Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Valentine Sheep Started

I finally got a bit of a start on the Bent Creek Valentine sheep, "Smitten". Until today I had been reading some unrewarding books. (You can read my LibraryThing reviews to see how boring they were.) So today I decided to go ahead a start this kit while catching up with the tech blogs and their reactions to MacWorld so far. I have to say this is stitching up much faster than Hawaiian Mandala. Is it the bigger count fabric? The simplified design? The fact that there are only a few distinct colors rather than whole flurries of close hues? Whatever, it is relaxing.

And relaxing is just what I need right now. After two days of feeling pretty good, I was again laid low today. I went out for lunch and thought I would catch some more MacWorld this afternoon, especially a talk on Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) and photography. Instead I stayed in and sent my husband, the real photographer, who was very impressed and excited about some of the new features in Leopard. We have been putting off upgrading to Leopard because it finally drops support for System 9 applications. We still have files in that old format. Those old programs already don't work on my newish MacBook Pro, our first Mac with an Intel chipset. For a long while Adobe products were not fully supported on the new Intel chips, so that was another reason for a slow approach to the newer Apple technology. But it is time to update those old files and commit to Leopard.

As far as MacWorld goes, we got off to a very rocky start. The media hasn't reported it as much since they all got preprinted media badges, but the registration system totally failed. The website told us to go to Moscone's South Hall. The West Hall would be closed until after the keynote address was over. I read some live blogs about the keynote, especially Engadget, and was ready to walk over by 10:30 am. The South Hall was deserted. Yes, there were large signs saying "Get Your Preregistered Badges Here", but there were no machines installed and no people handing out any badges there. This was really a problem, since rather than send you your badge in the mail, as has been done for years, they wanted you to pay $25 to do this. So now everyone needed a badge made while they waited and apparently they hadn't staffed for making more than a couple of badges an hour. Back over in the West Hall, there were THOUSANDS of people milling around without a clue. There were no lines, no ropes and stanchions, no organization at all. I got in a bunch, certainly not a line, of people who thought they were waiting for badges. We waited and waited until there started to be some movement towards a desk were badges were being created. No one there seemed to know exactly what they were doing, but somehow they finally made me a badge. Had we been soccer fans we probably would have burned the building down by then. I was very cross since I had mostly missed the one presentation I had wanted to see on Tuesday. I caught the last ten minutes and wandered around the rest of the West Hall. Most of the exhibits there were for music, games, and photography. Although there were a few interesting booths, the most interesting thing on that show floor was the miniature photo studio/lightbox that was meant to be used in shooting small 3D objects. When I told my husband about it, he promptly went and bought it to shoot his collection of tiki mugs.

I then went over to the main South Hall and checked out some of the larger companies' booths. Although I didn't get to my favorite products, like Canon cameras, Filemaker software, and Epson printers; I did buy a bundle of small applications and checked out several speaker systems. I also sat through a very good presentation on Photoshop from an O'Reilly author. Tomorrow I will finish seeing the rest of the South Hall and go to two or three presentations.

People seem to be somewhat disappointed in the Apple announcement at this MacWorld. A friend of mine who writes pirate romances wanted to know about the new MacBook Air. This is what I told her, "Yes, there were lots and lots of Air machines to play with at MacWorld. However, we come from the land of Big Iron. I used to think that a computer that couldn't support 40 simultaneous users was wimpy. Even now the next computer we will buy (in a week or two) will be the newly announced 8-core MacPro with dual Superdrives. Which beats buying a dedicated DVD burner. When you are a Photoshop (and iMovie) geek there can never be enough RAM and never fast enough CPUs. Also interested in the new AppleTV and the Time Capsule." My big Apple announcement came during CES. A faster machine may not be as sexy as an iPhone, but when you depend on software like Photoshop that takes bigger CPUs and more RAM in every version, you can only hope that the hardware guys keep up. Yes, I did download the new iPhone software, so now I can make my icons wiggle and move them around, but that really won't be useful until there are more software applications to run. I am impressed with the new Google Maps application extensions that can now tell where you are (by wifi cross referencing, not GPS) and even shows real time travel flow on major highways. Since we have always been an Apple household, I am just glad our toys are getting better and better.


Itching To Stitch said...

Your Valentine Sheep if off to a good start. I can imagine this must be a piece of cake after working on a Chatelaine.

Your technical knowledge and interest is astounding to me ;)

Ruth said...

Poor, sickie. And worse yet to be caught in a disorganization storm! Man I bet you were seething. Don't you hate it when they should know better and are probably paid very well to know better, but don't?