You were warned! This week’s issue is devoted to the Macworld Expo, which occupied the lives of an alarming number of Mac industry people and enthusiasts last week, who made the annual pilgrimage to Boston’s Bayside Expo Center and World Trade Center. The clam chowder was exceptional, of course, but the Expo itself had little of the charm or pizzazz of some past shows. As one TidBITS reporter, Ilene Hoffman, put it, regular readers of MacWEEK or TidBITS are less likely to be stunned by the Expo and its offerings, and “the thrill and anticipation of going to Macworld gets diluted.”
There were a number of high points, and certainly quite a few things worth seeing. Just as important, this trip provided an opportunity to meet a number of fellow TidBITS readers, and a wide assortment of other fellow Mac fans. I look forward to meeting more of you in the future. In the meantime, I’m going to let Ilene and Earl Christie give you a feel for what you missed if you didn’t make it to the show, or a recap if you did.
One of the things Ilene did at the show was to interview a number of attendees. It may be a bit backwards to place these end-of-show impressions at the beginning of our Expo coverage, but I think they will give you a good idea of what the show was like. The details will follow. For the record, each of these people were asked what they thought the highlights of the show were.
Of a room full of avid bulletin board users, about eight people said “Nothing,” while others offered more optimistic comments, naming More After Dark (Berkeley), Aladdin’s SpaceMaker, Double Helix 3.5 (Odesta), and Spectre from Velocity, as highlights.
A noted MacUser writer said that the highlights for him included all of the integrated software products (BeagleWorks, Claris Works, and Symantec GreatWorks), SpaceMaker, Spaceship Warlock (Educorp), Mutant’s Beach (Insight), HAND-Off II (Connectix), and a MacHack CD which was available at one of the conferences. This CD contained all of MacHack from 1987-1991. A MacUser editor said his highlights included the new Outbound notebook computers, More After Dark, Spectre, SpaceMaker, Magic (Paracomp), the Video Toaster (Newtek), HAM (Microseeds), HAND-Off II, and Novell’s Netware. He also added that a dozen or more products would have been drooled over a year ago, but now that the state of the art is moving so quickly, we’ve become jaded.
A group of international users from Germany, Australia, and England voted for the integrated packages, Hewlett Packard’s products, and More After Dark. They also commented that there were no major products showing, just “lots of little stuff.” Other random users pinpointed Living Books (Broderbund), TypeStyler (Broderbund), Resolve (Claris), the Video Toaster, Canvas 3.0 (Deneba), MAD (again!), and Silhouette (the trackball from EMAC). The best bargain reported by multiple users was BMUG’s $40.00 membership, which included a canvas tote bag and a T-shirt.
Lots of people agreed on a very few items as highlights, it seems. In the following articles, we’ll take a closer look at some of those highlights and what they’ll mean for us down the road.