Thursday Wrap-Up From Boston

by: Todd Stauffer ([email protected])

We spent all our time in the World Trade Center today, where there was a lot more noise, if a little less news. Power Computing, Motorola, Umax and Claris were busy playing dance music, screaming and basically keeping the faith -- at least while they drummed up a little busy. Anyone worried that the clone makers are less than enthusiastic can stop now. Those folks are selling Macs.

Speaking of clones, how about that imediaEngine v5? The first clone notebook "chooses portability and performance without compromise" which translates to "Apple wouldn't give us their battery management technology. The 14" LCD screen is amazing, and you might actually find uses for a 12 lb. luggable with a 200 MHz 604e. But could you afford it? The show price, through August 15th (for any order) is US$5717, down from US$6973. Oh...and it's pretty darned mean-looking.

The BeOS booth was hopping, although we're starting to get used to the demo -- yeah, yeah, three QuickTime videos running with a type-rendering program going while (yawn) a 3-D graphics game plays in the foreground and you check your e-mail. Ahem. Great stuff...but what about applications?

Desktop layout, image editing, animation, Web serving, browsing,'s got the basics, and Be brought them along to show off the whole industry in 100 square feet. That said, though, this was the first time we've ever thought that BeOS might have been a nice replacement for an aging Mac OS. We won't be saying it out loud too much, but we grabbed our BeOS Preview CDs and we'll be loading it the second we get home. It's cool and it looks like it has the design sense of Next and Mac OS.

And, even if Be doesn't take off as a client, what makes more sense as an Internet server platform than Be? Charlotte, Web server for Be, said to leverage the Mac-like friendliness and Unix-like power of Be. Make sense to us.

Lotus seems to be making a come-back foray into the Mac OS universe, but don't let me speak too soon. At least they've brought along a new version of Organizer for Mac that allows group scheduling and collaboration with Lotus Domino.

GoLive already has another version of CyberStudio -- of course, in these Internet days, six months is a long time. The upgrade is free to current owners, and version 2 only costs $349. CyberStudio 2 includes full-featured Javascript tools, ActiveX controls and improved visual tools for advanced HTML elements.

Finally...little bits. VST Technologies has finally announced a Zip drive for 3400, 1400 and 190/5300 PowerBooks...although VST's literature says the product will ship in Q3, '97. The eMate is selling for $799 retail at Computer Town's booth at the show. Page Charmer's Java applets for an interactive Web site aren't quite new, but they're still very cool -- especially when you don't have access to the back side of your Web server.

MacTemps offered a press release saying that they're doing fine, thanks, pointing out that the Boston-based company is growing 30% per year. This quote from the press release is attributed to John Chuang, founder of MacTemps, "Apple has a very loyal user base, and those companies need people who know the nuances of the Macintosh. A Mac project is going to be completed faster and without mistakes when done by a Macintosh expert."

Finally, another company looking for distribution -- Interware, from Japan, is looking to sell you a 604e CPU accelerator card. The 200 MHz card will be priced around $450; two 200 MHz will multiprocess for a cool grand. Not a bad deal.