TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Mar 98 Viewpoint

Volume Number: 14 (1998)
Issue Number: 3
Column Tag: Viewpoint

Viewpoint

by Eric Gundrum

The Feel of Macworld Expo

Once again, another Macworld Expo is behind us. As with past Expos, this one had its own, unique feel. There were noticeable holes where vendors seemed to have pulled out at the last minute, and the show was noticeably smaller than past years (mostly due to vacancies created by the clone vendors going away). Even so, end users visiting the show were as excited as ever. End users who haven't been spending much money on their Macs in recent years are doing so now. It seems as if the changes Mac OS 8 has brought us has revitalized user's attitudes towards their Macs.

Sometimes we developers forget the excitement we had when we first began attending Macworld Expo. I remember my incredible thirst to learn everything I could about the products available for the little computer known as Macintosh. Over the years, I've begun to feel like there is nothing new to see. Macworld Expo was becoming a drag. A few years ago this feeling was alleviated by the Expo Greenhouse. This was a collection of a few dozen small booths packed very tightly in a small space; first time exhibitors were able to show their products for a tenth the cost of even the smallest regular booth. (Stations were subsidized by volunteers, sponsors and Expo management.) The Greenhouse was where the new products were shown; the Greenhouse was where all the cool products were shown. Unfortunately, there was no Greenhouse at January's Expo, and I missed it very much.

Although the Greenhouse was missing, there were still plenty of cool products at the show. They just took more work to find. Having some of the bigger vendors not at the show made it that much easier, because the smaller ones weren't being overshadowed so much. A bit of this is happening in our industry, too. Some of the larger Mac software publishers seem to be turning their attention to other markets, saying the Mac market now is too small for them. However, their inattention to their many loyal users who helped them grow their companies so large is opening new opportunities for upstart new developers.

The main reason I go to Macworld Expo is to meet people. Over the years I've developed strong friendships with many developers around the world. The San Francisco Expo is one of four annual events where I have a chance to see old friends in person. (The others are MacHack, WWDC and the Boston Expo, now the New York Expo.) I enjoy the personal contact on the show floor and at parties with the people I spend so much time exchanging mail. As a developer, I'm lucky that I have these four events. Most end users have only one: the Macworld Expo closest to them.

For end users, Expo represents a chance to see and compare all the tools in one place. As an end user, I was out shopping for a new video card. Expo was about the only place where I could compare cards from different vendors side by side, and I could discuss how well the different cards performed with those who know them best: the game developers. For end users, the show is a great chance to see all the tools in one place and meet their creators, for vendors it is a chance to sell interesting new products to a very hungry market, and for developers it's another chance to catch up with old friends.

Another tidbit I've been hearing recently is that Mac software publishers who are developing Windows ports are deciding that good Windows programmers are too hard to find. They seem to think that training a good Macintosh programmer how to write good code for Windows is a lot easier than training a dime-a-dozen Windows programmer how to write good code.

I can see the logic of this: Macintosh programmers are Macintosh users first, and programmers second. As users, we understand how frustrating it is to use a poorly designed application. Consequently, we spend a lot of energy figuring out the best user experience possible, and we spend time exploring our ideas and opinions about user experience with other users and programmers. In short, we care about our users because we know how they feel about using their computer. The result is that we generally build software that is easier to use. Hopefully someday the users of Wintel machines will notice how much harder they have to work to get things done without a Macintosh.

What's Happening with Rhapsody

We still are a bit too early to be seeing Rhapsody software at Expo. As far as I could tell there weren't any mainstream Macintosh software publishers showing or even talking about Rhapsody versions of their products. The most I saw of Rhapsody was in Apple's pavilion and the Rhapsody developer tools in Developer Central. Yet, many of the mainstream Macintosh software publishers are advertising for Rhapsody engineers.

Apple has been noticeably quiet about Rhapsody in recent months. They seem to have learned about the dangers of over-hyping new technologies before they are shipping. Mac OS 8 is still going strong, and many Macintosh software publishers are having great success riding the sales wave. No one wants to rock the boat with premature talk of Rhapsody. This is all very good.

Nonetheless, Apple is still working very hard on Rhapsody. At least, they were in January. Many people have told me most Mac OS applications run in the Blue Box (Mac OS compatibility layer) without any problems. Apple may have us on the road to a transition to Rhapsody as smooth as was the transition to PowerPC.

Rhapsody represents some very nice technologies long needed on the Mac, including protected memory, more powerful system APIs and better development tools. Soon Apple should be releasing the Premiere version of the new OS for end users. That will be the first true test of user's interest in Rhapsody, and it will be an opportunity for Apple to learn more about what features are important to users, and what features are not.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

