Keynote is killing me
by Giles Turnbull
I don’t do a lot of presentations. In fact, I don’t like presentations very much. I’ve been subjected to too many boring ones in my time, and have been guilty of delivering boring ones too.
But tomorrow I’m doing a talk in front of 50 or 60 media professionals at a conference in Bath, and I decided that perhaps it would be a good idea to put some slides together after all.
As any dedicated Mac user would, I turned to Keynote. Which was a mistake.
Because it turns out that Keynote running on a MacBook has a curious bug: it will randomly and spontaneously reboot your computer when you start playing your presentation. It’s random in the sense that you just don’t know when it will happen. Sometimes you’ll click play and the thing just plays, and you smile and relax.
But after three or four instant reboots after clicking the “Play” button on the toolbar, you start to get nervous. Your fingers get twitchy on the mouse button. You start to imagine how unprofessional it would look if you stood up in front of 50 or 60 people, fired up with enthusiasm about the things you were going to discuss, only to find that your computer promptly rebooted itself, live on a big screen in front of them all.
From what I can see, this is not a new problem. There are mentions on Apple’s discussions site of very similar things happening a year or more ago (and again as recently as today), but it looks like whatever this problem is, it still hasn’t been fixed.
Keynote is presentation software, but seems to have a bug that makes it impossible to rely on for presentations.
I’ve exported my slides to the web, and I’ve exported them as a .ppt which I can show in PowerPoint if I have to, but you know what? I’m starting to think that I might well not bother with slides at all. I might just talk, and use a browser to display web pages that illustrate my points. The last thing I want to be doing is worrying about software — presentation software, mind you — randomly rebooting my machine while I bore people.