Pogue takes center stage at MacMania

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Tuesday was David Pogue day at MacMania II, sponsored by Macworld, as the Norwegian Star steamed towards Fanning Island from its last Hawaiian port of Hilo. Several other well-known Mac personalities made their debut covering a variety of topics, but Pogue packed in the crowd for his discussion on Mac OS X.

Pogue's Mac Secrets session drew a full house as people packed themselves into the conference room to hear the New York Times columnist and Macworld contributing editor give an animated and very entertaining talk about Mac OS X.

Attending one of David's talks is definitely something that has to be experienced at least once in a Mac user's lifetime -- he is very kind and attentive to his audience and brings a hilarious sense of humor to the most basic topics, making the audience feel like they are part of the session instead of just being there to listen.

In starting his session, Pogue asked how many people had made the switch to Mac OS X -- all but one person had already made the move. Pogue joked that the information people were going to learn would be good for about four months -- until Mac OS X "Panther" was released.

David then dove headlong into Mac OS X Jaguar and the things that make it different from what many longtime Mac OS users were used to. He talked about the Unix underpinnings of the operating system, as well as Carbon and Cocoa application on Mac OS X.

Navigating through the Macintosh hard drive, Pogue showed users why they really don't need to have the hard drive on their desktop any longer. "The home folder is the hard drive you knew in Mac OS 9," Pogue said.

Pogue then talked to attendees about basic backups using nothing more than a CD and your home folder and the benefits of the multiple user system in Mac OS X.

Andy Gore led a discussion about a topic that is very popular with Mac users: Wireless. Dubbed "Cutting the Cord," Gore spent some time at the beginning of his session reviewing the history of 802.11 up to the time that Apple adopted the technology, ultimately helping to make it the ubiquitous standard for wireless Internet access.

Gore than reviewed the different wireless technologies including 802.11b (AirPort), 802.11g (AirPort Extreme), Bluetooth and how these technologies fit into the average Mac user's daily life. The range of AirPort devices can be limited, making connections difficult. Gore gave attendees some tips to increase the range of their networks, although he cautioned, "Do not to try this if you're not comfortable with power tools."

The last of the afternoon sessions brought Laura Gutman on stage to teach a session called Painless Web Authoring with Dreamweaver. Gutman's session introduced the Dreamweaver interface and covered the basic tools for page building, taking a look at options for page layout, including HTML tables and CSS -- and how to best use Dreamweaver with either of these methods.

There were two equally entertaining special sessions Tuesday night: one by David Pogue and the second by Andy Ihnatko. Pogue took an amusing look at Apple history from the early Jobs days to Spindler, Amelio and back to Jobs again.

Along the way Pogue had pictures and video of some of the best and worst Apple hardware products. The Newton MessagePad brought cheers from the crowd, while the many Performa models brought chuckles and sometimes jeers.

The night ended with a light-hearted talk from Andy Ihnatko entitled "The Big Rethink." Fans of Ihnatko know that there is no possible way to even describe what Andy spoke about -- it did involve jumpsuits, Andy's cluttered office and MIT flea markets.

This story, "Pogue takes center stage at MacMania" was originally published by PCWorld.

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