Friday, June 18, 2004
Posted 11:32 AM
Lost in the Jungle: Frustrations with Amazon.com, and Announcing the Teacher's Edition of "The Macintosh iLife '04"
It's been a hectic week of deadlines, with more to come. But I did want to dash off a quick dispatch to address what has become a frequently asked question: When is my book coming out?!
The good news is, it's out. The bad news is, Amazon.com says it isn't. The world's largest virtual bookstore is still saying "this item has not yet been released."
According to my editors at Peachpit Press, Amazon has been plagued with problems with its database system. I saw evidence of this myself over the last couple of months: on my book's page, the title was wrong, the page-count information was wrong, and there was no descriptive copy. Those problems appear to be fixed, but the bookselling giant is still saying the book isn't available.
One option is to order the book from Peachpit Press. Peachpit's price isn't quite as good as Amazon's ($26.99 instead of $20.99), but Peachpit is claiming that the orders ship within 24 hours.
And now, an Apple for the teacher. While we all wait for Amazon to get its act together, I'm happy to announce a special edition of my book. The Macintosh iLife in the Classroom is a special edition of my new book and DVD aimed specifically at K-12 educators. The teacher's edition is identical to The Macintosh iLife '04, but has a special sections at the front and back of the book written by filmmaker and educational consultant Nikos Theodosakis.
Nikos selected and adapted ten award-winning lesson plans from Apple's iLife Educator contest and describes them in a 72-page section that appears at the end of the book. The front of the book contains a 24-page essay that provides great background on the how and why of using digital media in education.
The classroom edition of the book includes the same DVD that accompanies The Macintosh iLife '04 -- two hours of instruction featuring yours truly, plus utilities, AppleScripts, GarageBand loops, and much more.
Now here's the weird part: even though the classroom edition has roughly 100 pages more than The Macintosh iLife '04, its price is exactly the same. Hey, I just write 'em -- I don't price 'em.
If you're a teacher and you're heading to the National Educational Computing Conference in New Orleans this month, stop by the Apple booth for a free copy of my book's classroom edition. You can read the details in the June 2004 edition of Apple's eNews for Education.
The bottom line. To sum up all this madness: The Macintosh iLife '04 is done and available, no matter what Amazon says.
And The Macintosh iLife in the Classroom will be available in about a week. Its roughly 100 additional pages contain lesson plans and tips for using iLife in the classroom.
Got all that? If so, you're ahead of me. Now have a good weekend.
Monday, June 14, 2004
Posted 3:07 PM
My Office, Circa 1984
Today: a blast from the past.
I've been slowly but surely scanning thousands of old negatives and slides using a Minolta film scanner. I wrote about this subject in a recent Macworld, and I expand on the topic in the latest edition of my book.
I recently scanned the following photo, which shows my home office in early 1984.
On the left is, of course, a 128K Mac; an ImageWriter printer is on the far left. My external floppy drive hadn't arrived yet.
On the right is some bizarre Texas Instruments MS-DOS computer that had a built-in voice-recognition system. You had to wear a headphone-type mike and spend hours training the computer, and it still didn't work. I was reviewing it at the time. (In early 1984, I was senior technical editor of Kilobaud, one of the first computer magazines.) If memory serves, I panned it.
In August 1984, Kilobaud (then renamed Microcomputing) folded, and I began freelancing and writing for Macworld.
And at the risk of sounding like the old fogey that I suppose I am, that pretty much takes us up to the present.