TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Mar 94 Macworld Expo
Volume Number:10
Issue Number:3
Column Tag:From The field

Macworld Expo

New developments for developers from the show

By Scott Boyd, Editor

January’s MacWorld Expo took place in San Francisco’s Moscone Center, a convention hall split into two sections. As usual, most of the big-name companies were in the main hall. New this year was Apple’s absence from the main hall. Apple instead took up an entire room which, in previous years, has served as both a conference hall and as a registration room where hundreds of people at a time stood in line to have badges printed. This year, although the room was large, someone had decided that, to get in, you had to swipe your badge through one of their badge readers. This resulted in one of the longest and most persistent lines I’ve ever seen at MacWorld Expo, and there’s no telling how many people never even got inside the room to see the PowerPC machines, the Drag Manager being demonstrated by Greg Anderson (one of its authors), and several other cool things. Maybe next time Apple could just buy the attendee list from Mitch Hall, and open up its doors. It’s got to cost less than annoying so many potential customers. If you didn’t stand in line, you can still check out the Drag Manager. The developer kit is available from APDA. It’s a nice piece of work, and something you’ll probably want to use.

If there was a theme to the Expo, it had to be the general absence of a theme. MacWorld Expo 1.0.1. It seems almost as if everyone was holding their breath, waiting for the arrival of PowerPC. A few developers showed their ports, but Apple required that they not let anyone see the hardware.

Random Show Observations

Metrowerks, the folks who brought us CodeWarrior, was a guest in the MacTechMagazine booth. No doubt about it - as far as the developer market is concerned, this was the hot item at the show. The Gold Edition was outselling the Bronze Edition by a good three to one, showing that quite a few developers are putting their money on PowerPC. We know of several people who bought CodeWarrior at the booth, went back to their hotel, and converted their applications overnight. A commonly-heard comment from these people was that everything went well and that their code looked good. One reported that his application built (for the PowerPC, on the PowerPC, start to finish)in seven seconds, and that the code was the best he’s been able to build with any Mac-hosted tools.

The currently available CodeWarrior is a development version, so expect a glitch or two, but you can also count on a free upgrade when it goes final. Rich Siegel has written a ThinkC 6.0 to CodeWarrior project converter, and it’s available on our source code disk and online services.

Connectix surprised everyone (including themselves) with a runaway best-seller, RAMDoubler. Their line was about as long as Apple’s, but these people were excited and happy. There is more than one company using RAMDoubler to take their 20+MB machines up over the 40MB mark so they can run large-heap MPW along with their applications in very large partitions. It was fun to hear the wild variety of assertions and speculations about how it’s implemented.

Microsoft displayed a number of interesting things at their gigantic booth (well-positioned quite near our not-quite-so-gigantic MacTech Magazine booth). They had the normal stuff, but they also had some new things of interest. In addition to the new FoxPro, they also showed a collection of home-oriented titles. These included a detailed walk through of a museum; a collection of over two hundred instruments from all over the world; an extensive collection of movie titles, coupled with reviews from a variety of famous reviewers, clips, stills, and other movie details. They also showed a word processor for kids, with a lot of nice touches, and was one of the most entertaining pieces of software I saw at the show. Check it out. It might have an idea or two you might want to use to make your own software more entertaining.

Steve Jasik has a PowerPC debugger he’s calling his Two-Headed Debugger. It’s up and running, and he was proudly displaying it at the show.

It was interesting to see DEC and SGI at the show. SGI’s booth was packed both times Iwent by. DEC’s wasn’t.

My personal favorite was Delta Tao’s booth, where most of their wares were available for only $20. Ipicked up Eric’s Ultimate Solitaire, a most excellent rendition of a whole slew of card games. The best part? Ithink it’s the fluid motion as you throw a card to its destination. Very nice. The humorous manual alone is worth a read.

Rabbit out of a hat

What does 1994 have in common with 1984? Would it be that Apple shows the world how to break free of the grip of Big Brother? Well, not exactly. In fact, Apple plays only an indirect part in this year’s saga. It involves many of the original members of the team which brought us Macintosh, but this time they are part of an Apple spinoff called General Magic.

Bill Atkinson, Andy Hertzfeld, Susan Kare, and many other familiar names started a company called General Magic four years ago, and are now proudly showing off what has kept them so busy. You probably know Bill for QuickDraw, Andy for vast portions of the Macintosh Toolbox, and Susan for many of the “cute” designer touches (including Clarus the dogcow) which helped make Macintosh so appealing.

General Magic got its start at Apple as a project to take a look at what might constitute the next paradigm shift. The project had at least two names, Magic Crystal and Paradigm. After a few months, Marc Porat, Bill, Andy, and a few others spun the project out with Apple’s help. Marc had done his dissertation at Stanford on the business of the information society, so it’s no surprise that the business of General Magic is all about telecomputing. General Magic has developed technologies for its licensees, and they will deliver on a variety of devices. The licensees include Sony, AT&T, Matsushita, Philips, Apple, and Motorola (and NTT just joined up), and you can expect these personal communicators to offer a variety of wireless and “wireline” connections.

