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MacWorld SF 95
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:3
Column Tag:Macworld Expo Notes

Have You Seen Anything Cool?

Another quest for good stuff at MacWorld

By various contributors

Our staff has assembled a near-random set of observations from various people who attended MacWorld Expo in San Francisco in January. They’re presented in a hodge-podge below. That’s fitting, given the helter skelter hit-and-miss nature of the four day event.

What was hot? Well there was that weird guy with a Connectix QuickCam wired into his baseball cap recording anything that moved in the Penthouse booth. I heard he got some great shots and great quotes. Did she really say, “Do it again, over here where the light’s better”?

Apple showed a great demo of an upcoming OpenDoc-based ClarisWorks in the Developer Showcase. This ClarisWorks, with one tool pallet in the belly of an animated bear and another as a traditional bar, demonstrates how OpenDoc allows the user interface to be tailored to different markets.

There were not many Internet savvy apps. Guy Kawasaki’s Emailer, by Fog City Software, looks good for those who support more than one service, but its lack of filters keeps it far from competing with Eudora. StarNine’s Macintosh list server looks very hot. It can process QuickMail and Internet messages with auto replies, activating other apps and more.

One developer reported that this was the first show where Performa owners discovered that their Macintoshes were good for more than typing school papers. All those doctors and lawyers are now seeing what fun they can have with QuickCam and Marathon on the Internet.

The conference organizers wouldn’t allow booths in Developer Central to put padding under their carpet. Ooh, those dogs hurt!

Main Event was showing their Apple Script development environment. It supports variable watching and changing on the fly, step tracing, pausing a script and running another in the paused script’s variable space, excellent point-and-click script building and a bunch of other cool tools for developing Apple Scripts. This is a must have for any Apple Script developer; let’s hope they finally ship it.

Of course, MetroWerks released a new version, but I didn’t take the time to see it. Their tree reduction effort seemed to be a success if you count the number of people rushing to buy the printed version of their documentation.

While looking for someone to comment on the Windows sessions for Macintosh programmers, we drew this comment, “Sorry, I can’t help you here. It repels me like a magnet. :-)”

The show is smaller because of the large number of mergers and acquisitios that have taken place in the industry.

Apple’s Pavilion set aside in a separate room continues to be a mistake. It’s difficult to navigate and it’s a very crowded and stuffy room. It needs to be back on the main show floor. Rumor has it that it will be this way in Boston.

Connectix continued to have hot products at the show. People were continuously stacked up four across, eight deep, eager to drop their $99 for a QuickCam. One Symantec exec was seen buying two, one for a friend who couldn’t get away from his booth in Developer Central.

You mean there’s a whole ’nuther hall to get through?

There were a number of Windows developers that came to Developer Central and asked about getting started in Macintosh programming.

Wearing a QuickCam on a hat while walking around the show capturing pictures and video is a great way to meet everyone at the show.

There were a number of people at the show who were amazed at how many tools and opportunities there were available on the Macintosh for developers.

The show had at least 30% more attendance than last Macworld (maybe even more).

People are over the phase of “is the Power Macintosh for real?”

When (if ever) are they going to open the passageway between the Marriott Hotel (where all the keynotes are) and the Moscone Center?

Developer Central was a resounding success. Everyone had space, the volume level was talkable, and the crowd passing through seemed to have a lot of developers in it.

Microsoft seemed quite pleased with the response to their Windows for Macintosh developers sessions.

There were simply too many interesting people at the show and not enough time to talk to them all.

People just don’t seem to be giving out enough free samples, especially of expensive hardware!

Staying up all night the night before the show to work with a small group of volunteers to get a demo going wore me out, but what a blast!

At long last, it was a simple matter to get a really good cup of coffee within just a few steps of the convention center.

The Williams Defender emulator looked really good. Maybe too good. Many people didn’t realize that the stand-up arcade machines had Macs inside, nor did they realize that Defender was for sale and available to run on their Macs at home. I shudder to think that it’s available for unlimited play at only $25 after I wasted a year of college dropping quarters.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Apple Evangelism party was a great party. Ford puts on a good shindig.

Best booth? It had to be Bungie’s booth. It’s not that the booth itself was anything special. In fact, I can’t say that I ever saw the booth because you couldn’t get near it even by waving cash at them. People were crowded around five deep trying to buy Marathon.

Worst booth? It’s so hard to choose but we’ll give it to Pinnacle. Their steel box fortress may make for some nice, quiet conversations on the inside, but who found the door?

Most overly-hyped party? Could it be the Be In? Best happening at the Be In? Cool General Magic demos. Did you know that those things can send e-mail?

Who was showing at Developer Central? Hang on to your hats!

Absoft - MacFortran, C++

ACI - 4th Dimension and 4D Server, Object Master

Aladdin Systems - StuffIt InstallerMaker

Apple Computer, Inc. - APDA, Apple Dylan, Apple Guide Authoring, Apple Media Tool, Developer Press, Developer Support Programs, Developer University, HyperCard/AppleScript, Mac OS SDK, MPW Pro / E.T.O., Multimedia Development Tools, Newton Toolkit, OpenDoc, QuickTime

BareBones Software- BBEdit 3.1, PopupFuncs 2.5, Cool T-Shirts, Bowers Development - AppMaker

Claris Corporation - FileMaker Pro, FileMaker Pro Server and Runtime. Claris Solutions Alliance

Digitool, Inc. - Macintosh Common Lisp

dtF Americas, Inc - dtF Relational Database

EveryWare Development Corp. - Butler SQL Server

Graphical Business Interfaces Inc. - TableIt!, Cataloger™ and Template Constructor™

Hayden Books - Programming Books

Jasik Designs - The Debugger/MacNosy

Kaleida Labs, Inc. - ScriptX

Language Systems - LS Pascal and LS Fortran

MacTech Magazine - MacTech CD, MacTech Mail Order

Main Event Software - Scripter®, Rosanne™ Data Processing Package.

Mathemæsthetics, Inc. - Resorcerer

Metrowerks - CodeWarrior 5

Micro Macro - MicroGuard

Microsoft Corporation - FoxPro, Visual C++ 2.0 Cross-Development Edition


PACE Anti-Piracy - PACE Anti-Piracy

Prograph International - Prograph CPX 1.1, Prograph Client/Server Tools, Prograph Classic

Quasar Knowledge Systems - SmalltalkAgents 2.0

Remote Measurement Systems - EnviroMac

SAS Institute - SAS: JMP

Scientific Placement - Recruitment services for professional Macintosh Software Developers.

Stone Tablet Publishing - StoneTable

Summit Software Company - BasicScript™ Toolkit for Macintosh

Symantec Corporation - Symantec Developers Advantage, Symantec C++ 8.0 for Power Macintosh

Tenon Intersystems - Tenon’s Unix/Mach software, MachTen

True BASIC, Inc. - True BASIC

Waterloo Maple Software - Maple V, Theorist, Expressionist, MicroExpressionist, MathEdge.

and hiding off on the edge, as if they were really a part of Developer Central, was Dell, surrounded by sand bags and signs saying, “Don’t shoot! We’re not the enemy.” Right.


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