Steve Jobs read my mind


Today was the red-letter day an any Mac-aholic's iCal: MacExpo. I watched the streamed keynote live, practically vibrating with geekish glee at all the goodies on offer. But when Steve got to Keynote, I nearly exploded with excitement. You see, I've been grumbling and grousing about the myriad shortcomings of Powerpoint to myself for ages. Only yesterday, while I was trying to update my Powerpoint-based lectures, the straw finally broke the camel's back, and I looked around on the web for an alternative. Unfortunately, I could find nothing which would do what I needed.

As Steve outlined the features, I was on the edge of my seat. "Yes! Yes! Oh, man that's great!". Mr. Butshesagirl began to look at me somewhat askance. The stream was stuttering and stalling, but I was hanging on to every word. Steve was getting to the price. "How, much Stevie baby, how much?". Just at the critical moment, the stream cut out. Cue Homer-style scream from me. I rejoined the party just as the assembled throng were applauding the decision to hand them all a free copy on their way out. Bastards. I'm getting myself a copy lickety-split, and it's goodbye Powerpoint forever! The effects, typography and transitions all look great, but the thing that really sold it to me was the XML file format. I can't tell you the number of times that Powerpoint files have become corrupted, leaving me with no way to salvage all my blood, sweat and tears. Even if you couldn't fix the XML file, you could always grab the text from it and rebuild it pretty quickly. I'm fervently hoping that this might be the first of three "Office Killers" from Apple, with Word and Excel substitutes to follow (we already have iCal, Mail and Address Book to replace Entourage).

Safari looks very nice -- in fact I'm posting this entry from it. It's very fast, and the bookmarking system is very slick, but it remains to be seen whether I can live without tabbed browsing. I've grown very attached to that with Chimera. I haven't looked at a huge range of pages with it yet, but it seems to render most sites pretty well, particularly those involving valid HTML/XHTML and CSS, which is important. And it's Open Source too! That seems to me to be a very smart move by Apple. The changes to the iApps (iLife) also look like intelligent moves in the right direction. I'm glad that they aren't forcing us to pay for individual iApps: only iDVD. I think that's fair. The new hardware is utterly delicious -- who wouldn't love a backlit keyboard which fades in and out with ambient light levels? Mmmm... illumilicious.

I think I'd better go and lie down: that's far too much excitement for one night.