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November 17th, 1999

[1:00 PM] Our Tour Of the Apple Canada Software Tour
by Oliver Dueck

On November 9, we had the pleasure of attending the Apple Canada Software Tour, in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The event took place at the Wu Conference Centre, located on the University of New Brunswick campus. The presentation was given by Pierre Mason, a senior systems engineer with Apple Canada.

While the audience of sixty or so was not exactly huge, they appeared to be interested and attentive. There were only a handful of students; most seemed to be professors or local business people. The facilities employed were excellent; the projector and speaker system made the presentation all the more enjoyable.

Mr. Mason began by describing the new line of Power Mac G4 systems. Clips were shown from Steve Jobs' introduction of the product, and impressive benchmarks were presented that put the Pentium III processor to shame. Next on the agenda was the new line of iMacs, and new features such as the addition of DVD and FireWire were touted.

The demonstration of iMovie (included with the iMac DV and iMac DV Special Edition) was very impressive. Mr. Mason simply dragged and dropped video clips, sound effects, and movies into the timeline, and then easily added various transitions and text, resulting in a high-quality QuickTime movie. This package is amazingly easy to use, and the output was excellent.

Also demonstrated was AppleShare 6.3, the latest incarnation of Apple's venerable server software package. Mr. Mason showed us how easy it is to administer the latest version, either via the admin software or remotely through the web. It was also stressed that AppleShare offers file sharing via TCP/IP, and features seamless integration with Windows NT client machines.

After a short break, the presentation continued with a thorough demonstration of Mac OS 9's new features, such as FontSync, Sherlock 2, Multiple Users, voice print passwords, and AppleScript over TCP/IP. Despite reports of customer problems with OS 9, the demonstration went off without a hitch, and the audience seemed very impressed by the new OS.

The Mac Observer Spin: We were somewhat disappointed that the iBook and PowerBook lines were hardly mentioned; it would also have been nice to actually see a Power Mac G4 in action. However, we can't complain too loudly, as it was called a Software Tour. Unfortunately, FinalCut Pro and Mac OS X Server were also ignored; a demonstration of these products, or even a mere mention, would have been appreciated.

Nonetheless, the presentation was quite impressive. It is good to see Apple putting effort into events such as this one, as it is a great way to show current and potential customers the latest products. So if a similar event takes place in your area, we advise you to check it out!

Apple Canada

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