Magic Cap

Magic Cap is the software platform, and General Magic would have you believe that Cap is an acronym for Communication Applications Platform. It includes the user interface and operating system which will run on a variety of (mostly handheld) devices. It has a variety of places. The first one you see is a desk with a bunch of things you might ordinarily have on your desk, including a phone, a phone book, a postcard, in and out boxes, a date book, and a note book. From there you can move to the hallway, where there are rooms like the library, the store room, and the game room. You can go in a room, or you can go downtown. Downtown is where you can find services which live outside your device, like AT&T’s PersonaLink e-mail service. You might also find a comic strip subscription service, a shopping mall, and other services.

While it works best on a personal communicator (General Magic has a minimal hardware specification), Magic Cap will also run on Windows and Macintosh computers. This aspect represents both an opportunity and a potential pitfall for the developer. On the one hand, you’ll be able to develop and test on a machine you already have. On the other, it’s easy to forget that using a handheld device with a touch-sensitive LCD screen is entirely unlike using a Macintosh.

Magic Cap includes a date book, a filing cabinet, a name card file, and the ability to send just about anything by fax, phone, e-mail, infrared, and wireless (depending on what communication capabilities your communicator has in it). Each of these knows about the others, and they can share information, as well as use Telescript(a communication programming language) to make everything “smart”. For example, you can schedule a meeting in your date book, select attendees from the card file, and automatically create invitations which will get mailed to the invitees. Not only can the invitations carry along the schedule info for the recipient, they can add the meeting to their calendar and come back and note their rsvp in your calendar.

Magic Cap is object oriented through and through, top to bottom. They’ve defined object oriented extensions to C, and you’ll find yourself spending time in MPW writing, preprocessing the object extensions, compiling, and linking. You’ll also spend time in Magic Cap constructing the appearance and some of the behavior of your creation. While they’re currently working in MPW, they are actively investigating other environments to speed up and otherwise improve the development experience.

Telescript

Telescript is General Magic’s object oriented language of telecommunications. It has no interface, so it counts on Magic Cap and other things with interfaces to interact with a user. AT&T is using Telescript as the basis for its PersonaLink e-mail service. Because you have a programming language underneath the mail system, it can behave in a more intelligent manner than most mail systems. For instance, a mailbox can have rules like “automatically delete mail from Neil”, or “if mail sits in this mailbox unread too long, fax it to me.”

Telescript is for remote programming. This differs from remote procedure calling in that Telescript programs and objects get carried around the network (they call it the Cloud), and these get executed on a receiving computer (they call them agents). In this way, Telescript is rather like Postscript, in that you construct a program designed for execution on another machine. It’s different, though, in the way they think about these programs. They talk about programs going somewhere, and then directing the work at the agent’s site. Because of this, you can think of the network as a platform rather than simply a network.

The key elements of Telescript are places, agents, travel, meetings, and connections. Places are things like home, a shopping center, a public service provider, each representing something in the physical world. An agent occupies a place, and transacts the business of the place. Places and agents can have authority, and are both programmed in Telescript. Agents can go from place to place, and they do it with a single command (so you don’t have to know all about getting from place to place). Agents in the same place can negotiate to set up meetings where they can transact business. Agents in different places can set up connections if both are available.

Telescript is an interpreted language. A Telescript program can’t touch the physical resources of the computer it’s running on, so you’ve got some built-in safety mechanisms.

Where do you fit in?

General Magic is currently working with (some would say ‘over’) a number of developers, and they want to work with more. However, they are a startup and have limited resources, so they’re not ready to handle all of the developers who have expressed interest, but they’re working on it. They have to get the first release out, and then they can open it up.

In the meantime, you can contact them and let them know if you’re interested, and they’ll make sure you hear about any new developments. They also have forums on America Online and CompuServe, and may add others as they have time. On America Online, use the keyword “General Magic”.

General Magic will have people at this year’s MacHack (see below for more information). There’s talk of even adding a Best Magic Cap Hack category to the Annual MacHax™ Best Hack Contest. That would indicate that there will be enough development information/tools at the conference to get everyone hacking away, and sleeping even less than usual. General Magic also plans to hold a developer conference in September.

We will bring you some solid Magic Cap development articles in upcoming issues, and continue to keep you informed about interesting new development opportunities.

For More Information

MacHack - June 23 through 26th. 313/882-1824. ALink Expotech or expotech@aol.com. Plan on hacking, not sleeping.

General Magic - send your name, company affiliation, contact information, and brief background info about you and your company to dee_young@genmagic.com, and they’ll contact you.

Delta Tao - weasel@netcom.com or keyword ‘delta tao’ on America Online.

