It’s been an year of personal milestones, both planned and unexpected. The three big ones so far (there could yet be more; the year isn’t over) all represent significant endings:
• The end of MacFixIt. After an evolution from the site I created 18 years ago to its a separate life as a part of CNET, CNET dropped the MacFixIt name last March.
• My “retirement” as a Macworld | iWorld speaker. I gave a careeer-retrospective session titled Confessions of an Apple Writer at Macworld | iWorld last March. It is the last time I plan to speak at the conference. It’s been a great run. And I plan to continue to attend future conferences. But I felt the time was right for me to call it a day as a speaker.
• The end of Macworld magazine. Macworld is over as a print publication (it will still continue as a website). That was not the shocking news. Rather, it was that IDG simultaneously laid off almost the entire Macworld editorial staff…a group of people that I had happily worked with for years. I had already cut back my own writing for Macworld. Going forward, I expect to continue to submit stuff from time to time (just posted an article today), but I am not sure for how long.
On the other hand, thanks to Apple, it’s also shaping up as a year of significant beginnings. As I wrote recently, Apple’s hardware division has been on a 2+ year break of sorts. That is now over. With the iPhone 6, the finally officially announced Apple Watch, and more to come — Apple is back on track to make big waves in the technology ocean. I will continue to closely follow these events and comment on them (here and elsewhere) when I have something (hopefully) interesting to say.
Speaking of commenting elsewhere, I am about to pass the 15,000 tweet mark! When I first joined Twitter years ago, I would have never guessed I would become such an active participant. But I have. It’s now my most popular hangout on the Internet. Stop by and say hello sometime.
I delivered my “farewell” to Macworld|iWorld session last March. Although I won't be speaking at Macworld anymore, but I am still busy writing and doing podcasts.
I’m writing blog entries for Slanted Viewpoint more often — on a range of topics that extends from vacation photos with an iPhone to what my next Mac will be to my take on Apple’s WWDC last June to God.
I also continue to write for Macworld, with recent entries such as Saving your Notes from disaster and With iPhoto's demise, writing may be on the wall for iLife.
And I can still be found talking all things Apple with Chuck Joiner on MacNotables.
Macworld/iWorld. I will be “retiring” from Macworld/iWorld this year, giving my final session on March 27. As such, the talk will offer a look back at my career, including my time at Macworld Expo. You can read more details here.
SVMUG. I will be giving a preliminary version of the same talk at SVMUG (Silicon Valley MUG) on February 24.
On a related note, I continue to write the Bugs & Fixes column for Macworld, but I have cut back to doing only about one a month.
MacVoices. I continue to do podcasts with Chuck Joiner, where I expand on these Macworld articles, as well as numerous other topics.
I gave two talks at local MUGs at the end of 2013:
October 15: NCMUG (North Coast MUG), talking about "How not to lose your data" — something every user should know.
November 20: DVMUG (Diablo Valley MUG), covering the same topic.
At both sessions, I also offered my initial reactions to Apple's latest products: iPhone 5S, new iPads, iOS 7, OS X 10.9, and Mac Pro.
In addition to Bugs & Fixes, I continue to write op-ed pieces for Macworld. My most recent entry was "How much will Apple change iOS and OS X?." In it, I offered my hopes, fears and expectations as to what Apple would reveal at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) the following week.
After the WWDC Keynote, I posted a Slanted Viewpoint blog entry, "WWDC: Apple delivers the goods," where I reviewed Apple's keynote announcements and considered how well they matched up with what I had predicted.
Yesterday, I posted yet another WWDC-related item: "Apple’s not-so-secret iOS game controller strategy" — offering my take on what Apple has up its sleeve with this forth-coming peripheral support.
By the way, I attended WWDC this year. Given how hard it is to get a ticket, and how expensive tickets are, I strongly suspect this will be the last year I attend. If so, it was a great way to go out. From the Mac Pro to the redesigned iOS 7, it was a year for big announcements. And the sessions I attended were enjoyable, often surprisingly so given that I am not a "real" developer. I even managed to snag a "Stump the Experts" t-shirt! The final session, with Bill Nye, was the perfect way to send the attendees on their way. Congrats Apple!
Since the start of 2013, I've been busier than usual writing articles for Macworld. You can check out the complete list here.
Meanwhile, my latest Slanted Viewpoint entry discusses "Stupid by Design."
The latest entry in my Slanted Viewpoint blog explains how to win at Letterpress (a popular word/strategy game for iOS devices). In particular, it delves into how to play if you go second and your opponent has made a great opening move.
I will be speaking at the SVMUG (Silicon Valley Macintosh Users Group) meeting on Monday, March 18. The topic will be the same as my recent Macworld talk: File Sharing and Syncing Unleashed.
Another Macworld | iWorld is now in the history books. There were special events, headlined by Aston Kutcher and Josh Gad. There were the always enjoyable 5-minute RapidFire talks. There were parties. And there was my own TechTalk.
All in all, a great time and a wonderful opportunity for "face-time" with colleagues and friends who otherwise remain a virtual presence for the rest of the year.
For my overall take on the event, check out my Slanted Viewpoint blog entry.