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
$100.86
Apple Inc.
-0.77
MSFT
$46.76
Microsoft Corpora
+0.52
GOOG
$579.95
Google Inc.
+6.85

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Capture One Pro 8.0.0.433 - RAW workflow...
Capture One Pro 8 is a professional RAW converter offering you ultimate image quality with accurate colors and incredible detail from more than 300 high-end cameras -- straight out of the box. It... Read more
Adobe Acrobat Pro 11.0.09 - Powerful PDF...
Adobe Acrobat allows users to communicate and collaborate more effectively and securely. Unify a wide range of content in a single organized PDF Portfolio. Collaborate through electronic document... Read more
Adobe Reader 11.0.09 - View PDF document...
Adobe Reader allows users to view PDF documents. You may not know what a PDF file is, but you've probably come across one at some point. PDF files are used by companies and even the IRS to... Read more
iFFmpeg 4.6.1 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a graphical front-end for FFmpeg, a command-line tool used to convert multimedia files between formats. The command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does... Read more
NTFS 11.3.62 - Provides full read and wr...
Paragon NTFS breaks down the barriers between Windows and OS X. Paragon NTFS effectively solves the communication problems between the Mac system and NTFS, providing full read and write access to... Read more
OS X Yosemite 10.10 DP8 - Developer Prev...
Note: This is a Developer Preview. You must be a registered Apple Mac Developer to download this update. You can also sign up for the free OS X Beta Program to download and preview public beta... Read more
FotoMagico 4.5 - Powerful slideshow crea...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more
Screenshot Path 1.2.1 - Change the defau...
Screenshot Path lets you change the folder where OS X saves screenshots. Screenshots are saved by default to the user’s desktop. This is handy for the occasional screenshot but those looking to take... Read more
Fantastical 1.3.16 - Create calendar eve...
Fantastical is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event details... Read more
GIMP 2.8.14 - Powerful, free image editi...
GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching,... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Zynga Unveils First Look at Looney Tunes...
Zynga Unveils First Look at Looney Tunes Dash! Posted by Ellis Spice on September 16th, 2014 [ permalink ] Be vewy, vewy qwiet. I’m hunting wunners featuwing wabbits, and luckily, it’s duck season wunner season. | Read more »
Guardians on the Go – How to Connect to...
At this point I’m relatively certain most of the country is familiar with Destiny. And for those looking to augment their game a bit, Bungie has changed their Bungie Mobile Companion App to Destiny Companion. | Read more »
Kunin Review
Kunin Review By Jordan Minor on September 16th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SHURIKEN DO ITUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Kunin is a nervous test of ninja reflexes.   Developer: Dodreams Price: FREE Version Reviewed: 1.0.1... | Read more »
4 KEMCO Titles are Just $0.99 for a Limi...
4 KEMCO Titles are Just $0.99 for a Limited Time Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 16th, 2014 [ permalink ] KEMCO RPGs Destiny Fantasia, Infinite Dunamis, Bonds of the Sk | Read more »
Introducing Flash, the Latest Wearable F...
Introducing Flash, the Latest Wearable Fitness Monitor from Misfit Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 16th, 2014 [ permalink ] The Misfit Flash is the newly-released fitness and sleep monitor from | Read more »
Hyper Trip Review
Hyper Trip Review By Jennifer Allen on September 16th, 2014 Our Rating: :: HYPER TWITCHYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Tough and unforgiving, Hyper Trip is a bit like Snake – if Snake was really harsh.   | Read more »
Collectible Card Game Earthcore: Shatter...
Collectible Card Game Earthcore: Shattered Elements is Set to Arrive on iOS in 2015 Posted by Ellis Spice on September 16th, 2014 [ permalink ] Polish developers | Read more »
Boogey Boy Review
Boogey Boy Review By Jennifer Allen on September 16th, 2014 Our Rating: :: PRETTY BUT BASICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It looks delightful but lack of Game Center support and more variety really affects the fun... | Read more »
Vizzywig 4K (Photography)
Vizzywig 4K 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $999.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: REQUIRES: iOS 7 on iPhone 5S with 32GB or 64GB. (Do not use iOS 8)The world's FIRST mobile 4K video capture, editing and... | Read more »
The Sleeping Prince Review
The Sleeping Prince Review By Jennifer Allen on September 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RESTRICTIVE KINGDOM SAVINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Sleeping Prince looks and feels great to play, but its lack of peril and... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sprint offers 16GB iPad mini for $199.99 with...
Sprint is offering 1st generation 16GB iPad minis for $199.99 with a 2-year service agreement. Standard MSRP for this iPad is $429. Their price is the lowest available for this model. Read more
2.5GHz Mac mini remains on sale for $549, sav...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro offered for $100 off M...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Free GIMP Professional Grade Graphics App Ver...
The latest 2.8.14 version of the oddly-named GIMP (acronym for: GNU Image Manipulation Program) open source, high-end image editing and creation alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop and refuge from... Read more
Apple Announces Record Pre-orders for iPhone...
Apple has released metrics showing a record number of first day pre-orders of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with over four million sold in the first 24 hours. Demand for the new iPhones exceeds the... Read more
10% off iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Otterbox cases
Get 10% off on popular Otterbox iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases at MacMall through September 19th. Use code OTTERBOX10 to see the discount. Read more
15-inch MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 o...
Amazon has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP including free shipping: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1899.99 save $100 - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $2374... Read more
27-inch 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1698, $101 o...
Abt has the 27″ 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1698 including free shipping. Their price is $101 off MSRP. Read more
More To Making A Larger iPad Than Expanded Sc...
CNET’s Ross Rubin has posted a thoughtful analysis of prospects for a larger display iPad Pro, noting that Microsoft and Samsung currently have the large-display touchscreen tablet category to... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.