Appalooza: Productivity Apps

This morning I arrived for the first Tech Talk of Macworld iWorld a guide to productivity apps. This session covered an advantage of technology which is useful in areas of buisness to save time, communicate and transfer information.

Before I got started I charged up and checked emails at one of these charging stations, far better then stooping on the floor next to a power outlet

The session  was hosted by:

Sam Levin & Tim Robertson

They offered some great tips on Apps I already use like Evernote, showing ways to use this service to make sharing PDF’s, Pictures, plans and video between colleagues on a shared account. They addressed issues such as overcoming the IT security issues thrown up by using such apps.

They also introduced me to one or two alternatives to cloud storage

– Draw/type notes while recording an audio note.. and that the audio is synced to your notes on the fly.
Snap a photo or draw over it to design your new room. Share on the fly or watch it on a large screen.
Take notes on the fly, save favorite web pages, work/share with colleagues, share content seamlessly with friends/family.. it’s your iOS digital storage locker!
Baby Monitor: Not just for Babies
– Watch live video from any iPad/iPhone/touch. Baby Monitor will even send a text if your when it detects movement

Any question please ask!


Here are some links offered out by this sessions hosts:  Productivity App review blog The Un-cloud cloud storage solution


Mac OS X Automation – Ben Waldie

This all day workshop expands on last years short Tech Talk which you can read about here.

Ben was offering an in depth introduction to Automation an Apple Script functions in Mac OSX. He made it clear that it would not be possible to learn the entire Apple Script programming language in one day but he made a great introduction.

His learning objectives where as follows:

– What AppleScript, Automator, and Services are, how they work, and what they can do
– Benefits of these automation technologies
– How to construct an Automator workflow
– How to create and use Services in Mac OS X
– How to write some simple AppleScripts
– Differences between AppleScript and Automator
– Next steps and resources for continued learning

Ben opened my eyes to what is possible in terms of using full or partial automation to, increase efficiency, reducing set up time and offer remote support to clients or colleagues who require to carry out technical tasks beyond their user level.

A number of useful instances for creating automated applications and Apple Scripts are:

  • Creating an Automation/ Script to run maintenance on identical systems. Standardising settings and wiping disk partitions etc
  • Application drops which allow renaming and relocation through drag and drop.
  • Batch manipulation eg. PDFs can be Automated into Keynote with a slide per page or JPG converted to PNG
  • Simple processes can be sent Automated an application to a user. The user runs the application and it makes the changes you need without you being there.
  • iCal event can automate through calendar to perform regular tasks like archiving
  • Third part Apps can be automated, photoshop, Fetch, Transmit. File can be uploaded and download automatically.
  • Mail attachments can be automatically sent to folders anywhere on the system
RL – I’m looking forward giving you the low down on this

For those reader who are not technically minded, I apologise. There will be more exciting post to come. I garentee it.


Here ares some links offer by Ben as resources: A Mac Script forum Website of the creator of Automation and script currently working at Apple Ben Waldie’s website

Macworld / iWorld kit

Essentials for Macworld

Getting the most out of Macworld is all about having the right tools:

1. ID – Security is understandably tight, so identification is required

2. Black & Red Note books – I love technology, but I need hand written notes and my iPad stylus is just not thin enough.

3. USB Drive – For sharing

4. Macbook Pro 13″

5. Power strip with USB chargers attached

6. 7 day MUNI passport – for travel

7. Business Cards – to connect

8. Magic mouse – I’m not track pad man

9. Stationary

10. iPad2 and smart cover

11. iPhone 4S –  with working Siri while I’m here

12. DSL – Canon 450d

13. Rugged Lacie Firewire hard drive

14. Long Lens for DSL

15. US to EU power adapter

Next up a day on Automation in OSX…

Even the iPads have iPads

Yesterday I visited the Apple store just of Mission .

The Apple store on Mission

As you would expect their main push was for iCloud and the iPhone 4S sporting Siri assistant.

As yo may know Siri is a beta product and does not completely work in the UK. I talked to a “Genius” in store and they told me this will change in 2012 but an exact date wasn’t forth coming.

Tech talk at in store Auditorium


The store has an educational Auditorium that runs free Tech talks for those who are interested. I sat though a couple and as you would expect these guys really know there stuff. If I get a chance I will pop back on the 27th to attend a talk about Managing IOS devices with Lion server.

All products on display have iPad running a presentation tour

A point of interest was that each product was running a keynote presentation guiding the viewer through all of the key features of the products.

In the Apple store even the iPads had iPads!

Macworld Hot Sheet

Here’s a “Hotsheet” taken from the Macworld Website showing at a glance some of the headline tech talks.

Tech Talks Hotsheet

The hotsheet below shows other headline content in the Expo hall

Hotsheet for Expo hall

Tomorrow my Macworld Essentials kit and a look at the San Francisco Apple store!