(While I’m in San Francisco without a secure connection to the Internet, I shall be posting sneakily via my flickr feed.)

Man alive. You quickly forget how much you’re being affected by a lack of sleep!

My hard drive crashed on Monday, which means that (truly) the little free time I’ve had this week has been devoted to rebuilding Thursday’s presentations and re-doing other projects that were due this week.

There simply is no free time during a week like this. I’m booked for just about every minute of the show. That’s why I busted my butt last week: to make sure that the only thing I’d have to do during my time in San Francisco was get to my appointments on time, steal enough time to write two or three pieces plus a Macworld-related Sun-Times column…and get five to seven hours of SLEEP every night!

The sleep thing hasn’t really been happening. Suffice to say that I’ve spent a lot of my time seeing invisible elves.

Wednesday night was particularly harrowing. A million little things still needed to be tweaked and fixed for my presentations. I had to cancel my plans at the Ministry of Nightlife. On the schedule: terrific party at The Thirsty Bear, a joint near Moscone with very tasty microbrews (it’s a rare thing when I’m handed a pint of beer and enjoy it enough to actually finish it) followed by the usual fab Wednesday night band party, where I’d promised to sing two numbers.

I was a bit pouty about that, so to keep the peace I allowed myself to keep my dinner plans with a bunch of friends. I’m glad I did: it was two or three hours of great company and fine Sicilian cuisine. But my work was waiting for me back in my Japantown hacienda.

I can’t really say how much sleep I got that night. I didn’t dare engage in that risky bedroom behavior known as “turning out the lights and going to sleep.” I was working in bed and whenever I felt like I was truly losing my ability to focus, I’d set a half-hour countdown alarm on my iPhone and lean back and close my eyes.

By the time I felt like I was done and could truly hit the sack…well, I needed to wake up in an hour. Call it 2 hours of sleep total. Even then, the bigger of the two presentations wasn’t finished. It’s one of the week’s two “featured” events: a sort-of-quiz show that I wrote. There were thirty questions in the thing. I could remember half of them off the top of my head.

Through a combination of reflexology, hypnosis, and sense memory, I was able to recall another half-dozen. But I left the hotel and headed for Moscone with a need to think of a bunch of new question that would work in the larger scheme of things.

The good news is that both of my presentations worked out great. I was worried about the game show because so much of it was out of my control; I’d truly set it up so that the real entertainment value would come through interaction with the audience. But I had a great crowd full of people who had come to have a good time, and I’m happy with the results.

I hope the organizers ask me to do it again next year, and if they do, I’m going to tweak some things (theater is theater; there are things you’ll never learn until you put it in front of a live audience) but on the whole, I’m willing to put this one in the Win column.

Rushed from that event to Macworld magazine’s podcasting studio to record a 40 minute podcast, then rushed from there to another stage to take part in another hourlong talk. Then it was the end of the day and I went to the Podcasters’ Meetup, where I listened to Leo Laporte and Dave Hamilton and a half-dozen others up on stage, resolutely attempted to keep my eyes open, and ultimately decided that 7 PM was way past my deadline.

Made a quick stop in the neighborhood to stock up on essential supplies (Coke and comic books). Got back to the Miyako at 8 and stayed awake just long enough to get out of my good suit.

So, getting back to my opening point: I have had about 11 hours of sleep and for the first time since Monday morning, I feel truly alert and alive…because Thursday was the first night that I didn’t have to pull a punitive all-nighter!

Prolly going to be a rather intense day. My 10-to-6’s this week have been packed with meetings, briefings, and appearances and I’ve barely had any time to check out the show floor. So the goal for today is to walk and talk and look and demo.

So far, the coolest thing I’ve seen has been a little flexible tripod with a suction cup on the end that can hold your iPod. Good, good; every time I travel this thing will definitely be in my bag but I think I need to top this today.

9 thoughts on “Lookey-Here!

  1. Al

    Before now I always felt really paranoid travelling to talks with my laptop, a USB stick and a CD all containing copies of my presentations. Now I think it’s probably justified! Glad you got sorted out eventually. :)

    p.s. if it’s not too much trouble, could you put a link back to the normal version of the blog from the iphone-specific one? The iphone site doesn’t (as far as I can see) have any of the sidebar links.

  2. Craemmir

    Holy crap! “Ministry of Nightlife” immediately tickled my brain and I came up with the result with shocking speed. Someone on earth other than my mother (who wore out a videotape of that Steve Martin episode) and I actually remembers “The New Show”?!?! I haven’t thought about that in years. Thanks.

  3. Michelle

    Well I guess it’s a good thing I live in Denver now, and not the Bay Area, so you don’t have to try to squeeze in our Tonga Room excursion anymore. :) Although I do miss going to Macworld. Glad your presentations worked out well!

  4. Moeskido

    Young man, I salute your professionalism and perseverance through techno-hardship. Wish I’d been able to convince my superiors to send me to Macworld instead of the oddly-clique-ish HOW Design conference this past June. I’d’ve gotten a lot more useful, work-relevant information (except for a presentation by Font Bureau’s brilliant and genial Cyrus Highsmith) at Moscone, and perhaps had the good fortune to cross paths with the likes of you, as I did at my last NYC Macworld long ago.

    The big-name parties sound pretty good, too. I hope you can get some pint-in-hand time at one before you leave. If you can find it, I recommend almost anything by Vermont’s Smuttynose, Pennsylvania’s Victory or Dogfish Head, or my own New Jersey’s Flying Fish.

    Cheers. You are part of my magazine, sir.

  5. Dom

    So given the trouble you’ve had here, are you any more likely to backup copies to the cloud now?
    I’m sure being the well educated technology pundit you are you already know of a few places to store this stuff, plenty that are dramatically cheaper than dotmac.

    Looking forward to hearing your extended views in the various podcasts I already have cued up. At least you’ll have a lovely big hard drive when you get back home.

  6. KD

    Ah, when I went to the lovely booth babes to buy that snazzy suction cup iPhone holder I was told that this version is NOT for sale now, but would be available Real Soon. Shades of CES! I like MacWorld because it is mostly NOT vaporware. Sorry to see this more and more prevalent at MacWorld. Well, at least OmniFocus shipped on time.

  7. PaulM

    Excellent to see you in the live podcasts. Macworld was a blast again and it was very cool to see all of the wit and charm being spewed from the stage during the TWITcasts (cause Leo doesn’t like the term PodCast). Never did get a chance to come meet you (because you were rushing about and there were just so many places I had to be simultaneously) but still very fun. Keep up the great writing and casting. :)

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