HandBrake 1.0.2 - Versatile video encode...
HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. Features Supported Sources VIDEO_TS folder, DVD image or real DVD (unencrypted... Read more
PhotoDesk 4.1.5 - Instagram client for p...
PhotoDesk lets you view, like, comment, and download Instagram pictures/videos. (NO Uploads! / Image Posting! Instagram forbids that! AND you need an existing Instagram account). But you can do so... Read more
Sound Studio 4.8.6 - Robust audio record...
Sound Studio lets you easily record and professionally edit audio on your Mac. Easily rip vinyls and digitize cassette tapes, or record lectures and voice memos. Prepare for live shows with live... Read more
Capo 3.5.1 - Slow down and learn to play...
Capo lets you slow down your favorite songs so you can hear the notes and learn how they are played. With Capo, you can quickly tab out your songs atop a highly-detailed OpenCL-powered spectrogram... Read more
Google Earth 7.1.8.3036 - View and contr...
Google Earth gives you a wealth of imagery and geographic information. Explore destinations like Maui and Paris, or browse content from Wikipedia, National Geographic, and more. Google Earth combines... Read more
QuickBooks 16.1.11.1556 R12 - Financial...
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
Google Earth 7.1.8.3036 - View and contr...
Google Earth gives you a wealth of imagery and geographic information. Explore destinations like Maui and Paris, or browse content from Wikipedia, National Geographic, and more. Google Earth combines... Read more
QuickBooks 16.1.11.1556 R12 - Financial...
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
FileZilla 3.24.0 - Fast and reliable FTP...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. Version 3.24.0: New The context menu for remote file search... Read more
Bookends 12.7.8 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more

Super Mario Run dashes onto Android in M...
Super Mario Run was one of the biggest mobile launches in 2016 before it was met with a lukewarm response by many. While the game itself plays a treat, it's pretty hard to swallow the steep price for the full game. With that said, Android users... | Read more »
WarFriends Beginner's Guide: How to...
Chillingo's new game, WarFriends, is finally available world wide, and so far it's a refreshing change from common mobile game trends. The game's a mix of tower defense, third person shooter, and collectible card game. There's a lot to unpack here... | Read more »
Super Gridland (Entertainment)
Super Gridland 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Match. Build. Survive. "exquisitely tuned" - Rock Paper Shotgun No in-app purches, and no ads! | Read more »
Red's Kingdom (Games)
Red's Kingdom 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Mad King Mac has kidnapped your father and stolen your golden nut! Solve puzzles and battle goons as you explore and battle your... | Read more »
Turbo League Guide: How to tame the cont...
| Read more »
Fire Emblem: Heroes coming to Google Pla...
Nintendo gave us our first look at Fire Emblem: Heroes, the upcoming mobile Fire Emblem game the company hinted at last year. Revealed at the Fire Emblem Direct event held today, the game will condense the series' tactical RPG combat into bite-... | Read more »
ReSlice (Music)
ReSlice 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Audio Slice Machine Slice your audio samples with ReSlice and create flexible musical atoms which can be triggered by MIDI notes or... | Read more »
Stickman Surfer rides in with the tide t...
Stickson is back and this time he's taken up yet another extreme sport - surfing. Stickman Surfer is out this Thursday on both iOS and Android, so if you've been following the other Stickman adventures, you might be interested in picking this one... | Read more »
Z-Exemplar (Games)
Z-Exemplar 1.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.4 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
5 dastardly difficult roguelikes like th...
Edmund McMillen's popular roguelike creation The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has finally crawled onto mobile devices. It's a grotesque dual-stick shooter that tosses you into an endless, procedurally generated basement as you, the pitiable Isaac,... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

12-inch 1.2GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook on s...
Amazon has the 2016 12″ 1.2GHz/512GB Space Gray Retina MacBook (Apple model #MLH82LL/A) on sale for $1299.99 including free shipping. Their price is $300 off MSRP. Read more
Twelve South Releases RelaxedLeather Cases fo...
Inspired by the laid-back luxury of burnished leather boots and crafted in rich tones of taupe, herb and marsala, RelaxedLeather cases deliver smart, easy protection for the iPhone 7. Each genuine... Read more
Week’s Best Deal: New 2016 13-inch 2.0GHz Mac...
Amazon has the new 2016 13″ 2.0GHz non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for a limited time for $225 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro, Space Gray (MLL42LL/A): $1274.99 $225 off... Read more
Back in stock: Apple refurbished Mac minis fr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Apple Ranked ‘Most Intimate Brand’
The top ranked ‘”intimate” brands continued to outperform the S&P and Fortune 500 indices in revenue and profit over the past 10 years, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2017 Report, the largest... Read more
B-Eng introduces SSD Health Check for Mac OS
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based independant Swiss company- B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of SSD Health Check 1.0, the company’s new hard drive utility for Mac OS X. As the... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: -... Read more
4-core 3.7GHz Mac Pro on sale for $2290, save...
Guitar Center has the 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro (MD253LL/A) on sale for $2289.97 including free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Their price is a $710 savings over standard MSRP for... Read more
128GB Apple iPad Air 2, refurbished, availabl...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 128GB iPad Air 2s WiFis available for $419 including free shipping. That’s an $80 savings over standard MSRP for this model. A standard Apple one-year warranty is... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina Apple MacBook Pro on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A): $... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* macOS Systems Integration Administra...
…most exceptional support available in the industry. SCI is seeking an Junior Apple macOS systems integration administrator that will be responsible for providing Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Deer Pa...
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: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Technician - nfrastructure (United S...
Let’s Work Together Apple Technician This position is based in Portland, ME Life at nfrastructure At nfrastructure, we understand that our success results from our Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**467692BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000602-Columbia MO-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.