While not being as pan-European as Apple hoped, the Paris-based Apple Expo 2000 has certainly seen some significant announcements and first showings of key Macintosh products – not least from Apple, which rarely announces new products outside of the US. Macworld has been scouring the show floor for those products that we see as the ‘Best of Show’.
Mac OS X Public Beta Apple itself announced the release of the Mac OS X Public Beta. This working version of the next-generation of the Macintosh operating system is not the finished article - but those of us waiting for years for a more modern Mac OS will eagerly install the new-look and re-architectured OS X to get a feel for the future. Sadly, it’s not free (you’ll have to fork out £25 via the online AppleStore), but this won’t put off Mac enthusiasts and professionals alike.
iBook Apple also upgraded its range of portable consumer Macs. All today’s iBooks now include a FireWire port, video output to TV through AV port and iMovie 2 video-editing software. There’s two new colours as well – Indigo blue and a vivid, fluorescent Key Lime – and even the Graphite Special Edition has snowier white case elements. Standard PowerPC G3 speed is increased to 366MHz, while the SE now reaches 466MHz.
Office 2001 Microsoft announced an October 13 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.
Photoshop 6.0 Adobe has been showing off the next version of its market-leading image editor, Photoshop. Version 6.0 offers a host of new features, including a liberated Layers palette and vector-like text effects.
GoLive 5.0 Adobe has also upgraded its Web editor, GoLive. Version 5.0 certainly gives Macromedia’s Dreamweaver a run for its Internet money. Much has changed since Adobe released version 4.0, and Adobe has added over 100 new features.
Flash 5 Macromedia, meanwhile makes authoring high-impact content even easier. New and improved features make content creation more intuitive, and the 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.
Business Inkjet 2250tn Hewlett-Packard's latest colour printer is aimed at budget-conscious, offices and studios looking for a replacement for a mono laser while adding colour features. High print speeds, PostScript emulation and robust network features offer easy connectivity and manageable workgroup printing. The expandable Business Inkjet 2250tn is a real alternative to more expensive colour laser printers.
NetStation Xircom’s NetStation makes networking small, mobile workgroups as pulling out the retractable cable and logging on. When your meeting is over, you can simply unplug your PowerBook and retract the cables to keep the room neat and tidy – you can forget messy cable spaghetti after users pack up and go home. A single Ethernet connection is all that’s needed to network multiple users.
PL-500 Interactive Pen Display Wacom showed off the latest version of its innovative Interactive Pen Display, the 15.1-inch PL-500. This fully integrated graphics tablet is also a sharp 1,024-x-768 LCD monitor. Users can sketch, draw and write directly onto the surface of the 24-bit colour display. Even Apple’s optical mouse is irrelevant, with Wacom’s excellent pressure- and tilt-sensitive pen.
9.4GB FireWire DVD-RAM LaCie’s latest DVD-RAM recorder allows you to squeeze 4.7GB of data on each side of a DVD disc. This doubles the previous capacity of DVD-RAM, already one of the cheapest ways to archive data. FireWire connectivity makes it bang up to date for the latest Macs and even Mac OS X.
Director’s Cut Apple’s iMovie has revolutionized consumer-level desktop video. But iMac and now iBook owners had to splash out hundreds of pounds on FireWire In & Out digital camcorders. And owners of old analogue camcorders have been left high and dry. Director’s Cut by PowerR is the solution many have been waiting for – an analogue DV converter for desktop Video Editing. Director's Cut connects any analogue video equipment - VHS, Hi8, 8mm - to the FireWire port of your Macintosh.