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

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Logic Pro X 10.1.1 - Music creation and...
Apple Logic Pro X is the most advanced version of Logic ever. Sophisticated new tools for professional songwriting, editing, and mixing are built around a modern interface that's designed to get... Read more
VLC Media Player 2.2.0 - Popular multime...
VLC Media Player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, MP3, OGG, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It... Read more
Sound Studio 4.7.8 - 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
LibreOffice 4.4.1.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
Freeway Pro 7.0.3 - Drag-and-drop Web de...
Freeway Pro lets you build websites with speed and precision... without writing a line of code! With its user-oriented drag-and-drop interface, Freeway Pro helps you piece together the website of... Read more
Cloud 3.3.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
Cyberduck 4.6.5 - FTP and SFTP browser....
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more
Firefox 36.0 - Fast, safe Web browser. (...
Firefox for Mac offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals and... Read more
Thunderbird 31.5.0 - Email client from M...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more
VOX 2.4 - Music player that supports man...
VoxIt just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features & support for all audio formats you should ever need... Read more

Get The Whole Story – Lone Wolf Complete...
Get The Whole Story – Lone Wolf Complete is Now Available and On Sale Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Who Wore it Best? The Counting Dead vs....
Like it or not, the “clicker” genre, popularized by cute distractions like Candy Box and Cookie Clicker, seems like it’s here to stay. So Who Wore it Best? takes a look at two recent examples: The Counting Dead and AdVenture Capitalist. | Read more »
Card Crawl, the Mini Deck Building Game,...
Card Crawl, the Mini Deck Building Game, is Coming Soon Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Tinytouchtales and Mexer have announced their new game, | Read more »
Witness an all new puzzle mechanic in Bl...
Well, BlastBall MAX is not one of those games and is bucking trends such as timers, elements of randomness, and tacked-on mechanics in favor of pure puzzle gameplay. When you first boot up the game you’ll see a grid made up of squares that are each... | Read more »
This Princess Has a Dragon and She isn’t...
This Princess Has a Dragon and She isn’t Afraid to Useit. | Read more »
Mecha Showdown Review
Mecha Showdown Review By Lee Hamlet on February 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: IN A SPINUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Mecha Showdown replaces traditional buttons with a slot machine mechanic in this robot fighting game,... | Read more »
Reliance Games and Dreamworks Unveil Rea...
Reliance Games and Dreamworks Unveil Real Steel Champions Posted by Ellis Spice on February 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Reliance Games and Dreamworks have announced that a third game in | Read more »
Sum Idea Review
Sum Idea Review By Jennifer Allen on February 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: TAXING NUMBERSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Sum Idea is a fairly charming but taxing puzzle game.   | Read more »
A New Badland Update Brings Daydream Lev...
A New Badland Update Brings Daydream Levels to Co-Op Posted by Ellis Spice on February 27th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Slashing Demons Review
Slashing Demons Review By Lee Hamlet on February 27th, 2015 Our Rating: :: IT'S A LONG WAY TO THE TOPUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Slashing Demons lacks the depth or scope to take it beyond the point of being just... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple CEO Tim Cook to Deliver 2015 George Was...
Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver the George Washington University’s Commencement address to GWU grads on May 17, at which time he will also be awarded an honorary doctorate of public service from the... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis for up t...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz... Read more
Save up to $50 on iPad Air 2s, NY tax only, f...
 B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for $50 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $469.99 $30 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $549 $50 off - 128GB iPad Air 2... Read more
16GB iPad Air 2 on sale for $447, save $52
Walmart has the 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi on sale for $446.99 on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for online orders only,... Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $205 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $205 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 1.4GHz iMac: $1029 $70 off - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $1199 $100 off - 21″ 2.9GHz... Read more
Apple Takes 89 Percent Share of Global Smartp...
According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone operating profit reached US$21 billion in Q4 2014. The Android operating system captured a record-low 11 percent global... Read more
New Travel Health App “My Travel Health” iOS...
Rochester, Minnesota based Travel Health and Wellness LLC has announced that its new iOS app help safeguard the user’s health when traveling abroad — “My Travel Health” is now available on the Apple... Read more
Sale! MacBook Airs for up to $115 off MSRP
B&H Photo has MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 128GB MacBook Air: $799 100 off MSRP - 11″ 256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100... Read more
15-inch 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro (refurbishe...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished previous-generation 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1489 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is... Read more
Wither The iPad mini? End Of The Road Imminen...
AppleDailyReport’s Dennis Sellers predicts that the iPad mini is going to be left to wither on the vine, as it were, and then just allowed to fade away — a casualty of the IPhone 6 Plus and other... Read more

Jobs Board

Sr. Technical Services Consultant, *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple Professional Services (APS) has an opening for a senior technical position that contributes to Apple 's efforts for strategic and transactional Read more
Event Director, *Apple* Retail Marketing -...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global engagement strategy and team. Delivering an overarching brand Read more
*Apple* Pay - Site Reliability Engineer - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**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* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.