ABA TechShow 2004

I was in Chicago last week for the ABA’s annual TechShow.

A highlight of the event was getting to spend time with Ernie Svenson and Rick Klau.

Ernie and I spoke about Macintosh and Linux, respectively. I was reminded of the Peanuts comic strip where Charlie Brown and Schroeder are commenting about the size of the crowd at their baseball game. “The seat is packed,” said Charlie Brown. OK, the crowd was small – but enthusiastic. Maybe there will be a bigger crowd of lawyers next year, but this year it appears that Linux is not ready for prime time – at least not for lawyers.

After our talk, I spent some time installing the Flash plugin for Linux and trying to compile a text-to-speech engine (Speaker and Festival if you’re interested). I was then able to show Rick and Ernie some of my favorite Flash animations, including the Spongemonkys’ “Moon Song” (http://www.rathergood.com/moon_song/) and uberGeek’s (http://www.ubergeek.tv/) parodies of Apple’s “switch to” ads. Ernie points out that the Macintosh parody and the Linux parody summed up our presentations nicely.

Rick and I enjoyed an evening of hacking at his house. I showed Rick how to set up dynamic DNS (with DynDNS.org) and the joys of remote-controlling computers with VNC (http://www.realvnc.org/). And Rick extolled the virtues of ActiveWords (http://www.activewords.com/) and the RSS aggregator SharpReader (http://www.sharpreader.net/).

A lowlight of TechShow was watching another presenter use material that was based heavily on work created by somebody else without giving credit to the other person.

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