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

Hopper Disassembler 4.3.16- - Binary dis...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more
Default Folder X 5.2.2 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more
EtreCheck 4.0.1 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 5.0.9 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
QuickBooks 17.2.25.638 R26 - Financial m...
QuickBooks helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save. Built for... Read more
Monosnap 3.4.10 - Versatile screenshot u...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs! Features Capture Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel... Read more
Vivaldi 1.14.1077.50 - An advanced brows...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
Viber 8.2.0 - Send messages and make fre...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device, so... Read more
QuickBooks 17.2.25.638 R26 - Financial m...
QuickBooks helps you manage your business easily and efficiently. Organize your finances all in one place, track money going in and out of your business, and spot areas where you can save. Built for... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 5.0.9 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Our top 5 characters from casual RPG Cre...
Creature Quest definitely lives up to its name with a host of collectible creatures based on fantasy tales and world mythologies. To celebrate Creature Quest’s first birthday, we’re going to lay out what we think are the five best characters in the... | Read more »
Around the Empire: What have you missed...
Did you know that Steel Media has a whole swathe of other sites dedicated to all aspects of mobile gaming? Sure you'll get the very best iPhone news, reviews, and opinions right here at 148Apps, but we don't want you missing out on a single piece... | Read more »
All the best games on sale for iPhone an...
Oh hi there, and welcome to our round-up of the best games that are currently on sale for iPhone and iPad. You thought I didn't see you there, did you, skulking behind the bushes? Trust me though, the bushes aren't where the best deals are. The... | Read more »
The Battle of Polytopia Guide - How to H...
A new update just released for The Battle of Polytopia (formerly Super Tribes), which introduces online multiplayer. For all the fans of Midjiwan’s lite take on Civilization, this is certainly welcome news, but playing online isn’t as easy and... | Read more »
Here are the very best mobile games to p...
It's Valentine's Day! Did you get loads of cards and chocolates and other tacky, simple expressions of human affection? Did you send out tat because you find it almost impossible to express emotion unless there's a section dedicated to it at your... | Read more »
Florence (Games)
Florence 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Florence is an interactive storybook from the award-winning lead designer of Monument Valley about the heart-racing highs and... | Read more »
Purrfect Date (Games)
Purrfect Date 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cats are a lil’ like marmite. Either you absolutely head-over-heels love’ em, or… nahhh, who are we kidding?! Everyone... | Read more »
More monsters to collect and evolve in C...
A laid-back mix of RPG and TCG, Creature Quest is all about building your deck, evolving your creatures and winning in battle. It’s the creation of VC Mobile, set up by Might and Magic producer Jon Van Caneghem. There are elements of that classic... | Read more »
Check out this awesome hands-on with the...
Well, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has come out on mobile. This isn't a clone, this isn't a riff on the battleroyale mechanics of the game, it's the official mobile port by Tencent. But there's a little bit of a hitch. [Read more] | Read more »
Hostage Negotiator (Entertainment)
Hostage Negotiator 1.1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1.0 (iTunes) Description: Official app of the board game by AJ Porfirio and Van Ryder Games. In Hostage Negotiator, you play the part of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Saturday Sale: Amazon offers 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB...
Amazon has the 13″ 1.8GHz/256B Apple MacBook Air on sale today for $250 off MSRP including free shipping: – 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A): $949.99, $250 off MSRP Their price is the lowest... Read more
Roundup of Apple Certified Refurbished 12″ Ma...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished 10″ and 12...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2017 10″ and 12″ iPad Pros for $100-$190 off MSRP, depending on the model. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: –... Read more
Apple Canada offers Certified Refurbished Mac...
 Canadian shoppers can save up to $560 on the purchase of a 2017 current-generation MacBook Pro, MacBook, or MacBook Air with Certified Refurbished models at Apple Canada. Apple’s refurbished prices... Read more
Sale! 13″ MacBook Airs for up to $180 off MSR...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $50-$120 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MQD32LL/A): $899, $... Read more
Sale! New 8-core iMac Pro for $4799, $200 off...
Adorama has the 8-core iMac Pro on sale for $4799 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the currently lowest price available for an iMac Pro. Read more
Sale! Walmart lowers prices even more on 9″ i...
Walmart has lowered their sale price on 9.7″ Apple iPads to $80 off MSRP for a limited time. Sale prices are for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: – 9″ 32GB iPad: $249.99 $80 off – 9″... Read more
Roundup of 13″ MacBook Pro sales, models avai...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only. Their prices are the lowest available for these... Read more
Roundup of 15″ MacBook Pros sale, models up t...
B&H Photo has 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 15″ 2.8GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray (... Read more
How to save up to $350 on the purchase of a 2...
B&H Photo has iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2149 $150 off MSRP – 27″ 3.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 113501424 Norman, Oklahoma, United States Posted: 15-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Are you passionate about Read more
Senior Program Manager - *Apple* Music - Ap...
# Senior Program Manager - Apple Music Job Number: 113393020 Seattle, Washington, United States Posted: 02-Feb-2018 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Apple is Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.