Macworld | iWorld — the awkward new name for the venerable trade show and conference — is nearly upon us. From 26 January 2012 to 28 January 2012, you’ll find TidBITS staffers among the thousands of attendees at the Moscone Center’s West Hall in San Francisco. Here’s a list of what we’ll be up to — we’ll update this article with any changes that take place before the show starts.
Thursday, 26 January -- Along with the expo floor opening, a number of TidBITS staffers have talks on Thursday.
10:00 AM: Joe Kissell offers Siri secrets in a session designed to show how far Apple’s voice-processing technology can take you — and how far it still has to go. Joe has advice for how to make Siri jump through all kinds of interesting hoops, including interacting with your Mac and other devices. He also shows Siri’s lighter side, and discusses where Siri may be headed in the future.
11:00 AM: Glenn Fleishman interviews Susan Orlean, New Yorker staff writer and author of “The Orchid Thief,” on the main stage. Orlean is best known for her long-form non-fiction, but she’s slowly become a real tech geek as well, garnering over 200,000 Twitter followers and becoming an early adopter. Glenn talks to Orlean about how she uses technology in her work, and how Twitter helped her write her latest book, “Rin Tin Tin,” about the Hollywood dog star. (She should be available briefly afterwards to sign books.)
1:00 PM: Tonya Engst joins host Chuck Joiner and other panelists in Parenting in the Mobile Internet Age, a group discussion about parenting dilemmas and victories with texting, screen time, Facebook, Minecraft, and more.
2:00 PM: Joe Kissell discusses unitasking — you know, the opposite of multitasking — with Macs and iOS devices, including surprising facts about how computers and humans handle multiple tasks. He shows how unitasking can make you much more productive, and how to pull it off. Joe also discusses how current Apple technology that seems to facilitate unitasking often, ironically, does just the opposite (and what to do about it).
2:00 PM: Glenn Fleishman and Lex Friedman talk about how to work while standing and walking. Yes, they talk the walk from their experiences in making a transition from sitting all day to a combination of sitting, standing, and walking on a treadmill. Glenn and Lex spoke to Chuck Joiner in a preview of their session for MacVoices.
5:00 PM: Many of us will be meeting in Moscone West under the escalators on the first floor, in preparation for the annual Netters’ Dinner. At 5:30, we’ll all perambulate to the Hunan at Sansome and Broadway, where the hot and spicy Chinese dinner (vegetarian dishes are available) costs $20. You must register in advance by Tuesday, January 24th, via Kagi; the link has all the details. Jon Pugh will once again be hosting, and it promises to be another great night of food and conversation.
Friday, 27 January -- We don’t have much scheduled for Friday, so that means we’ll be spending most of the day on the show floor, looking for what’s new and interesting to write about.
3:00 PM: [Update: Our friends at Macworld | iWorld have asked that we don’t do this, since we’re not paying for booth space, which is what’s necessary to conduct business at the show, and that's reasonable. So we’ll still show up at this spot to chat, but we won’t be taking memberships in person at Moscone. -Adam]
We’re probably going to regret this, but we can’t resist trying out the Square credit card reader that we got while working on Dennis Wurster’s article, “Square Provides Easy Alternative to Cash and Checks” (8 November 2011). So, if you want to become a TidBITS member in person, come find Adam and Tonya, and possibly other TidBITS staffers, near the escalators in the lobby of Moscone West, and we’ll take the Square for a spin. (We’ll have to enable your membership manually after the show, so it will be easiest if you make sure you have a TidBITS account first.) If you can’t make this date, see if you can track Adam down some other time.
4:00 PM: Glenn Fleishman will be part of a live taping at the Macworld Live stage of The Incomparable podcast, a geeky panel discussion show about comics books, science-fiction novels, television shows, nerdcore, and much more. The topic is how technology is portrayed in science fiction. He, Serenity Caldwell, Dan Moren, and Jason Snell — you may know them from a little publication known as Macworld — fill the panel.
Saturday, 28 January -- As with last year, the show continues through to Saturday, making it easy for San Francisco residents who can’t take time off during the work week to attend.
11:00 AM: The entire TidBITS staff (Adam, Tonya, Glenn, Jeff, Joe, and Michael) will be doing a panel discussion on the Macworld Live stage with Chris Breen about the past, present, and future of ebook publishing, with an emphasis on what it means to be a writer, editor, and publisher in a world where publishing is not the sole realm of large companies with printing presses.
2:00 PM: Glenn Fleishman will be returning to the Macworld Live stage to join host Lex Friedman and other pundits to talk about the software we love, but how it really needs a missing feature we can't live without.
3:00 PM: Jeff Carlson is giving a presentation about iMovie on the iPad at the Apple Store San Francisco (located at One Stockton Street, a couple of blocks from Moscone Center), talking about his books The iPad 2 Pocket Guide and The iMovie ’11 Project Book, and how to edit your video footage on location while inspiration is still fresh.