TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MWSF '04

Volume Number: 20 (2004)
Issue Number: 2
Column Tag: Review

MWSF '04

by Michael R. Harvey

Round-up of what we saw this year

Announcements, Announcements, Announcements

This MacWorld Expo saw no earth shattering releases, but a whole pile of new and updated releases form companies across the spectrum of Mac-dom. Some of those announcing, or releasing, new and updated products included Microsoft, with their Office 2004 for Mac, and Timbuk2, with two new cases added to their line of packs and laptop cases. There was also news from Oxford Semiconductor, showing off their OXFW912 FireWire 800 to IDE bridge chipset. LANDesk Software demonstrated their latest LANDesk Management Suite 8, while ATTO Technology announced that their host bus adapters fully support both the G5 processor and Panther. What else? Read on.

Apple

Serious iron for the rest of us

The G5 processor finally made it in to the Xserve. With two 2.0 GHz processors packed in, the new Xserve is capable of ever greater processing performance. You can check out Apple's website to see all the pretty graphs showing off the horsepower of this revision. Not so widely known about the new Xserve G5 is that it now has a hardware RAID built in, which gets you hardware RAID level 5, 150Mbps serial ATA drives, and set rebuilding in the background. Very good news.

Almost more important for network administrators is the updated Xserve RAID. With capacity up to 3.5 Terabytes, fourteen hot swappable drive bays giving you a $3.14 per gigabyte price point, this updated unit places itself in a very attractive position for any network or server administrator looking to expand their storage. There is also hardware set rebuilding in the background, just like the Xserve G5. This ability in the Xserve RAID is a firmware update, and should be updateable on older Xserve RAID units.

Whither G5?

The G5 desktop system has been around for a few months now, so where do software developers stand on updating their applications for the 64-bit architecture? I decided to get a sample answer by talking to folks whose programs really beat the snot out of hardware. Alias, the makers of Maya, and Discreet, makers of Combustion (who just released version 3 at the expo). Both companies said that they saw tremendous improvements in performance running their current versions on G5 hardware, without any patches to take advantage of the new hardware advancements. Each also ran into a few compatibility issues, none deal breakers, and all fully documented on their web sites. Last, both Alias and Discreet said they currently have no official plans to update their applications to take full advantage of the G5 architecture, citing the already significant speed boost they currently have. It is something they are always looking at however, so don't expect them to let the advantages of the G5 wait for too long.

Drive Savers

1-800-440-1904. The one phone number every admin has handy, and prays they never have to call. These folks were at the show, showing off some of the more extreme recovery jobs they've received. Their enterprise business is growing. They are more and more able to handle really big recovery jobs. Don't worry, if you ever need them , they will be there.



Dantz

The big announcement from Dantz this time around was version 6.0 of Retrospect for Macintosh. A multitude of improvements have been rolled into the new version. High on the list is the removal of the 1 TB limit present in previous version. You can now back up data sets and volumes up to 1,000 TB. Fibre channel support has been added, as well as the ability for backups to span multiple FireWire and USB disks. Obviously, the latest Macs and operating systems are now supported, and Dantz also includes a disaster recovery CD with Mac OS X 10.3.1.

Netopia

Timbuktu Pro 7.0

Timbuktu Pro has been the gold standard for remote computer control for years. Version 7.0 only improves on an already great product. Released in December, version 7.0 adds Panther support, including the ability to handle the fast user switching feature of 10.3. You can also now control how much color information is being sent to the controlling computer from the controlling computer. Pop up tip balloons are now part of the program to help you figure out the functions of the not always clear icons. Additionally, some features that in past versions were controlled with AppleScripts are now part of the preferences, making set up and control easier overall.

NetOctopus

Netopia previewed version 5.1 of netOctopus at the show. The main new feature of this will be the Software Delivery System (SDS). It will be added to what Netopia is calling their netOctopus Enterprise Systems Manager. There is a long list of features that this system will over. One new feature that will certainly take a load off your network is the ability to resume interrupted downloads without having the re-download the package from the staging server. The new version will be released by the end of the first quarter.

LaCie

The biggest thing coming from LaCie this show was what they very modestly call the Bigger Disk. It should be available by the time you need this. What it is is a box stuffed with four drives, and the necessary hardware to make it look like a single one terabyte volume. The internal hardware uses RAID 0 and spanning to present the host computer with one logical drive. Hence, the host machine requires no drivers to make use of the disk. It's got three interfaces, FireWire 800, FireWire 400, and USB 1.1/2.0. It is also equipped with a temperature sensing fan to help keep it cool, as well as running quieter. It'll have a price of $1199 when available.

Prosoft

Prosoft was showing off the updates to two of their products, Data Rescue, and Data Backup. Data Backup is a completely new program, built from the ground up by Prosoft. Previously, they had licensed Tri-Backup from Tri-Edre Software. When that agreement ended, they engineered their own version. The other application updated was Data Rescue. This update added the capability to do content based recovery, as well as recover images from digital cameras. These two utilities, along with Data Recycler, are now also bundled into the Data Safety Suite.

