MacMania cruise to Alaska continues on course, as a group of hundreds of Mac fans sail the icy blue waters of southern Alaska, from Juneau to Glacier Bay.
The scenery is beautiful, and the good news about these Geek Cruises is that they’ve been scheduled so that conference sessions only occur when the ship is at sea, meaning that there’s nobody feverishly tapping away at a PowerBook when they’d rather be exploring Alaskan towns.
On Tuesday night, attendees were thrilled to hear a dramatic reading of Shel Silverstein’s “The Devil and Billy Markham,” a ribald tale of deals with the devil and their consequences, from actor John de Lancie. De Lanice, a confirmed Mac fan who has hosted Macworld’s Eddy Awards on two occasions, is most famously known for his role as Q on “Star Trek,” not to mention roles on “Days of Our Lives,” “The West Wing,” “Stargate SG-1,” and numerous other endeavors, including the Alien Voices audioplay series.
Throughout the week, conference-goers have been able to have breakfast or lunch with Mac stars such as TidBits publisher Adam Engst, graphics expert Deke McClelland, “Dr. Mac” Bob LeVitus, and AppleScript guru Sal Soghoian. Frequent
contributor Ben Long has been chairing a four-part conference session called the Alaska Digital Camera Workshop, where conference-goers get shooting, image-editing and printing tips while they’re taking spectacular pictures of the Alaskan scenery.
On tap for Friday, was an afternoon crash course on AppleScript by Soghoian, an iMovie 2 seminar from New York Times columnist David Pogue, and a wireless extravaganza of the AirPort and Bluetooth varieties from Engst and Seattle newspaper columnist Glenn Fleishman.
Saturday, the cruise arrives in the fishing village of Ketchikan for an afternoon of exploration, followed up by a 90-minute long entertainment extravaganza starring Pogue himself. Sunday, as the ship cruises Alaska’s Inside Passage, we’ll have our final day of sessions, including a shootout between popular e-mail programs Eudora, Entourage and Mailsmith. Macworld Contributing Editor Tom Negrino will uphold the honor of Entourage; Engst will defend Eudora; and Rich Siegel of Bare Bones Software will take up the cause of his very own application, MailSmith. There’s no word yet on if anyone will step up to the challenge of promoting Apple’s free Mail application.
Finally, the Mac Mania cruise will come to an end Monday morning, as we return to Vancouver, B.C., a week after we departed. We expect that everyone aboard will have learned a lot about the Mac, but more importantly, everyone will have made some new friends, had a travel experience of a lifetime, and quite probably eaten a bit more than they should have.
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