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MacWorld Expo New York 1999

Text and photos by Lawrence I. Charters

(Click on any image for a close-up view)

In Finer Jewel Stores: Displayed on pillars and lighted from below, Apple displayed the new iBook as if it was artwork.

Quiet on the PC Front: The companion PC show, in another hall of the convention center, was sparsely attended. (Actually, no one could explain why the Compaq banner was at the end of the hall, but almost everyone thought it was funny.)

Flying Saucers from Apple: Apple's new wireless networking technology, AirPort, promises to make the iBook the laptop of choice for visitors from other worlds. This AirPort base station shows early influence by the alien visitors.

Radius Artica: Recast in blue and ice, the Silicon Graphics flat panel display is called "Artica," which is either poor spelling or an indication of its appeal to graphic artists.

Radical Sound, Man: A Canadian company, Softacoustik, introduced some killer speakers. Encased in blue-and-ice plastic (complete with G3-like handles) and attached to a PowerMac G3 via FireWire, these speakers were to die for. And with an estimated price of $3,000 for a pair, you might. Even in Canadian dollars, that's a lotta speaker.

A Useful Indulgence: The Escient C200 is a DVD jukebox that hooks to a PowerMac G3 via FireWire. With a 200-disc capacity (it also handles regular CD-ROMs), a blue-and-ice case, and an estimated price of $1500, you could almost talk yourself into believing it was useful. It was easily one of the neatest hardware gadgets at the Expo.

Flaming Hot Drives: VST Technology was showing off their latest peripherals, including this stack of three bright-red FireWire hard drives.

Start of Something Big: MicroNet showed off their Genesis RAID tower. With fourteen drives installed, you can store an amazing amount of data in this box. If that isn't enough, note the two unoccupied drive bays on the bottom.

Loud, But Loud: This individual, with a loud voice and obnoxious manner, was master of ceremonies in the gaming center. One big controversy at the show centered around who was most obnoxious: this guy, the Global Village "Village People," or the rigged Microsoft quiz show. This guy seems to have a slight lead over the Microsoft quiz show. But not by much.

Human Gumball Machine: Nova Development had a popular gimmick to attract attention to their booth: a gumball machine. One staff member would give you a token, you would put the token in the gumball machine, and either get a piece of gum or, occasionally, a prize. But the gumball machine suffered a fatal crash. Enter: the human gumball machine! "And for this I went to college?"

First the Bug, Now the iMac: Every "new" Volkswagen Bug comes with a flower vase on the dashboard. Freeverse Software thought this was a good idea, so they created the iVase: a small flower vase that attaches to the side of an iMac (or many other things) using a suction cup.

Bonus Question: He thinks different. Do you know who he is? (to the left)

Solar Eclipse: New York City suffered their hottest month, ever, in July 1999, with the peak occurring the week of MacWorld Expo. The cloud of banners and mirrored glass of the Convention Center provided cool shelter from the killer sun outside.

We Thought She Would Be Taller: The heroine from Tomb Raider attended MacWorld Expo. Oddly enough, none of the police or security guards seemed to mind her twin pistols, both worn in violation of New York City ordinances.

In New Flavors: Hewlett-Packard has one of the best reputations in the computer field, but has disappeared from the minds of most Mac users the past year, eclipsed by Epson. These fruit-colored printers may be an indication they plan to get serious again.

Never Forget Your Place: The Rocket eBook may be at the cutting edge of tomorrow: this small gadget can store the entire contents of several books, with electronic bookmarks and other aids to navigation.

New Vistas in Scanning: NEC's forthcoming MultiReader PetiScan has a name you want to forget, but it is a neat idea: a small, inexpensive, portable scanner that hooks to an iMac via the USB port. Not only can you scan things in the traditional way, by putting them on top of the scanner, but you can remove the door and run the scanner over the top of objects, or press it up against another surface. Naturally, we decided to Think Different and scan the front of the iMac. It worked, but is, admittedly, a silly idea.

So Much For Paperless: Book publishers always look forward to MacWorld, and there were dozens of book signings, author interviews and similar events. Peachpit Press, with their very popular Visual Quickstart series, always had a packed booth.

Not Found in Wheaties: The Stealth Serial Port, a tiny circuit board that fits in a blue-and-white PowerMac G3 (shown just above the mouse in the photo), adds a serial port to such machines for use with modems and other devices. GeeThree.com, the manufacturer, is also working on a card to support the Microsoft scrolling mouse shown in the picture.

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Revised October 31, 1999 Lawrence I. Charters