Now Software

The folks from Now Software showed their latest update to Now Up-To-Date and Contact, bringing the version to 4.5.1. They added Panther compatibility, as well as stability enhancements and other refinements. They also talked a bit about the next major revision, version 5.0, due later this year. There's nothing official, yet, but it's going to be the biggest, most complete update to the program ever. Keep an eye out for it.

Just plain cool

MacWorld always has a lot of consumer oriented products on display. These are some of the absolutely coolest gadgets I came across at the show.

DLO



Back in November, I reviewed Digital Lifestyle Outfitters Transpod all-in-one FM transmitter and car charger. I loved it. I also had two complaints. One, it didn't swivel left and right. Two, they hadn't yet come out with one for the 3G iPods. Well, I can complain no more. They had on display, and available for sale, the Transpod FM. Not only is it designed for the latest iPods, it has the ability, on the extender arm, to swivel left to right. Add to that a digital tuner, and auxiliary output, and you have the best of in car iPod accessories. They also have a wide variety of other accessories, including some very interesting cases. Check them out at www.everythingipod.com.

Harmony

These guys are great. They had on display their latest offering, the SST-659 Family remote. Designed to be easier for everyone in the house to use, with separate direction and activity keys, making it easier for the younger ones in the family to get things going. It also has a great price point. The one thing you sacrifice on this remote is the included TV listings in the remote. You get the service for two months, then must pay a yearly fee. Still, this device is by far, one of the nicest remotes you can get to feed your need to channel surf. www.harmonyremote.com.

MacAlly

As always, MacAlly had a wide variety of offerings on display. New to their clan of products were a line of backpacks and laptop cases, all quite nice looking. The one thing that caught my eye, however, was their retractable cable kit with multi-function tips. I wasn't able to find out too much about it, and it's not yet even on their website. I am very interested to see something like this that can reduce the cable clutter in my bag, and will be following up on this one.

Altec Lansing

The inMotion portable iPod speaker set was far and away the coolest offering the folks from Altec Lansing had on display at MacWorld. Compact, and well designed, these speakers were specifically designed to support the iPod, and give you room filling sound from a very small form. These speakers run off either A/C power or from four AA batteries. When plugged in, the inMotion will also charge your iPod, while the batteries can run for 24 hours straight. These are an absolute must of the traveling iPod user. www.alteclansing.com

O'Reilly

That name should be known far and wide in the tech community. O'Reilly has, almost literally, a ton of well received tech focused books in publication. At the show, they had them al there, as well as one new title that doesn't quite fall into the techie category (perhaps). The Best of The Joy of Tech is a presentation of the online comic series by Nitrozac and Snaggy. Anyone who has been involved in the Mac community for any amount of time will get a big laugh out of these panels. They also had an excerpt from David Pogues new book, iLife '04, The Missing Manual, on the floor practically moments after the suite was announced during the keynote address. First impression is that this new addition to the Missing Manual series will up hold the good reputation these books have.

"The show floor is closed."

Those are some of the sweetest words you can hear on Friday after a long week of Expo. This years edition had a lot going for it. There were no really big, gee whiz announcements, but there was a lot going on. What we covered above was only a fraction of all that was written and talked about that week. As for the show itself, the floor, as well as the conference sessions, were well attended. Most everyone, exhibitor, and attendee alike, seemed to feel they got their moneys worth out of San Francisco this year.


Michael R. Harvey

 
AAPL
$517.96
Apple Inc.
+0.00
MSFT
$39.75
Microsoft Corpora
+0.00
GOOG
$536.44
Google Inc.
+0.00

