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From: rock%w...@Sun.COM (Bill Petro - Program Management Office)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac
Subject: MacWorld Expo Report 2 (longer)
Message-ID: <40236@sun.uucp>
Date: 28 Jan 88 00:03:37 GMT
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Reply-To: r...@sun.UUCP (Bill Petro - Program Management Office)
Organization: Sun Microsystems, Mountain View
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Macworld Expo 1988 - Review and Commentary
  by Bill Petro

CONTENTS:  
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Speakers
   John Sculley
   Gary Tooker
Seminars
Products
   FullWrite Professional
   Wingz
   VideoWorks II
   TOPS
   Apple printers
   WordPerfect
   Interleaf
   MacMoney
   MacNET


THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

The Ugly part of the 1988 MacWorld Expo was that the keynote speech and
opening address was over booked in a major way.  The largest seminar
room that was used for the keynote speakers seats 2,000 people.  The
Expo was expecting 40,000 people.  Not all of them had paid the $40 to
get into the seminars.  Many had paid only $15 that entitled them to
only the exhibits.  Nevertheless, even though I arrived before the 9:00
am speech I was not admitted in.  I had friends that arrived at 8:30 am
who were not there early enough either.  For the extra $25, there were
thousands of disappointed show goers.  The PA system expressed regret,
and voiced the ruling of the Fire Marshall, but there were no other
seminars for another hour, and if you did not get to those early, you
were locked out of those.  The management did see fit to videotape the
keynote address and show it a number of times later in the show, but
that was either at the end of the day, or the beginning of the next,
and was of little consequence.  Additionally, it covered only thirty
minutes of the address, and skipped the big Apple/DEC announcement.
The assembled masses were not assuaged.

The Bad part came when it was learned that Ann Arbor Software still
does not have their FullWrite Professional word processing program
ready.  They were featuring their product last year at the Expo and
promised shipment by April.  Following that, it kept slipping by a
month.  It is now considered one of the premier vaporware word
processors.  I have a number of friends who have sent in their money
and even though they were told their credit cards would not be charged
until ship date, discovered that they have been charged but still do
not have the product.  At the show, they said they are shipping a
"pre-release" or "gamma" version to those who have already ordered.
Nevertheless, this is rather an embarrassment for the company and it has
not helped their credibility.  They were giving our copies of their
"Demo" version, which did not allow correct printing, and was missing
the spell checker and thesaurus.  However, already there are reports of
bugs in the demo on both MacPlus and Mac II.  I must admit that

The Good part was the eagerly expected Wingz booth sponsored by
Innovative Software of Lenexa, Kansas.  It was rumored in MacWeek
magazine that this would be the one to see and shortly after the
exhibit doors opened at 11:00 am Friday, I fairly ran to their booth.
I was greeted by a large enclosed booth and a 30 minute line!  The
attendants were dressed up like space folk from the TV series "V".  The
line was worth the wait, the demo was shades of Disneyland.  There was
a rather "Captain EO" feel to it as you stepped into the booth and
prepared for your ride into the future.  There was a videotaped 9
minute tour by Leonard Nimoy in a black turtle-neck sweater and a stoic
visage.  Who better to present computer software than Mr. Spock of Star
Trek?  The product, which was running on a color Macintosh II, is in a
word a super spreadsheet program.  It has a number of things, however,
that go beyond a spreadsheet.  It allows for text and graphics in the
speadsheet, showing possibilities in the desktop presentation market.
There is a limited text editor supporting fonts, and linked 3-D (color)
graphics.  If you change a figure, the linked graphic will change as
well.  It is supposed to be 30% faster than Excel and can support a
truly enormous amount of data, a worksheet of over a billion cells .
The worksheet could be used as a database to sort, search, and query
data.  At their Hospitality Suite in a nearby P hotel I learned that
they are working on versions for other platforms, including the Sun and
Apollo.  The Macintosh version will be in Beta in March perhaps and
released in May.  There was no information given about price.
SmartWare developed the package, and Innovative is publishing it.  The
publisher is currently undergoing a merger with another company and
this might complicate the schedule.

SPEAKERS

John Sculley

The 30 minute videotape of the presentation by the president of Apple
stressed his vision for a modern Renaissance.  He believes that it
hinges on three core technologies - hypermedia, simulation, and
artificial intelligence.  He stressed the adventure of the future and
the need to "set a new course".  This vision is to "elevate the
individual and not subservience to institutions".  This is to be an
adventure of "passion and romance not just progress and profits".
Toward the end of his presentation, he featured a 5 minute video of the
"Knowledge Navigator" of the year 2010, a notebook-sized color
"Macintosh", with an AI "agent" interface, phone capabilities,
graphics, etc.  It was delightful, but Sculley warned that it was not
scheduled to ship this year.  He sent the assembled masses out "as
enthusiasts and evangelists we can make a difference in this new
odyssey", a clear link to his latest book.

