Print your boarding pass in the hotel lobby

I have to admit that I’m rather stunned at the number of hotels I’ve stayed at recently that are now allowing you to print your boarding pass for your flight from a walk up kiosk FREE OF CHARGE! This is from the same industry that charges $3.50 for a bottle of water in your room and a $1 per page for an incoming fax ($4 per page if you stay at the downtown Chicago Hyatt).

It’s easy! You walk up, click the mouse to kill the screen saver and there is already a page up with links to most if not all of the airlines. Click on the one you want and check in for your flight. Print your boarding pass on the attached laser printer and walk away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining and actually appreciate this service tremendously. I’m just shocked that they don’t try to charge for it (yet). If your hotel doesn’t have this yet, fill out those little survey cards in your room and ask, why not? My last 3 hotel stays offered this.

Boston loves Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

I’m here today at the Hynes Convention Center in downtown Boston attending the Scott Kelby Photoshop Lightroom Tour. I’m fielding questions on Lightroom during the breaks and learning some pretty cool tips. The Lightroom product manager Tom Hoggerty is also here and promises to show a sneak peek of what’s coming in the next update. Scott is presenting to a sold out crowd of over 500 people. If this is any indication of where the industry is going, it certainly points to the success of Lightroom and the importance of digital photography workflows.

Scott starts out with a live photo shoot of a bride and then goes right into the Lightroom workflow covering the Library, Develop, Slideshow, Web and Print modules.

Chicago CS3 Event – Live!

I’m here presenting at the Adobe CS3: Creative License Tour in Chicago. Part of my presentation involves doing a live post to my blog using Adobe Contribute CS3. The audience here has been great and we are having a blast learning about all the new CS3 products. We have over 550 people here at the beautiful Navy Pier in Chicago. I hope to see you in the upcoming cities.

We had to bring in more chairs! What a great response to CS3.

The Navy Pier location was great for this type of event, although finding the correct room/hall was challenging for some.

I couldn’t resist taking the opportunity for a few shots right outside our presentation area of this rustic looking lighthouse.

The Bean Bag is back in style

I love my Garmin Nuvi GPS however, I’m not a fan of windshield suction cups. While they work for the most part, I primarily use my Nuvi in rental cars and therefore have to move the mount from car to car each time I travel. I’ve had the Nuvi literally fall off the window on more than one occasion while driving. While the Nuvi has survived the fall each time, it was a pain in the butt (and a hazard to my fellow motorists) to get it back on the windshield. So I started looking for other mounting solutions when I came across this “Portable Friction Mount – ie. Bean Bag” on Garmin’s site. In order to use this mount you also need the Automotive Mount. The Automotive Mount is designed to stick permanently on your dashboard as some states don’t allow anything to be mounted to the windshield (probably for the reasons above). However, it does slide neatly and not permanently into the Bean Bag mount. So in theory you could use the base that comes with the Automotive Mount in your car and still travel with the Bean Bag mount and the part that attaches to the Nuvi for other/rental cars. This isn’t a concern for me as my personal vehicles all have factory navigation in them already.

I took the Bean Bag mount for a test drive and it stayed in place even on those Indy 500 style turns that I’m known for. It’s also neat to just pickup the whole thing when you arrive and go inside. If you find that suction mounts “suck (or don’t suck)”, then I highly recommend this solution!

Apple & AT&T give me drivers please!

Now that Apple and AT&T are a couple and they’re about to give birth to their first offspring (the iPhone), it’s time that Apple stepped up to the plate and supported AT&T’s other kids. Namely the new Option GT Max 3.6 Express Card and the Sierra Wireless Aircard 875u (USB solution) Granted they are not as cute as the iPhone, however they shouldn’t be treated as step children. Apple had no problem supporting Verizon’s EVDO kids (v640 & v740 in the WWAN 1.0 Driver Update) so it should do the same here. Sure I know that Option supposedly offers Mac drivers directly, but that kind of child support should come directly from the father of the Mac. So how about it Apple? How about the WWAN 2.0 Driver Update? It’s embarrassing that AT&T has to list these cards as being supported by Windows only (isn’t that like welfare or something?).

I love my Verizon v640 card. It works great! However, the Cingular solution is a 3g (HSDPA) world solution that would work outside the US and it’s theoretically faster than EVDO. I don’t travel outside the US often, but when I do I hate that I have to leave the v640 parked in my bag until I return. Since Apple is more open to providing drivers for wireless cards right in the OS, I don’t want to have to go installing 3rd party drivers if I don’t have to. Apple either needs to support this card quickly or AT&T needs to ship the Novatel Merlin XU870 ExpressCard that Apple already supports. My Verizon contract is over and Apple I’m just waiting on you to do the right thing.

