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

ffWorks 1.0.6 - Convert multimedia files...
ffWorks (was iFFmpeg), focused on simplicity, brings a fresh approach to the use of FFmpeg, allowing you to create ultra-high-quality movies without the need to write a single line of code on the... Read more
Adobe Acrobat 18.011.20035 - Powerful PD...
Acrobat DC is available only as a part of Adobe Creative Cloud, and can only be installed and/or updated through Adobe's Creative Cloud app. Adobe Acrobat DC with Adobe Document Cloud services is... Read more
Adobe Acrobat Reader 18.011.20035 - View...
Adobe Acrobat 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
EtreCheck 4.0.3 - 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
Yummy FTP Pro 2.0 - $29.99
Yummy FTP Pro is an advanced Mac file transfer app which provides a full-featured professional toolkit combined with blazing speeds and impeccable reliability, so whether you want to transfer a few... Read more
Opera 51.0.2830.34 - High-performance We...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Apple iOS 11.2.6 - The latest version of...
iOS 11 sets a new standard for what is already the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. It makes iPhone better than before. It makes iPad more capable than ever. And now it opens up both to... Read more
Google Chrome 64.0.3282.167 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 19.1.1 - Profess...
Photoshop CC 2018 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Photoshop customer). Adobe Photoshop CC 2018, the industry standard... Read more
Apple iOS 11.2.6 - The latest version of...
iOS 11 sets a new standard for what is already the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. It makes iPhone better than before. It makes iPad more capable than ever. And now it opens up both to... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Check out these 5 games that are a lot l...
So you're in love with Minecraft, but you're looking for something else to play as well? You've come to the right place then, because this list is all about games that are a bit like Minecraft. Some of them, more than others. [Read more] | Read more »
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 »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

B&H offers $200 discount on Silver 15″ Ma...
B&H Photo has Silver 15″ Apple MacBook Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 15″ 2.8GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Silver (... Read more
12″ Apple iPad Pro Sale of the Year! Models u...
B&H Photo has 12″ #iPad Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 12″ 64GB WiFi iPad Pro: $719 $80 off MSRP – 12″ 256GB WiFi... Read more
Deals on 32GB 9″ iPads: Up to $50 off MSRP, s...
B&H Photo has 2017 9.7″ 32GB iPads on sale for $299 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $30 off MSRP, and it’s currently the lowest price available for these... Read more
15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro available for o...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1699. That’s $300 off MSRP for this model, and it’s the lowest price available for a 15″ MacBook Pro currently offered by... Read more
13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro...
Amazon has the Silver 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MPXX2LL/A) on sale for $1649.99 including free shipping. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a new 13″... Read more
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

Jobs Board

*Apple* Store Leader - Retail District Manag...
Job Description:Job SummaryAs more and more people discover Apple , they visit our retail stores seeking ways to incorporate our products into their lives. It's your 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* 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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.