008

    Joe – so glad to hear from you finally? did you hear your 15 seconds of fame? Hope you liked it.

    There IS a trick on how to do WPA on the OLPC. Once you follow the instructions here:
    which I assume you already did, Sometimes you have to change the channel on your router. No clue why this makes a difference, but it fixed it for me. For some reason putting the wireless router on channel 1 seems to make all things happy.

  15. debbie T - February 23, 2008

    Hey Alison!
    I haven’t been here in ages! I miss you! I haven’t had time to catch up on the audio, so I am glad to be able to read your notes.

    Wanted to mention that the link to your Macworld photos above is incorrect. I found the correct link in your side bar


  16. podfeet - February 23, 2008

    glad to hear from you again Debbie! the notes sure make people happy. I don’t write much up for Chit Chat Across the Pond with Bart so that’s the bonus if you listen!

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