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 1.1.1.180...
Download the patch by launching the Starcraft II game and downloading it through the Battle.net connection within the app. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a strategy game played in real-time. You... Read more
Sibelius 7.5.0 - Music notation solution...
Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software for Mac. It is as intuitive to use as a pen, yet so powerful that it does most things in less than the blink of an eye. The demo includes... Read more
Typinator 5.9 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more
MYStuff Pro 2.0.16 - Create inventories...
MYStuff Pro is the most flexible way to create detail-rich inventories for your home or small business. Add items to MYStuff by dragging and dropping existing information, uploading new images, or... Read more
TurboTax 2013.r17.002 - Manage your 2013...
TurboTax guides you through your tax return step by step, does all the calculations, and checks your return for errors and overlooked deductions. It lets you file your return electronically to get... Read more
TrailRunner 3.8.769 - Route planning for...
Note: While the software is classified as freeware, it is actually donationware. Please consider making a donation to help support development. TrailRunner is the perfect companion for runners,... Read more
Flavours 1.1.10 - Create and apply theme...
Flavours is a Mac application that allow users to create, apply and share beautifully designed themes. Classy Give your Mac a gorgeous new look by applying delicious themes! Easy Unleash your... Read more
Spotify 0.9.8.296. - Stream music, creat...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue... Read more
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.475 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more
S.M.A.R.T. for USB and FireWire Drives 0...
S.M.A.R.T. for USB and FireWire Drives is a kernel driver for OS X external usb or firewire drives. It extends the standard driver behaviour by providing access to drive smart data. The interface to... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile Review
RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile Review By Jennifer Allen on April 16th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DISAPPOINTINGLY WEAKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise finally comes to iOS, but it’s a rather... | Read more »
148Apps Live on Twitch: Pivvot’s Looper...
On our latest Twitch stream, we’ll be playing a pair of minimalist arcade games, one that just got a big content update in Pivvot, and another that was inspired by it in 15 Coins. Whitaker Trebella, creator of Pivvot, will discuss the new modes... | Read more »
Word Cubes Review
Word Cubes Review By Jordan Minor on April 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SQUARESVILLEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Word Cubes is fine, but it is barely any different from any other word game.   | Read more »
PAX East 2014 – Desert Fox: The Battle o...
PAX East 2014 – Desert Fox: The Battle of El Alamein is Coming to iOS Soon Posted by Rob Rich on April 15th, 2014 [ permalink ] Shenandoah Studio has become one of the go-to developers for war games on iOS, with | Read more »
Tank of Tanks Review
Tank of Tanks Review By Carter Dotson on April 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TANKS A LOT!iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad This multiplayer game played on a single iPad is simple, chaotic fun.   | Read more »
PAX East 2014 – Dungeon of the Endless J...
PAX East 2014 – Dungeon of the Endless Just Might Have a Shot at an iPad Release Posted by Rob Rich on April 15th, 2014 [ permalink ] I think it’s fair to say that | Read more »
SideSwype Review
SideSwype Review By Carter Dotson on April 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: ON YOUR SIDEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad SideSwype is a puzzler that takes inspiration from Threes, but becomes its own incredibly fun game.   | Read more »
PAX East 2014 – Bigfoot Hunter Invites P...
PAX East 2014 – Bigfoot Hunter Invites Players on a Wild and Wooly Photo Safari Posted by Rob Rich on April 15th, 2014 [ permalink ] Yeti. Sasquatch. Wendigo. | Read more »
Dungeon Quest Review
Dungeon Quest Review By Cata Modorcea on April 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NO STORY, BUT GOOD FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Dungeon Quest does a lot of things right, but ultimately forgets about one of the core... | Read more »
Tempo AI and Speek Join Forces to “Kill...
Tempo AI and Speek Join Forces to “Kill the Conference Call PIN” Posted by Rob Rich on April 15th, 2014 [ permalink ] Today Tempo AI, makers of Tempo Smart Calendar, and | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Download our app, iTracx, for iOS and Android
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
Education discounts shave up to $300 off the...
Purchase a new Mac at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and all... Read more
Save $50 on Mac mini Server
B&H Photo has the 2012 Mac mini Server on sale for $949 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Read more
PhatWare’s “Ultimate Writing App For iOS” Ren...
PhatWare Corp. has announced it has renamed its new WritePro word processing app for iPhone and iPad: WritePad Pro. The decision to change the app’s name to leverages the strong brand awareness and... Read more
Full Resolution Photo Editor Tint Mint 1.0 Re...
California based independent developer, Jeffrey Sun, creator of the iOS app Modern Editor, has released Tint Mint, a new photography app for editing enthusiasts. The app costs a dollar, and it packs... Read more
16GB iPad mini (Apple refurbished) available...
The Apple Store has refurbished 1st generation 16GB iPad minis available for $249 including free shipping. Both black and white models are available. Read more
Save $120 on the 27-inch 3.2GHz Haswell iMac
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1679.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is about $120 off MSRP. Read more
Using a Mac Doesn’t Eliminate The Heartbleed...
Low End Mac’s Dan Knight notes that any time you visit a website with an https: prefix or see that secure lock icon on your browser, some type of security software is busy trying to protect your data... Read more
AirPrint Basics Tutorial Posted
A new Apple Knowledge Base article helps get you started using AirPrint, the Apple protocol that enables instant printing from iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac without the need to install drivers or... Read more
Speed Tips For Running LibreOffice On The Mac
LibreOffice is my favorite of several free, open-source application suites, and the one I have configured on my Mac as my default app for Word documents that one frequently has to deal with. It also... Read more

Jobs Board

*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
*Apple* Retail - Market Leader - Cincinnati...
…challenges of developing individuals, building teams, and affecting growth across Apple Stores. You demonstrate successful leadership ability - focusing on excellence Read more
*Apple* Retail - Manager - SoHo - Apple (Uni...
Job SummaryKeeping an Apple Store thriving requires a diverse set of leadership skills, and as a Manager, you're a master of them all. In the store's fast-paced, dynamic Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Every day, business customers come to the Apple Store to discover what powerful, easy-to-use Apple products can do for them. As a Business Leader, Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…challenges of developing individuals, building teams, and affecting growth across Apple Stores. You demonstrate successful leadership ability - focusing on excellence Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.