TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacTech at Macworld 2007

Volume Number: 23 (2007)
Issue Number: 02
Column Tag: Show Report

MacTech at Macworld 2007

a gathering not quite like any other

By Edward Marczak

Macworld Expo brings together Mac devotees from all over the world. It's a gathering not quite like any other. Of course, each one is unique to itself, and Macworld 2007 was definitely its own show. Particularly, this wasn't quite the 'iPodWorld' of last year.

It's almost not possible to start this off any other way than talking about Apple's iPhone. Unfortunately, it's also the element that we have the least real information on. Even different Apple employees that we met gave us different answers on what the capabilities will be and what we will see in a finished product. So, for now, it's mostly conjecture, outside of Apple's official product page (http://www.apple.com/iphone/). The reality is that the demo was great, and I'm sure we all want one!

Of course, Apple TV debuted, along with a new version of the Apple Airport Extreme base station. Both devices sport draft-level 802.11n connectivity for 108MB/s and better performance through interference — both things that I'd like to see! The new Airport base station also brings to the table the ability to share a USB hard drive. We didn't have the opportunity to play with the setup features, so we don't know the security implications that this brings. Since this really is targeted to home or very small workgroups, this may not be too much of an issue, and an improvement over what those groups are doing now. If you haven't seen it, check out the new look, too (no more UFO-chic).

For us tech types, the extra IT Conference is a blessing. This year, for the first time, Schoun Regan was responsible for all of its content and gathering the speakers. The interchange among fellow techies can't be overstated. Computing is really so broad now that, one simply cannot know it all. There's always some tidbit to pick up, and this is a great environment in which to do so. The presentations that I saw were fantastic, and my only disappointment was that there wasn't enough time for me to attend all of them! However, there was one particular presentation that stood out in many of our minds.

Amit Singh, head of Macintosh Engineering at Google, used his presentation on file systems to announce that Google had ported all of the FUSE libraries from Linux and was making them available under OS X! FUSE was one of those projects that had enough Linux-specific code that made it a tough project for most people to consider porting to another platform. Not for Amit and his team at Google, though. Why does this excite us, and what is FUSE? FUSE is a "Filesystem in USEr space." Basically, it's a way to abstract complex filesystems, or, to create your own file system. As an example, there's a GMail plug-in for FUSE that allows you to mount your GMail account as a disk (file system). The Finder just sees it as another thing that you can read and write to. Guess what else? There's an NTFS plug-in, too, meaning that we'll now be able to read and write to NTFS partitions right from the Finder (or shell, of course) — see this month's "Camping in OS X" to understand the NTFS issue a little better. There's a host of file systems already available for FUSE. Look for an article in next month's MacTech for more details on FUSE.

Going back though 2006's MacTech 25, which included Schoun Regan and Amit Singh, we saw many others in that list factor pretty heavily into the week. They were speakers, coordinators, or developers releasing new products. It's nice to see this group do well professionally and personally. Go back through that list, and keep your ears open for announcements bearing their names.

Speaking of names, we're all going to need to get used to the name change to "Apple." While it makes sense, it just seems a little too short...but we can cope. Everyone we spoke to during the week kept calm about it, and understood that this did not mean that the Macintosh was going to disappear! In fact, it's exciting to think about all of the interface possibilities with all of the new things that will potentially come out of Apple, Inc.

