What Stood Out at MacWorld

I got a chance to go up to MacWorld for the day and enjoyed several hours of walking the floor, watching demos and listening to pitches and seeing slick Apple products. I was keeping my eye out for a simple leather flip case for my wife's iPhone and came tantalizingly close but didn't secure the exactly specified unit despite my best efforts.

Not everything was specific to Apple products but, obviously, the vast majority of things were. Which meant that I was a pretty happy little geek. There were some pretty neat booths but the overall feel of the show was muted compared to last year. Maybe that's because I went earlier in the week last year but things were less frenzied and the crowd was definitely smaller. Both of which were good things.

My favorite demo of the day was the last one I saw just before I headed off the show floor. It was at the Zagg booth, makers of a protection screen called invisibleShield. The guy pulled his iPhone out of his pocket and pulled his keys out of another pocket and proceeded to rake the keys across the back of the phone. No marks were made. He turned it over and proceeded to rake the keys across the screen. No marks were made. Very, very cool. The 50% off coupon certainly didn't hurt in the least. And yes, I am putting in an order for not one but two so that both my and my wife's iPhones will be protected without the extra bulk that my iGriffin clear case has.

I watched some neat photo magic at a couple of booths, Topaz Labs and a company showing off a product called Instant Photo Studio (I thought that was the company's name but was wrong). Both had some pretty slick software. Topaz Labs was taking basically worthless photos and magically pulling information out of them to create viewable and decent photos. I.e. if a picture was too dark then it could be lightened up so that features could be seen. Instant Photo Studio had, you guessed, a portable studio set up to take product photos on site with a white box, two lights and a nice stabilized mono-pod for the camera. But the software package was even cooler. It was able to quickly and simply extract a portion of an image out, even from a many colored background. And the "grab" process was simple, just draw a line on the part of the image you want and the software does its own magic lasso act.

The BusyCal booth was another interesting stop for me as I spent yesterday trying to export a Palm calendar into Entourage 2008 and had to do create my own little workaround to get it to work correctly. I didn't get a demo but I did get some literature and will likely get more info down the road.

LightSpeed's XSilva had an interesting set up and I stopped by to see what they were about. They are an integrated retail POS system including inventory control, accounting and some nice iPhone reporting integration as well as online store management for virtual shops. It might be just the thing to take the heavy lifting out of running my wife's shop. We'll have to see.

I did not win the slick data transfer cable at the Targus raffle but the gent at the Dermis booth was good enough to give me a set of nice ear buds.

I stopped in Los Gatos on the way home to get a bite to eat at the Pizza My Heart just up the street from the Apple Store. The pizza was abso-freakin'-lutely awesome and not just because I was really hungry. And the stop at the Apple Store is always good too. The accessories are expensive but, in speaking with an Apple salesman, I got recommended to check out Monoprice.com for some good deals on things.

It was a good day overall and I'm glad I was able to take the time to get up to San Francisco and take it all in. But my feet are tired from all the walking and its late now so I'm packing it in and calling it a night.
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