[OS X TeX] preferred tool for presentations

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Tue Dec 19 17:51:02 EST 2006

Le 19 déc. 06 à 22:48, Herbert Schulz a écrit :

> Very nice! Did you use Mathematica for the graphs or were they  
> generated some other way?

Thinking a bit more, actually at the conference where this talk was  
presented I made an observation which was kind of heart-warming.

Originally, as specified on the conference web site, talks were  
supposed to be brought on USB keys or CDs, and copied onto Windows  
PCs (one per each conference room) on the day of their presentation.  
The requested format was PowerPoint. A few weeks closer to the date,  
it was announced (probably because several people, me included,  
complained) that PDF format was also appropriate.

Hence I prepared my communication in Keynote then PDF format, and got  
used, with regret, to the perspective that it would be most likely  
presented on a PC as ugly bitmap slides in Powerpoint. But I still  
brought my laptop to the conference, just in case.

Then on the first day of the conference I started to see people  
popping up MacBook Pros here and there. They still had to convert  
their talks to PowerPoint, and then when played on the Windows PCs  
the converted presentation wouldn't play the embedded movies  
(explanation from experience: PowerPoint Mac embeds movies using  
QuickTime containers, and PowerPoint Windows doesn't recognize these  
containers; you have instead to re-embed the movies one by one in  
PowerPoint on a Windows PC). Thus either the movies weren't played at  
all, and they were played quitting PowerPoint and launching a media  

On the second day, there were more and more Mac laptops, and the  
organizers started allowing one or two presenters to plugin them onto  
the screen projectors. Finally on the last day of the conference it  
was even a keynote speaker who made his entire presentation on his  
MacBook Pro.

I realized, then, how widespread the Mac is becoming again, at least  
in the academic word and mostly in the US. At this conference, among  
the laptops bought by attendees, Macs seemed to rule, with PCs being  
the exception; a couple of years ago it was just the opposite.

The same trend hasn't reached the same proportion in France I think,  
but I can feel it coming. It was kind of heart-warming, to get some  
kind of gratification for all these years sticking to the Mac while  
almost everybody else around was saying or implying it was snobbism  
and a waste of taxpayers' money to purchase expensive and slow Macs  
instead of cheaper and faster PCs.

Maybe even one day we'll be able to make presentations in Keynote  
directly, instead of having to convert them beforehand to PDF or  

Bruno Voisin
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