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MacMania 7 – Combining Leopard and Life Boat Drills

Written by: Chris Christensen

Categories: Reviews

I attended a class by New York Times technology columnist David Pogue on the new features in Leopard recently. Mr. Pogue is a dynamic speaker and the enthusiastic crowd was rocking. No, really, I mean the room was literally rocking. Of course the room was located on Holland America’s ms Volendam so the rocking was fairly easy to explain. This class was part of Insight Cruise‘s (formerly Geek Cruises) MacMania 7 cruise.

A MacMania cruise is like a Mac conference at sea and more than one of the attendees had their attendance at conference paid for by their company (although only the most generous company will also pay for the cruise itself). The speakers on MacMania 7 were: Richard Dreyfuss (the actor), Janet Hill, David Pogue, Randal Schwartz, Jason Snell, Sal Soghoian, Derrick Story and Robin Williams (the Mac author not the actor). One of the wonderful perks of the cruise is being able to meet, talk with and generally shmooze with people who are well known in the Mac community.

The classes offered on MacMania 7 included:

  • Introduction to Lightroom
  • Introduction to Aperture
  • iPhone: The Missing Manual
  • Maximizing iPhoto
  • Photoshop for Photographers
  • Integrating Photoshop with Aperture, Lightroom, or iPhoto
  • Which Is Best for You — Aperture, Lightroom, or iPhoto?
  • iDVD and iMovie
  • Apple’s Latest and Greatest
  • The Ground Floor Guide to the Macintosh
  • Extreme Googling
  • Inside Mac OS X “Leopard”
  • Leopard Power User Tips
  • Introduction to iLife
  • Pushing iLife to the Limit
  • Amazingly Cool Utilities
  • Personal Podcasting Primer

The classes are not held while the ship is in port so that attendees and speakers alike can enjoy shore excursions or just generally explore. MacMania 7 stopped at a prvate island in the Bahamas, Aruba, Curaçao, Panama and Costa Rica with the highlight of the cruise being the Panama Canal.

The cruise had more than 4 days spent entirely at sea. If you enjoy the normal ways to spend your time on a cruise: shuffleboard, bingo, art auctions, shopping, etc then a geek cruise may not be right for you. If you can’t imagine entertaining yourself on a 10 day cruise and think that spending the time with 150 other Mac fanatics would be fun, then you might want to look into MacMania 8.

Insight Cruises also ran Shakespeare at Sea on the same cruise (which is what I was officially attending but I was allowed to attend either program). More information about the cruise can be found in Amateur Traveler Episode 113 – Theme Cruise to Panama (Shakespeare at Sea / MacMania).