Simon Willison’s Weblog

Conferences with Macs

Three reasons Macs make excellent companions to geek-centric conferences:

  1. iChat and Rendezvous. iChat uses Rendezvous (aka zero configuration networking) to automatically display a list of all other iChat users on the same network as you. In a conference setting this can be a great way of seeing who’s around—I met a couple of people at SxSW who I’d been hoping to run in to by co-ordinating a metting via iChat. A few panelists even used iChat to take questions during their panels. Here’s a screenshot of iChat Rendezvous taken during SxSW.
  2. SubEthaEdit, which really has to be seen to be believed. I made a half hearted attempt to get a SubEthaEdit session going at SxSW but failed to achieve critical mass. Ted Leung at PyCon seems to have got it sussed.
  3. EtherPEG. This isn’t as essential as the other two but can be a lot of fun—it’s an ethical (as in it doesn’t steal anything important) network sniffer which displays a selection of images currently being transferred across the network. It provides an often surreal insight in to the browsing habits of other conference goers.

I remember hearing Mac owners complain of being treated like second-class citizens. I haven’t felt like that once in nearly three months of owning a Mac.

This is Conferences with Macs by Simon Willison, posted on 26th March 2004.

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Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2004/03/26/conferences