Learning a few lighting tips from the guru

Scott Kelby showing Terry White the Spiderlite

It’s not often that I get the chance to spend some quality 1-on-1 time with my buddy Scott Kelby. So I jumped at the chance to do a photo shoot with him this week in Tampa. I learned a lot and will be placing my order for a Westcott Spiderlite kit as soon as I get home. These lights do a phenomonal job of providing continuous light and basically giving you a what-you-see-is-what-you get situation. It also doesn’t hurt to shoot a beautiful subject either.

Ashley Gellar - photo by Terry White

This shot of Ashley Gellar taken with my Nikon D80 and lit with the Westcott Spiderlite T5 and a reflector.

Did I mention how much I love digital photography?

CS3: The Creative License Conference

I’m about to hit the road on a major tour and hopefully when I come to your city I’ll see you there! Register now for this momentous event. Be one of the first to learn new features and techniques available only in Adobe® Creative Suite® 3 that will change the way you work and create.

The Conference cities include: Chicago, Austin, San Jose, Toronto, Boston, Seattle Los Angeles and New York. We have an action packed agenda and there will certainly be a lot to learn. If you do make it to one of the stops on the tour be sure to say hi!

Great SATA external drive enclosure

I recently had to move some computers around and transfer some data from one drive to another. The easiest way was going to be to put the New 750GB SATA drive in an external case. Since I didn’t own any SATA to Fir wire cases, I went looking for one. My search lead me to CoolDrives.com. They had this SATA to Firewire/USB2/eSATA enclosure on sale for $99. Although that still seems like a lot for just an enclosure, it was one of the lowest prices I found. I bought two of them (I will need them in the future) and temporarily installed my new drive to do the transfer. The transfer of 365GB’s went without a hitch (7.5 hours later at Firewire 400 speeds). I was floored to see that they included not only the power cable, but a Firewire 800 to 800 cable, USB 2 cable, and Firewire 800 to 400 cable. Although most users will only need one of these, it was a nice touch to not have to go out and buy them separately. Installation of the drive in the case was a piece of cake. Remove 3 small screws and you’re inside. Plug in two cables and secure the drive  to the bracket. This case is whisper quiet and works as advertised.

New Get a Mac ad – Vista Drivers

I love these ads and based upon the amount of activity I see at Apple Retail stores and the influx of new members at my Macintosh Users Group, they must be working. It’s very cool to "Get a Mac" these days!

Jawbone Bluetooth Headset

I’m always looking for the “best” bluetooth headset. Until now the best one for me was the Jabra BT500. Why? Because it was the most comfortable and worked well with my Treo 650. Then I caught wind of this New Jawbone Headset and I was intrigued by the “military grade” noise reduction that it sports. So after doing a quick search on eBay and a “Buy It Now” link, the Jawbone was on the way. I must admit that I was also digging the modern cheese grater/Mac Pro design. I also liked that it doesn’t have any visible buttons. However, I was a little concerned about comfort. After all I’m not a fan of over-the-ear headsets.

I gave the Jawbone a workout this weekend and unlike other over-the-ear headsets, this one actually feels much better on my ear. However, the fit is not as snug as I would like (no headset is a perfect fit on me). Jawbone measures the ambient noise and adjusts the incoming and outgoing audio accordingly via its “noise shield.” The sound quality is better than average. I’ll have to continue testing it in noisy environments. I’m really curious as to how it will perform with the top down on a convertible on the highway which is one of my worse case scenarios.

Jawbone redThe Jawbone comes with a set of different sized ear buds and ear clips to attempt to fit most people. The default “round” ear bud was not a good fit for me at all. Luckily there was an elongated choice that fit much better. It also comes with an AC adapter for charging and the cable between the AC adapter and the headset has USB on one end. So you could just travel with the cable and headset to charge via the USB port on your laptop. I wish that it used a standard USB cable though. Although it’s USB on one end, it’s a proprietary connection on the other. This means that you have to use their cable. The Jawbone comes in Silver, Black or Red. I got the silver version as red was just going to clash too much with my wardrobe.

I can’t say that I Love the Jawbone just yet. I’ll have to use it more and take it on the road. However, my first impressions are better than any other headset I’ve tried so far. I need to give it a full day’s use to see if it is comfortable enough for all day use.

Jawbone offers 6 hours of talk time and 200 hours of standby time. It goes for about $110 on eBay. Cingular sells them too at a slightly higher price.

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