Of course, there was the show floor to walk around and look at shiny new goods. Both Parallels and VMWare were on hand, demonstrating their competing products (check out our cover story noting the entrance of VMWare into the Mac market). Prosoft Engineering, a long-time Mac company had their existing product line available, plus a new product called Jax. Despite being an "iPod" product, it's really more of an iTunes product that the iPod benefits from by being able to sync with iTunes. Jax has some cool built-in features — like auto-grab lyrics, new visualizers and "copy video from the web" — but also offers an open architecture, that allows developers to come up with their own creative ideas. Microsoft had a chance to show off features in its upcoming Office 2008 for Mac. Office 2008 has the distinction of 'killing off' VBA on the Mac side. So, it's with great pleasure that MacTech and Microsoft worked together to produce a VBA to AppleScript transition guide, which was made available at the show. It is going to get a few updates before it's actually finalized, but look for some announcements from MacTech in this area soon. CryptoCard had all of their wares on display, including a new, hosted "managed authentication service" for companies that may not want to manage this themselves. Now Software was showing a pre-release of it's upcoming Nighthawk software, which will ultimately replace their current Up-to-date and Contact product. While it looks good so far, no shipping date has been announced.

A few things in particular caught our eye. Route Buddy, a Mac-based GPS mapping solution has come a long way in the months that it has been out. The developers are promising the addition of directions in the next few months. Once that happens, we'll be trying it out, as this is software that we've been waiting for since Street Atlas disappeared from the Mac. Lithium Corp. demonstrated Console 2.0, containing a very Mac-like interface for monitoring network devices. Console 2.0 brings you many of the features you wish Apple's Server Monitor had, but doesn't! Features include a trouble-ticket system, trend-analysis, a web-interface, a really cool (and useful!) rack layout module that allows you to show the physical layout of your rack, and some Mac-environment-specific plug-ins (like an XServe RAID plug-in). The Axiotron/OWC announcement of a tablet Mac (the ModBook) caught our eye, too...perhaps we're not sure of the audience. For a tablet computer, it's a work of art, and it runs OS X! With an optional built-in GPS receiver, this does have some interesting applications. All input is via stylus-on-the-screen (of course, you could plug in a USB keyboard, too...it is still a Mac). We're really anxious to see where this gets adopted. It may help OS X penetration into areas where it was previously shut out due to the lack of this form factor (hospitals, factory floors, etc.).

Finally, there was the venerable MacTech show-floor booth. It was a pleasure to meet so many readers, all of who found us in the new-for-2007 North hall venue. Despite MacTech's 22-year history, it was new to some that found us and signed up (switchers, perhaps?). In any case, the booth activity didn't stop, and many people subscribed, re-subscribed, or wanted a MacTech CD, or TidBits CD. We also had meet the author sessions with people like Dean Shavit, Tim Monroe, Adam Engst (to talk about the TidBits CD that uses the MacTech Ink Viewer) and more.