I have heard Sculley speak before.  Last year he suggested that Apple
was going to change the world.  I have heard this in the religious
realm, but found it somewhat incongruous for a computer product.  This
year he was more polished, smoother.  I could not escape the impression
though that what I was hearing was somewhere between a campaign from a
political candidate, and a challenge from a preacher.  His delivery was
carefully paced and articulate, almost too smooth.  It was if anything
overwritten.  It struck me like a candidate without a personality.  His
spoke of a vision but it was like a sermon without a soul, without
spirit.  Although his challenge was appealing, I did not feel the
passion of the man, only a well tuned speech.  At least Jean-Louis
Gassee rights his own jokes!

Gary Tooker

The Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of
Motorola, Inc. gave a 20 minute presentation Saturday morning.  This
$6,000,000,000 company who supplies the CPU for the Macintosh has
95,000.  Tooker told how sixty years ago Paul Galvin developed a radio
to put in a car, a Victorola in a motorcar, and Motorola was born.
Later the company introduced the walkie-talkie in the world war.  It
pioneered CMOS for pagers and the rest, as they say, is history.  The
CPU for the Macintosh is only one of 50,000 products that Motorola
sells.  He spoke briefly of the 68030, and mentioned in passing the
68040.  He stated Motorola's continued commitment to the industry, and
indeed, Motorola had one of the larger and more centrally located
exhibits on the main floor.

SEMINARS

There was a decided "marketing" feel to many of the seminars this year,
to a much greater extent than ever before at the MacWorld Expo.  One of
the first seminars was "The Software Entrepreneurs' Roundtable".  Marc
Canter, one of the developers of the early MusicWorks and now the later
VideoWorks and VideoWorks II was one of the more vocal panel members,
as ever.  He is currently writing the end column for Macintosh Today.
Two years ago when I met him at the MacWorld Expo, he was promoting
VideoWorks and wearing an Aloha shirt.  This year, he was wearing a
conservative gray suit.  He himself admitted that the Macintosh world is
changing and that he cannot afford to do anything that would hinder his
marketing his product, even if that should influence his attire.

There were the usual number of "Getting Started In ..." seminars,
covering word processing, relational databases, desktop publishing and
desktop presentations, as well as some in the new frontiers of CD ROM,
color graphics, and artificial intelligence.  There were also the
seminars for the more sophisticated users in programming as well as
some special interest groups like education, medicine, and law.  There
were a number of seminars on desktop communications, or connectivity to
other machines, including mainframes.  There was a special seminar on
connectivity to IBM's and a special one on connecting to the DEC
world.  Perhaps the most interesting and entertaining seminars were
with the Macintosh gods, Scott Watson, developer of Red Ryder
telecommunication program, Don Brown of CE Software, and the outspoken
and occasionally controversial Andy Hertzfeld who was one of the
original Macintosh creators and author of Thunderscan, Switcher, and
Servant (the precursor and partial inspiration to MultiFinder).

The seminar "Macintosh - Wizard of '88" was chaired by David Bunnell,
Editor-in-Chief of MacWorld Magazine, the host of the Expo.  His
comments were concerned mostly with Macintosh congratulations, back
patting, and HyperCard hyping.  His comments occasionally sounded like
the cheering section of auto-aggrandizement.  Philippe Kahn, president
of Borland International publishers stressed "more power plus more ease
of connectivity for data and databases without compromise of
throughput".  Paul Brainerd, president of Aldus Corp, promised "more
ease of use" for Pagemaker.  Gordon Eubanks, president of Symantec
Corp, encompassing Living VideoText (MORE) and Think Technologies
(Lightspeed C and Pascal) called the Macintosh the "quintessential
personal computer of the 80's".  He spoke of three priorities.
"Interoperable applications on a common network with the highest common
denominator, would offer the full advantage of Macintosh group
productivity."  "The Zen of networking - includes all of the personal
computing ease of installation and maintenance on a Macintosh."
"System software would provide the best hardware and software
integration."

The most heavily attended seminars were the ones at the end of each day
of the Expo presented by Bill Atkinson, Apple Fellow and creator of
HyperCard, the flagship of Apple's latest evangelical campaign.  After
some technical difficulties with the projector on Friday, Bill wowed
the assembled masses with a brief but thorough journey through the
various levels of HyperCard's functionality.  It is billed as an
"erector set" though it is occasionally marketed as everything from a
powerful relational database to the neatest thing since sliced bread.
There is no doubt that this product is pretty impressive, and its
potential is yet to be realized, seeming at times to be a solution in
search of a problem.  A number of interesting applications were
suggested, from education to entertainment.  It was interesting to see
the second generation of Apple programmers, as Bill's little girl
appeared and he showed the crowd some of the programs he had put
together for her on HyperCard.  Bill at least was still wearing an Aloha
shirt.