Food for Thought

“Typecasting is the goto of the nineties”

-Waldemar Horwat

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

BBEdit 11.1.1 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
CrossOver 14.1.3 - Run Windows apps on y...
CrossOver can get your Windows productivity applications and PC games up and running on your Mac quickly and easily. CrossOver runs the Windows software that you need on Mac at home, in the office,... Read more
Little Snitch 3.5.3 - Alerts you about o...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activity As soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 6.2.3 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
OmniFocus 2.2 - GTD task manager with iO...
OmniFocus helps you manage your tasks the way that you want, freeing you to focus your attention on the things that matter to you most. Capturing tasks and ideas is always a keyboard shortcut away in... Read more
Cocktail 8.4 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
PDFKey Pro 4.3 - Edit and print password...
PDFKey Pro can unlock PDF documents protected for printing and copying when you've forgotten your password. It can now also protect your PDF files with a password to prevent unauthorized access and/... Read more
Kodi 15.0.beta1 - Powerful media center...
Kodi (was XBMC) is an award-winning free and open-source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub that can be installed on Linux, OS X, Windows, iOS, and Android, featuring a 10-foot user... Read more
DiskCatalogMaker 6.4.12 - Catalog your d...
DiskCatalogMaker is a simple disk management tool which catalogs disks. Simple, light-weight, and fast. Finder-like intuitive look and feel. Super-fast search algorithm. Can compress catalog data... Read more
Macs Fan Control 1.3.0.0 - Monitor and c...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more

Moleskine Timepage – Calendar for iCloud...
Moleskine Timepage – Calendar for iCloud, Google & Exchange 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The most elegant calendar for your pocket and wrist, Timepage is a... | Read more »
QuizUp Gets Social in its New Update
Plain Vanilla Corp has released a new and improved version of their popular trivia game, QuizUp. The app now emphasizes social play so you can challenge friends from all over the world. [Read more] | Read more »
The Deep (Games)
The Deep 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Swipe Controls Delve into the deep in this retro rogue-like! Swipe to move your diver around and keep away from the enemies as you... | Read more »
Battle of Gods: Ascension (Games)
Battle of Gods: Ascension 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: TURN-BASED TACTICAL COMBATFight tactical battles against the forces of Hades! In Battle of Gods: Ascension you play... | Read more »
Shadowmatic's Latest Update Adds a...
Shadowmatic's shadowy shadow-ness is getting a little shadowy-er thanks to a recent update that adds an Arcade Mode. [Read more] | Read more »
Sunrise Calendar and Slack Have Assimila...
Wunderlist is perhaps one of the most populat and beloved productivity apps on the App Store - and now it's gone and incorporated itself into other useful services like Sunrise Calendar and Slack. [Read more] | Read more »
Crossy Road Devs Hipster Whale are Bring...
Hipster Whale, the minds behind the rather popular (and rather great) Crossy Road, have teamed-up with Bandai Namco to create PAC-MAN 256: an absolutely bonkers looking maze runner chaser thing. | Read more »
Meet the New Spotify Music
Spotify Music  has a lot going on. They're introducing 3 new modes to serve all your musical needs, with the "Now" start page  gives you curated playlists based on your particular tastes. As you listen the app will learn more about your tastes and... | Read more »
What the Apple Watch Gets Right, and Wha...
| Read more »
Celebrate PAC-MAN's 35th Birthday W...
BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America is celebrating PAC-MAN's 35th anniversary by releasing updates for PAC-MAN and PAC-MAN Lite for iOS. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off original MSRP, starting at $979. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
What Would the ideal Apple Productivity Platf...
For the past four years I’ve kept a foot in both the Mac and iPad camps respectively. my daily computing hours divided about 50/50 between the two devices with remarkable consistency. However, there’... Read more
PageMeUp 1.2.1 Ten Dollar Page Layout Applica...
Paris, France-based Softobe, an OS X software development company, has announced that their PageMeUp v. 1.2.1, is available on the Mac App Store for $9.99. The license can be installed on up to 5... Read more
Eight New Products For USB Type-C Application...
Fresco Logic, specialists in advanced connectivity technologies and ICs, has introduced two new product families targeting the Type-C connector recently introduced across a number of consumer... Read more
Scripps National Spelling Bee Launches Buzzwo...
Scripps National Spelling Bee fans can monitor the action at the 2015 Spelling Bee with the new Buzzworthy app for iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. The free Buzzworthy app provides friendly... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $120 o...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $979 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model (except for Apple’... Read more
27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899, $10...
B&H Photo has the new 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Save up to $50 on iPad Air 2, NY tax only, fr...
B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $50 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $469 $30 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $549.99 $50 off - 128GB iPad... Read more
Updated Mac Price Trackers
We’ve updated our Mac Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers: - 15″ MacBook Pros - 13″ MacBook... Read more
New 13-inch 2.9GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model from... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Watch SW Application Project Manager...
**Job Summary** The Apple Watch software team is looking for an Application Engineering Project Manager to work on new projects for Apple . The successful candidate Read more
Engineering Manager for *Apple* Maps on the...
…the Maps App Team get to take part in just about any new feature in Apple Maps, often contributing a majority of the feature work. In our day-to-day engineering work, we Read more
Senior Software Engineer - *Apple* SIM - Ap...
Changing the world is all in a day039s work at Apple . If you love innovation, here039s your chance to make a career of it. You039ll work hard. But the job comes with Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail...
**Job Summary** Job Summary The Lead ASC is an Apple employee who serves as the Apple business manager and influencer in a hyper-business critical Reseller's store Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.