It’s a beautiful day in New York City, a little breezy but a balmy 75 degrees. I just had brunch with my long time director, Chris Adair, and her husband Marty. Chris directed both Call for Help and The Screen Savers for years. She left us last November to take over NewsNight with Aaron Brown for CNN. She’s doing so well in the Big Apple, like other former TechTVers, Kate Botello, and our beloved booker, Casey Fisher. It’s good to see that there’s life after TechTV. In Chris’s case a pretty good life, too!
After brunch I visited the National Museum of National History ‘ it’s incredible. I can’t wait to take the kids there the next time I come out.
I’m in town to do two pieces for World News Now, ABC’s overnight newscast. I’ll tape both at around 11p tonight, one for air tomorrow around 3am, the other for a month later. It looks like I’ll be doing this every other month from now on. I brought some very cool new gadgets to show.
Monday, 6/3 I’ll be showing:
* Logitech Pocket Digital credit card sized digital camera.
* Panasonic SV-AV10 mini video camera
* POGO Flipster portable Windows media player
* Wave Industries Olympia Soundbug that turns any flat surface into a microphone
* Nyko Airflo Controller, a Gamecube/PS2/Xbox game controller with a built-in fan
* and those cute Tomy Bit Char-G mini RC Cars
Next month I’ll show:
* the new Sony/Ericsson T68i cell phone
* Motorola’s beautiful new v70 cell phone with swivel cover
* Good Technology’s G100 Blackberry killer
* the Handspring Treo 270 color PDA/cell phone
* the Sony Clie NR70V Palm PDA with keyboard, MP3 player, and camera built in
This visit I’m trying a new hotel in the Upper West Side ‘ closer to ABC, and just across the street from the museum. I picked the hotel because it claimed to have high-speed Internet access. Hah! Their idea of broadband is Web TV. There’s no way to hook up my laptop. Fortunately, I brought a little program along called MacStumbler, a port of the netstumbler program. It searches out 802.11b or WiFi wireless networks. I stuck my iBook out the window and found not one but two, unprotected connections. You’d be amazed how many of these there are. I’m finding that I can get online almost anywhere. I’m ‘borrowing’ one of the connections to post this. I have to sit near the window, but otherwise it works great. I guess the hotel does have high-speed Internet access after all!
I’m flying back tomorrow morning, but instead of going to the studio I’m going home to take a one month sabbatical. That’s right, I’ll be off the air until July 8! My publisher came to me last Thursday and asked to move the publication date back two weeks to September 1, which means they need a completed manuscript by July 1. I told them I could only do it if I took the entire month of June off, never expecting that to happen. But it turns out that the book is very important to TechTV, and they really want to get the benefit of the promotion (and resulting sales) that can happen if the book ships by 9/1, so they agreed to do it.
I’ll be using two weeks of my vacation time, and a two-week sabbatical I earned in 2000 but never took. In order to make the deadline I’ll have to write about 7,000 words a day. This blog entry is just under 700 words so multiply by 10! Fortunately, I’m seldom at a loss for words (have you noticed?) and much of the material comes from stuff I and others have already written for the TechTV web site. It’s going to be like pulling 30 consecutive all-nighters nonetheless. Come July 8 you’re going to see a guy very anxious to get back on TV!
Well I’d better post this and give Mr. Hartmann back his WiFi connection. I’ve got to run out and get a slice of pizza and then come back and rehearse for my segment tonight. It’s my last day of freedom before I have to get down to it and start writing. I’ll try to post once in a while, but you’ll understand if you don’t hear a lot from me until next month. Wish me luck!