Ken's Brain Drain
Monday, July 26, 2004
  John Kerry is a Mac user!
From the pic below, it appears that John Kerry uses a 15" Titanium Powerbook... just like the one I am using to write this blog entry! Kerry must be one smart dude. Just might get my vote after all!

credit: Time Magazine photo by Diane Walker
Sunday, July 25, 2004
  Gary Burton/Makoto Ozone concert
Went to this incredible Gary Burton, Makoto Ozone concert last night. A beautiful night to see a show in an outdoor venue. The music was spectacular. Probably the best musicianship I have ever seen live, in concert... and I have seen some of the best jazz musicians around. These cats had just incredible chops. Just a duet; Gary Burton, probably the worlds best vibe player, and Makoto Ozone, whom I had never seen nor heard of before last night, blew me away with his virtuosity on piano. For just two players, these guys had a fullness of sound that at times sounded like a full orchestra. They displayed an intensity in their solos, as well as great empathy for each other's playing. They played classical, swing, and ballads with incredible skill. Here is a sampling.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
  MacWorld Boston 2004
Macworld Conference & Expo was once one of those events that I most looked forward to every year. In its hay-day, it was the largest expo in the city of Boston, often occupying 3 different buildings simultaneously. Fast forward to circa 1999. Apple's market share dropped from around 20% to below 5%; they had lost a foothold in big business and are now a niche player in the creative markets and home computing and a few other niches. MacWorld Boston moved to NYC, the Media and Advertising capitol, in order to re-invigorate excitement for the Mac platform. It worked for a couple of years, but after 9/11, and because of the competitive market and economy, the show continued to decline.

As I understand the rumors, after the 2003 show IDG, the company that produces the Expo, got an offer from Boston that was too good to pass up to move the show back to that city. They signed up to be the first Exposition in the spankin' new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Apple got pissed off because they wished to keep the show in NYC. IDG was committed to Boston and refused to change plans. Sooooo.... Apple pulled out of MacWorld Expo, and furthermore stated that they would no longer participate in a MacWorld on the East Coast, though they would continue to have the San Francisco Exposition.

What kind of Expo was MacWorld Boston without Apple Computer???. It was rather small and pathetic in this big new Expo center. There were only a couple of big players (e.g. Quark, Xerox). But it was actually pretty fun. The big cool new applications being shown were mostly Music. A niche that suits my tastes just fine. iPods and accessories were everywhere. Berkley College of Music put on some great presentations on how to set up a music studio, Logic Audio digital sound editing apps were amazing, and Guitar Rigg is an incredible program to add special EFX to your guitar. There were other innovative new applications and hardware being shown. Telephony, animation, 3D modeling and Graphics... Remember when MacWorld was almost entirely Printing and Graphics?

After all is said and done, I wouldn't be surprised if this was the last MacWorld Expo to be held on the east coast. Too bad. It will be the end of an era.

But don't worry about Apple Computer. they just released their Quarterly results, and its all good. $61 million in profits, 30% increase in revenues, and the stock price at its highest point in many years. Some great new products will be announced later this year including a new line of G5 iMacs. iPod sales increased 163% and the iTunes Music store has sold over 100 million songs and made a profit. Best of all, Apple still leads the industry in innovation and has the coolest and best computer hardware and OS that money can buy. Apple iRocks!
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Name: Ken Laster
Location: Connecticut, United States

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