MacWorld 2007

I lucked out and was able to attend for a couple hours today. It’s the first Apple trade show I’ve been to in about 15 years and was just as much fun and a LOT bigger. There were a ton of vendors and quite a few caught my eye.

Software Bisque is about to bring out a port of their The Sky package and I will be buying it when it’s available. The demo they had running looked great and I can’t wait to have a native Mac based astronomy package. That only leaves the Garmin GPS holding me to Windows.

I also picked up a Tough Skin iPod case from Speck Products because the show discount was so good. It’s a great case, and covers up everything possible, including the screen. The controls and data ports are all still available and the thickness of the case doesn’t impair them at all.

Canon also had a big booth set up showing off all of their wares. I got a chance to play with the macro lens I’ve been looking at picking up and it’s now at the top of my list.

All in all it was a lot of fun and if I’m in town the same time next year I’ll more than likely attend.


On the way back from San Francisco I finished off Omega, by Jack McDevitt. Once again I’ve managed to jump in to the middle of a set of books. They’re all set in the same universe and have some of the same characters, but it does stand alone just fine.

Humanity has encountered a primitive alien race which is threatened by certain extinction by a poorly understood artifact of unknown origin. Ultimately it’s the story of a group of people’s struggle to understand that race and save them.

I’ve really become a fan of Mr. McDevitt’s work because he really knows how to craft a believable, consistent universe. While his books are science fiction through and through, they are also studies in human (and non-human) interaction.


Since I was staying over the weekend in San Francisco I decided to visit Alcatraz island. It’s only about a mile and a half off shore and is easy to reach via a ferry. Just in case you’re thinking of going, make sure to follow the link from the National Park Service site since it’s the only company which has permission to land at the island. The others will circle around but can’t land.

The island and prison are really interesting. There’s a good audio tour to go along with the site with insights from both former guards and former inmates. The prison and grounds aren’t in pristine condition, but were left more or less in the shape they’ve decayed to over the last 40 or so years, including the graffiti left during the Native American occupation in the late 1960s.

Overall the tour was great, and the gift shop has a lot of cool stuff. I even got a copy of Alcatraz: A Definitive History of the Penitentiary Years and got it signed by the author, who was there for the day.