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.

 
AAPL
$105.22
Apple Inc.
+0.39
MSFT
$46.13
Microsoft Corpora
+1.11
GOOG
$539.78
Google Inc.
-4.20

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

f.lux 34.0 - Adjusts the color of your d...
f.lux makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake... Read more
Ember 1.8.2 - Versatile digital scrapboo...
Ember (formerly LittleSnapper) is your digital scrapbook of things that inspire you: websites, photos, apps or other things. Just drag in images that you want to keep, organize them into relevant... Read more
Tonality Pro 1.1.2 - Professional-grade...
Tonality Pro gives you the power to create stunning and dramatic black & white images. This is a complete monochrome image editor with more than 150 one-click style presets, totally unique... Read more
VueScan 9.4.49 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
OS X Server 4.0 - For OS X 10.10 Yosemit...
Designed for OS X and iOS devices, OS X Server makes it easy to share files, schedule meetings, synchronize contacts, develop software, host your own website, publish wikis, configure Mac, iPhone,... Read more
TotalFinder 1.6.12 - Adds tabs, hotkeys,...
TotalFinder is a universally acclaimed navigational companion for your Mac. Enhance your Mac's Finder with features so smart and convenient, you won't believe you ever lived without them. Tab-based... Read more
BusyCal 2.6.3 - Powerful calendar app wi...
BusyCal is an award-winning desktop calendar that combines personal productivity features for individuals with powerful calendar sharing capabilities for families and workgroups. BusyCal's unique... Read more
calibre 2.7 - Complete e-library managem...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more
Skitch 2.7.3 - Take screenshots, annotat...
With Skitch, taking, annotating, and sharing screenshots or images is as fun as it is simple.Communicate and collaborate with images using Skitch and its intuitive, engaging drawing and annotating... Read more
Delicious Library 3.3.2 - Import, browse...
Delicious Library allows you to import, browse, and share all your books, movies, music, and video games with Delicious Library. Run your very own library from your home or office using our... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Rami Ismail Opens Up distribute​() for D...
Rami Ismail Opens Up distribute​() for Developers Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Rami Ismail, Chief Executive of Business and Development at indie game studio | Read more »
Great Hitman GO Goes on Sale and Gets Ne...
Great Hitman GO Goes on Sale and Gets New Update – Say That Three Times Fast Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Rival Stars Basketball Review
Rival Stars Basketball Review By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RESTRICTIVE BUT FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Rival Stars Basketball is a fun mixture of basketball and card collecting but its... | Read more »
Rubicon Development Makes Over a Dozen o...
Rubicon Development Makes Over a Dozen of Their Games Free For This Weekend Only Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
I Am Dolphin Review
I Am Dolphin Review By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEARLY FIN-TASTICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Swim around and eat nearly everything that moves in I Am Dolphin, a fun Ecco-ish kind of game... | Read more »
nPlayer looks to be the ultimate choice...
Developed by Newin Inc, nPlayer may seem like your standard video player – but is aiming to be the best in its field by providing high quality video play performance and support for a huge number of video formats and codecs. User reviews include... | Read more »
Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Wi...
Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch Review By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: CLASSY STORYTELLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch is a sterling... | Read more »
A Few Days Left (Games)
A Few Days Left 1.01 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.01 (iTunes) Description: Screenshots are in compliance to App Store's 4+ age rating! Please see App Preview for real game play! **Important: Make... | Read more »
Toca Boo (Education)
Toca Boo 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: BOO! Did I scare you!? My name is Bonnie and my family loves to spook! Do you want to scare them back? Follow me and I'll... | Read more »
Intuon (Games)
Intuon 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Join the battle with your intuition in a new hardcore game Intuon! How well do you trust your intuition? Can you find a needle in a... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Weekend sale: 13-inch 128GB MacBook Air for $...
Best Buy has the 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz 128GB MacBook Air on sale for $849.99, or $150 off MSRP, on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price valid... Read more
Nimbus Note Cross=Platform Notes Utility
Nimbus Note will make sure you never forget or lose your valuable data again. Create and edit notes, save web pages, screenshots and any other type of data – and share it all with your friends and... Read more
NewerTech’s Snuglet Makes MagSafe 2 Power Con...
NewerTech has introduced the Snuglet, a precision-manufactured ring designed to sit inside your MagSafe 2 connector port, providing a more snug fit to prevent your power cable from unintentional... Read more
Apple Planning To Sacrifice Gross Margins To...
Digitimes Research’s Jim Hsiao says its analysts believe Apple is planning to sacrifice its gross margins to save its tablet business, which has recently fallen into decline. They project that Apple’... Read more
Who’s On Now? – First Instant-Connect Search...
It’s nighttime and your car has broken down on the side of the highway. You need a tow truck right away, so you open an app on your iPhone, search for the closest tow truck and send an instant... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $949,...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $949.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $150 off MSRP. Price is... Read more
Save up to $125 on Retina MacBook Pros
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available sta...
The Apple Store has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for up to $60 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $255... Read more
Textilus New Word, Notes and PDF Processor fo...
Textilus is new word-crunching, notes, and PDF processor designed exclusively for the iPad. I haven’t had time to thoroughly check it out yet, but it looks great and early reviews are positive.... Read more
WD My Passport Pro Bus-Powered Thunderbolt RA...
WD’s My Passport Pro RAID solution is powered by an integrated Thunderbolt cable for true portability and speeds as high as 233 MB/s. HighlightsOverviewSpecifications Transfer, Back Up And Edit In... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple Inc. (U...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple Inc. (U...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.