Most of the buzz surrounding this week's Macworld Expo/San Francisco focuses on new Apple wares that may (or may not) be announced during iCEO Steve Jobs' Wednesday morning keynote presentation. Meanwhile, however, a raft of third parties are lining up product announcements of their own for the show, which runs January 4-8 in San Francisco's Moscone Center.
Video Desktop video will be well-represented at the consumer level. Global Village, now owned by Boca Research, will unveil a new hardware/software video-capture suite for Universal Serial Bus-equipped Macs running Mac OS 8.6 or later. Priced for consumers, the product will include easy-to-use editing software.
AVerMedia MicroSystems will also be showing digital video peripherals for consumers, including capture, editing and compression tools based on the USB and FireWire standards.
Portable video products are the bread and butter of iRez Video Products, which will be demonstrating the Kritter SV portable video system; the CapSure Card, a full-motion analogue capture card in PC Card form; and the $69.96 Reel-Eyes video editing system.
Media 100 will be focusing on the professional market with its iFinish streaming media production systems. While it is based on Windows NT systems, iFinish includes support for QuickTime 4 streaming.
Audio software Sonic Desktop Software will show off SmartSound, which the company bills as visual software for generating multimedia soundtracks.
Trexar Technologies will roll out Version 3.0 of MacTuner - its Mac-based product for receiving radio and television transmissions via the Internet - and unveil a Mac-related portal site. Cakewalk will show off Metro SE, a new version of its audio and MIDI editing software.
3D hardware Formac Electronics will offer its Proformance 3 video accelerator PCI card bundled with its ProCyber 3D Shutter glasses. Used together, the two produce a 3D effect in RAVE and OpenGL games.
Although the company's only Mac products to date have been unsupported beta drivers, 3dfx Interactive will hold a press conference on the second day of Macworld Expo, prompting speculation that the company may be on track to introduce its new Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 cards for the Mac market.
Graphics software Binuscan will be promoting its $50 Watch & Smile photo-retouching application for consumers. The software also features QuickTime import and can create interactive slide shows. These shows can be exported to a dedicated Web site for viewing by visitors who have downloaded a free player application.
The new PhotoImpression 2000 will be the focus of Arcsoft's Macworld Expo presence. The software, available in Mac and PC versions, is aimed at consumers interested in retouching and manipulating images. It comes with templates for creating cards and calendars.
Kaidan and PictureWorks Technology will be revealing their PiXi Photographic VR Object Starter Kit and PiXi Manual Turntable tools for creating and managing VR photographs for the Web.
Storage At Expo, storage vendors will capitalize on the FireWire and USB ports built into all new Mac models. QPS will roll out its new line of Que! USB and FireWire CD-RW and DVD-RAM drives with translucent iMac-style blue faceplates, as well as new Que! SCSI CD-RW drives.
Meanwhile, MicroNet Technology said it will showcase an assortment of professional-level FireWire storage products.
Microtech's booth will feature the IBM Microdrive 170MB and 340MB, which the company bills as the world's smallest hard drive; SmartFDD USB external floppy; USB CameraMate, a digital film reader; and a variety of CompactFlash and SmartMedia cards.
Peripherals Adesso will demonstrate a variety of USB devices, including the Tru-Form, an ergonomic keyboard in translucent blue; a compact, powered USB hub; and what the company said is the world's smallest USB keypad.
Wacom will offer its $99 Graphire USB input system which includes a cordless, scrolling mouse and cordless, pressure-sensitive pen, both in translucent colours that complement the iMac's design scheme.
Former modem manufacturer Global Village will be showing a PCI-based DSL modem card that will be available initially to ISPs, with a consumer version scheduled for release by mid-year.
The CompuCable Manufacturing Group will offer its GDock, which adds serial ports and more (four USB ports, two serial ports, one parallel printer port and one ATAPI converter) to Power Mac G3s and G4s.
PC peripheral manufacturer KB Gear Interactive will bring to the Mac its line of drawing tablets, digital cameras and learning keyboards.
Networking and communications Smith Micro Software said it will announce two new products as well as showcase HotFax MessageCenter Pro, its new Mac-based voicemail-management package. Meanwhile, Pagoo.com will show off Pagoo Call Catcher, a service that takes voice mail messages when a single phone line is being used for Net connection, then plays the message on screen.
Pervasive Software said it will debut Tango 2000 for the Mac, which the company characterizes as a next-generation Web development environment for database-driven sites.
Business software FileMaker will roll out Version 5.0 of FileMaker Pro Server as well as showing off FileMaker Pro 5.0, which it released in September.
After acquiring the applications from Now Utilities, Power On Software will demonstrate new releases of contact and scheduling software Now Contact and Up to Date. SPSS will preview its SPSS 10.0 data-analysis software, which the company said is "expected to return to the Macintosh platform in 2000".
Smith Micro will show Conexs, which enables live audio and video conversations over the Internet, and WebCatalogBuilder, an e-commerce product that uses templates for creating on-line stores.
Programming software REAL Software will show the latest version of its REALBasic visual, object-oriented BASIC development environment. The company said this new version can import Visual Basic projects, easing the porting of applications to the Mac
Gaming The National Macintosh Gaming Championship 2000 Series will be held during the show, offering gamers the chance to test out the latest games and battle for bragging rights.
MacSoft will be selling the recently released Unreal Tournament first-person shooter. The company will also show the soon-to-be released Mac port of Civilization: Call to Power as well as announce several new titles.
The Mac version of Diablo II will be shown for the first time by developer Blizzard Entertainment. Bungie Software will show new movies of its upcoming games Oni and Halo, although neither will be in final form; the company also promises a surprise announcement.
Utility software Connectix will launch new products "in the Virtual PC family". Although it will remain at Version 3.0, the software will ship with new versions of the Windows operating system. The company will also demonstrate and sell RAM Doubler 9. Utility maker Aladdin Systems will show Version 5.5 of StuffIt Deluxe, which the company said features 20 per cent better compression and improved support for cross-platform file formats (including the PC-standard Zip format).
MindVision Software will remove the veil from new software that, the company said, "will change the way people use their Apple portables". The company will also show updates to MindExpander, its compression/expansion utility, and Installer VISE, its software installer.