Geek fest: Week 1

I’m writing this post while sitting on a plane headed to Portland, OR. In a little while I’ll be meeting fellow MVP Diane Ross and former MVP Allen Watson. We’re driving to Redmond for this year’s MVP Summit at Microsoft.

Flying is a wonderful time for me to catch up, reflect and look into new things, which is what I’m doing now. Beneath the iPhone in my hand are two issues of iPhone Life magazine, which I discovered at the Macworld Expo last week. I’m enjoying reading it and considering asking if i can write for it as well.

Last week’s Expo was my third to attend, but it was the first where I actually presented a session. Nadyne Richmond from Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit and I presented “Administering Macs with Exchange” as part of the MacIT conference where we covered Exchange tips as well as Entourage troubleshooting. We had no idea what to expect for attendance, but Nadyne did a quick head count—52 people. A sizable group for a topic so specific.

More of my time was spent answeing questions in the Microsoft booth about the new version of Office for Mac to be released later this year. Lots of folks wanted to know about Outlook replacing Entourage and I wish I had had this next week come first so I could’ve answered them better. Maybe this is for the better since all this talk will be under NDA anyway.

Several months back I heard a saying that “Facebook is for friends you’ve met and Twitter is for friends you’ve yet to meet.” I believe that. I met face-to-face for the first time three folks I’ve known at least a year only online. Two are prominant bloggers/podcasters and the third was my publisher at MacTech magazine. To add a warm handshake to those relationships was really nice.

So what did I see at Macworld? My favorite area had to be the iPhone apps area where each 4×4 table accommodated four app vendors. I think the area had at least 20-25 tables. I saw several gems there including two apps for creating and editing Office documents. Just Word and Excel.

Finally, I’ve found an app for grocery shopping that includes a barcode scanner! It won’t be available for a few weeks. The app is pending Apple’s approval process now. Can’t wait!

I now have an app to take a picture of business cards and convert them to electronic contacts, which is handy. However, if a person has an iPhone then I’m going to insist he download Bump to transfer contacts more easily.

I reget not attending either of the two big parties. My nerves from before the presentation really drained me. Surprisingly, once I was on stage I thought it went really well. One of the attendees stopped by the booth the next day and said something to the effect of, “I went into the session with low expectations but came out thinking it was once of the best sessions this year.” Made my day.

So this week I get to see quite a few old friends at the MVP summit and see sooper sekrit stuff I can’t share here. This is a good month for a geek like me.

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