PRODUCTS

The people who come to the MacWorld Expo are people who regularly spend
money buying Macintosh hardware and software, and sometimes a lot of
money.  This last year saw the introduction of the Macintosh II, the
"open Mac", the "high-end Mac".  And with it, this year there were a
number of new, big ticket products.  There was a wide selection of
monitors, and an emphasis on color.  Graphics, and color graphics were
big, and VideoWorks had an MTV-esque booth with sound and beautiful
animation on a big color screen.  SuperMac had a large and popular
booth, having recently merged with Levco.  They were selling
accelerators and monitors.  Add-in cards of all kinds were available
all over the main exhibit floor, which took at least two days to get
around.  Plotters and scanners and high-end CAD programs abounded.

There was a bit more hucksterism this year than in years past.  In the
past, you might have seen an magician used to get attention, this year
there was much more.  This year, for example, the "MacInTax" people had
a slick young card shark right out of "Guys and Dolls".  He as smooth,
entertaining, and effective.  TOPS, formerly Centram West, now a
subsidiary of Sun Microsystems, had a guy and gal doing a song and
dance take-off of "Entertainment Tonight" and were roping them in.
They presented the power of TOPS as they gave out top hats, explaining
that it not only networked Macintoshes, but PC's and Sun's.  The
sellers of "Trapeze" were regularly holding drawings for lobster dinner
for two, Federal Expressed in from Legal Seafood of Boston.  I've eaten
there and it was almost worth standing through the demo for a chance to
win!  HP had a drawing for a LazerJet printer, indeed there was even a
drawing from Apple.  Jasmine Technologies, the hard disk people, had a
laser light show on the ceiling.

Both Apple and Claris, the recent software spin-off from Apple had
their own, prominently situated booths.  Apple was showing off its new
line of three laser printers and its finally available ImageWriter LQ
(Letter Quality).  The last one is the only one that will currently
support color, using a rainbow ribbon, and is rather impressive,
especially considering that it does not share the stratospheric
price tag of the new laser printers.

Some of the larger Macintosh user groups were represented, including
BMUG (Berkeley), Boston Computer Society, and the Association of Apple
32 Users (A32, Silicon Valley).  The were selling their newsletters and
public domain software from their considerable libraries.

Desktop publishing was big again this year.  Claris is introducing an
update to the old faithful MacWrite that has a spelling checker.
FullWrite Professional from Ann Arbor Software will do everything but
wash your dishes when it is finally available.  It seems like a high
powered automobile that will pass anything but a gas station, the
current "gamma" version will do everything but work without bombing or
complaining about memory restrictions.  It was prominently mentioned in
the seminar "Why Use Vaporware (And Other Sleazy Marketing
Techniques)?".  WordPerfect, coming over from the PC world is taking a
different approach.  It is not ready for release yet, but is available
to the public as "Betaware".  The customer can buy it for $99 now,
knowing it is not perfect, and then get the final version along with
the completed documentation later for free, rather than for the
proposed list price of $395.  At the very high end of the desktop
publishing arena, indeed in the computer aided publishing market, is
Interleaf from Cambridge, MA.  This product is available on workstation
platforms such as Sun at a much higher price.  I was told the Sun could
act as file server for the Macintosh II.  Nevertheless, the $2495 price
tag for this product on the Macintosh II put it at the nose-bleed
elevation for most users at the Expo.  The Interleaf booth was showing
a video of "The Computer Show" featuring a demo of the product.  This
is a high-end product for the Macintosh world, allowing both graphics,
word processing, and page layout for very large and complex documents.
The workers at the booth were trying to explain what power that the
high price tag bought, though in vain at times.  This product will work
on nothing less than a Macintosh II with 5 to 8 megs of memory and a 40
to 80 megabyte hard disk, and would appeal less to the current
installed base of Macintosh Plus users and more to the corporate and
sophisticated publishing shop buyers.

MacMoney, from Survivor Software was represented by its developers, the
Farmers.  It originally came out as Home Accountant under another
publisher years ago, but is now under the control of Survivor Software
Ltd in Inglewood, CA.  It is a very nice home or small business
accounting package with a relatively easy interface.  They were were
giving a prevue of version 3.0, which will provide running balances in
the registers, the long awaited sort preference for registers (date,
number, etc.), delete and voiding functions, credit card
reconciliation, and variable tabs in report generation.

MacNET, a new online service that exploits the Macintosh interface
rather than using the command line interface of most services, debuted
at the Expo.  It is very much like the current AppleLink, which only
select developers and dealers have access to.  It provides stick
information, e-mail and Macintosh product support.  At a connect rate
of $4/hour, it weighs in as less expensive than either CompuServe or
GEnie.  The debut was marred by the inexperience of the booth workers.
Three of them could not tell me what protocols MacNET supported.
Admittedly, it is a new service, and some of the employees had only
hours of experience with the company.

CONCLUSION

The Macintosh market seems to have evolved, or at least changed. The
developer of "TopDesk", a powerful collection of desk accessories from
Berkeley, refreshingly wore an unadorned sweatshirt.  It was curious
though to see young people wearing power suits and ties who probably do
not remember what group Paul McCartney sang with before "Wings".
{cbosgd,decwrl,hplabs,seismo,ucbvax}!sun!warp!rock  Bill Petro

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