Apple wasn’t there and Adobe stayed away, but last week’s independent Expo 2000 saw key Mac-industry players showing off important new products. Of course, Macworld was there to select its much-respected ‘Best of Show’ winners.

Although Apple boycotted the UK’s only Mac-specific show – held at London’s Business Design Centre last Friday and Saturday – there were UK-first demonstrations of the recently released public beta of its next-generation operating system, Mac OS X – as well as of its iMovie 2 video-editing software. There was also a demo of Adobe’s forthcoming Photoshop 6.0 upgrade, despite Adobe’s decision to follow Apple to its French-biased Apple Expo Europe in Paris.

Microsoft also exhibited in Paris – but employed only French-speaking staff on its stand there. The company did attend The Expo 2000 in London, showing off its forthcoming (October 13) Office 2001 for Mac business-application suite. Although we had already awarded Office 2001 a Macworld Best of Show in Paris, we again bestowed the honour on Microsoft as this was the first time that Office 2001 had been shown in the UK.

Macworld Best of Show

QuarkWrapture Best-known for its XPress DTP page-layout program, Quark is expanding its software portfolio with a range of applications. QuarkWrapture is its attempt to help streamline the package design workflow. Wrapture includes features for graphic design, typographic control, film output, and accelerated review cycles.

With Wrapture, users can directly import the die-line structure as an EPS. All the lines can be used as guides, and newly created boxes and lines can also be converted to guides to provide precise alignment of images and text. When the design is ready to be reviewed, the Wrapture user can render the package structure in three dimensions on-screen. Users can animate the process of folding the structure, and they can look at the structure from any angle. They can also export and print any particular view of the structure, and an exported animation can be previewed on-screen via the Internet or an intranet site.

The design, typography, and output features are evolved versions of Quark's existing XPress technology, but the 3D rendering tool that allows designers and clients to review projects quickly on-screen is entirely new.

QuarkWrapture demoed to much interest at The Expo 2000 –will ship in November, though no UK price has been set.

Farallon NetLINE The NetLINE Broadband Gateway allows you to share a broadband Internet connection, such as a cable or ADSL modem, with multiple users on your network. Connecting between your existing network and cable/ADSL modem, NetLINE allows you to share a single IP address from your ISP with all the computers on your network. A built-in Firewall protects files from unauthorized access via the Net.

Hermstedt Angelo The Hermstedt Angelo offers 30 ISDN B channels on a short PCI card. All channels can be accessed through a single telephone number. The individual channels can be bundled into faster connections, for example for multi link PPP or for high-end Leonardo file-transfer solutions. Angelo makes it possible to bundle up to 30 channels for a maximum through-put of 1,920kbit/s. Hermstedt claims that the contents of a whole CD can be transmitted uncompressed in less than an hour.

Angelo is fully compatible with existing Leonardo and Grand Central Pro remote sites. File transfers can be established with more than four channels to any remote station that is also equipped with an Angelo card.

Angelo costs £2,750 (exc. VAT).

Wacom PL-500 Interactive Pen Display (Also awarded at the Paris Apple Expo – but first UK showing at The Expo 2000). Wacom’s PL-500 is a 15.1-inch LCD monitor (1,024-x-768-pixel resolution) that features a fully integrated graphics tablet. Users can draw, sketch and write with a pressure- and tilt-sensitive Wacom pen directly onto the suface of the display.

Newer iMaxpowr G4 Newer technology promises to take your lowly original 233MHz iMac to the heights of G4 performance with its iMaxpowr G4 upgrade card. The processor upgrade takes any iMac up to the 333MHz G3 Rev. D fruity flavours to an astonishing 433MHz G4 (with 1MB of backside cache running at 216.5 MHz). Newer claims that installation nearly doubles the speed of the original Rev. A iMac, and expects AltiVec-enabled software to boost this gain even further.

The card comes with a video showing new owners how to install the G4 upgrade themselves. No drivers or special software are required.

The iMaxpowr G4 – which requires at least Mac OS 9 - starts shipping this month.

Heidelberg Linoscan F2400 XL The Linoscan F2400 XL is an A3 scanner that doesn’t trade-off features for size. It sports a 42-bit colour depth with a 3.7D range. In high-resolution mode it can scan up to 800-x-2,400dpi – making it almost as good as the Saphir HiRes.

Macromedia Flash 5 (Also awarded at the Paris Apple Expo – but first UK showing at The Expo 2000). Macromedia’s Flash 5 boasts new and improved features that make high-impact Web content creation more intuitive. A revamped user interface is also a major plus point (but don’t mention this to Adobe’s legal department). Bezier drawing tools and FreeHand import are also useful. Flash 5’s intuitive, authoring environment lets designers and developers more easily create next-generation Web sites and applications.

Microsoft Office 2001 (Also awarded at the Paris Apple Expo – but first UK showing at The Expo 2000). Microsoft announced an October 13 UK release date for its totally revamped suite of business applications, Office 2001. Word, Excel and PowerPoint are joined by a new personal-information manager, Entourage. It comes in a funky CD carrier, as well.