It was truly an incredible week, and MacTech was happy to again be a part of Macintosh and Apple history.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Airmail 3.3.2 - Powerful, minimal email...
Airmail is an mail client with fast performance and intuitive interaction. Support for iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP3, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, Live.com. Airmail was designed... Read more
Numi 3.15.1 - Menu-bar calculator suppor...
Numi is a calculator that magically combines calculations with text, and allows you to freely share your computations. Numi combines text editor and calculator Support plain English. For example, '5... Read more
Airmail 3.3.2 - Powerful, minimal email...
Airmail is an mail client with fast performance and intuitive interaction. Support for iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP3, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, Live.com. Airmail was designed... Read more
Numi 3.15.1 - Menu-bar calculator suppor...
Numi is a calculator that magically combines calculations with text, and allows you to freely share your computations. Numi combines text editor and calculator Support plain English. For example, '5... Read more
TextSoap 8.4.1 - Automate tedious text d...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
TextSoap 8.4.1 - Automate tedious text d...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
Backblaze 4.3.0.44 - Online backup servi...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac. With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Numi 3.15 - Menu-bar calculator supports...
Numi is a calculator that magically combines calculations with text, and allows you to freely share your computations. Numi combines text editor and calculator Support plain English. For example, '5... Read more
EtreCheck 3.3.3 - 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
BusyContacts 1.1.8 - Fast, efficient con...
BusyContacts is a contact manager for OS X that makes creating, finding, and managing contacts faster and more efficient. It brings to contact management the same power, flexibility, and sharing... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The best new games we played this week
We were quite busy this week. A bunch of big mobile games launched over the past few days, alongside a few teeny surprises. There're lots of quality games to load your phone with. We've gone and picked out five of our favorites for the week. [... | Read more »
Magikarp Jump beginner's guide
Magikarp Jump is a mystifying little game. Part Tamagotchi, part idle clicker, there's not a whole lot of video game there, per se, but for some reason we can't help coming back to it again and again. Your goal is to train up a little Magikarp to... | Read more »
Goat Simulator PAYDAY (Games)
Goat Simulator PAYDAY 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICES **iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better Goat Simulator: Payday is the most... | Read more »
GRID Autosport delayed until autumn
Sorry mobile racing fans -- GRID Autosport has been delayed a few months. The game is now expected to launch this fall on iOS. Feral Interactive announced that they wanted more time to work on the game's UI and overall performance before launching... | Read more »
Zombie Gunship Survival Beginner's...
The much anticipated Zombie Gunship Survival is here. In this latest entry in the Zombie Gunship franchise, you're tasked with supporting ground troops and protecting your base from the zombie horde. There's a lot of rich base building fun, and... | Read more »
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish (Games)
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish 1.2.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.2.2 (iTunes) Description: Explore the ruins of the City of Mordheim, clash with other scavenging warbands and collect Wyrdstone -... | Read more »
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish brings tablet...
Legendary Games has just launched Mordheim: Warband Skirmish, a new turn-based action game for iOS and Android. | Read more »
Magikarp Jump splashes onto Android worl...
If you're tired ofPokémon GObut still want something to satisfy your mobilePokémon fix,Magikarp Jumpmay just do the trick. It's out now on Android devices the world over. While it looks like a simple arcade jumper, there's quite a bit more to it... | Read more »
Purrfectly charming open-world RPG Cat Q...
Cat Quest, an expansive open-world RPG from former Koei-Tecmo developers, got a new gameplay trailer today. The video showcases the combat and exploration features of this feline-themed RPG. Cat puns abound as you travel across a large map in a... | Read more »
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels (Games)
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** WARNING: iPad 2, iPad Mini 1 & iPhone 4S are NOT compatible. ** *** Special Launch Price for a limited... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Memorial Day savings: 13-inch Touch Bar MacBo...
B&H Photo has the 2016 Apple 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 11-inch MacBook Ai...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models recently discontinued by Apple), available for up to $170 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up...
B&H has 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1449.99 $150 off... Read more
15-inch 2.7GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro o...
MacMall has the 15-inch 2.7GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MLW82LL/A) on sale for $2569 as part of their Memorial Day sale. Shipping is free. Their price is $230 off MSRP. Read more
Free Tread Wisely Mobile App Endorsed By Fath...
Just in time for the summer driving season, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has announced the launch of a new Tread Wisely mobile app. Designed to promote tire and vehicle safety among teens and... Read more
Commercial Notebooks And Detachable Tablets W...
Worldwide shipments of personal computing devices (PCDs), comprised of traditional PCs (a combination of desktop, notebook, and workstations) and tablets (slates and detachables), are forecast to... Read more
Best value this Memorial Day weekend: Touch B...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros available for $230 to $420 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2.6GHz... Read more
13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for up to $130 o...
Overstock.com has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $130 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $869.99 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (sku... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini available for $973 with free...
Adorama has the 2.8GHz Mac mini available for $973, $16 off MSRP, including a free copy of Apple’s 3-Year AppleCare Protection Plan. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ... Read more

Jobs Board

*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* Media Products - Commerce Engineerin...
Apple Media Products - Commerce Engineering Manager Job Number: 57037480 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job 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* Media Products - Commerce Engineerin...
Apple Media Products - Commerce Engineering Manager Job Number: 57037480 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Read more
*Apple* Media Products - Commerce Engineerin...
Apple Media Products - Commerce Engineering Manager Job Number: 57037480 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.