Mac Product Pace Sustained at Macworld Expo
SAN FRANCISCOFollowing a major act, such as Apple Computer Inc. CEO Steve Jobs keynote address to the Macworld Expo crowd here Tuesday, might give some third-party developers pause when it comes to introducing their own productstheres just too much competition for airtime.
Still, many companies moved right ahead and introduced updates and new hardware and software, from high-end three-dimensional applications to music software, and from storage solutions to designer tools, a favorite of the content creation-centric Mac community. Some attendees walking the Expo floor must have found items they never knew they might need.
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Here are more of the many new products and updates showcased at Macworld Expo San Francisco:
Disk Warrior 3 from Alsoft Inc. of Spring, Texas, is a new version of the directory repair utility. This version brings compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3 (a k a "Panther") and Apples new Power Mac G5 models. Upgrades from Version 2.1 or earlier cost $39.95 plus $7.95 for shipping and handling.
San Antonio-based NewTek Inc. showed off Lightwave 3D 8, a new version of its industrial-strength 3-D modeling and rendering application. The company said Version 8 will feature better workflow management, increased rendering speed, improved inverse kinematics and bone dynamics capabilities. Upgrades will run $500 from recent Lightwave versions.
In addition, NewTek said it will take advantage of Apples new Xcode development environment when designing its own products.
Actual Technologies LLC of Libertyville, Ill., announced its Actual SQL Server ODBC Driver for Mac OS X, which allows access to Microsoft SQL Server databases from within Microsoft Excel. Its available for download for $29.95.
Alpharetta, Ga.-based Apago Inc. released its PDF Enhancer 2.0, adding a larger selection of configurations, pre-press-quality color and more. Pricing ranges from $179 to $999, with upgrades ranging from $29 to $399.
Code Line Communications of West Hills, Calif., released its Art Directors Toolkit 4,, built "from the ground up" for Mac OS X, the company said. The product includes improved rulers and an updated user interface, support for Apples Help system, and on-the-fly unit conversions. Its $29.95 new, with a $14.95 upgrade fee from earlier versions.
St. Louis-based Centurion Technologies Inc. introduced MacShield, based on the companys DriveShield for Windows. Supporting Mac OS 8 through X 10.3, MacShield enables remote administration of machines as well as both regular and automated server backups.
WorldSync Inc. of Berkeley, Calif., introduced its all-Java SyncDek 5.0, a technology that uses XML to synchronize data and fields across FileMaker Pro databases. Licenses cost $999 for the Server component and $199 for the Client portion; both will be available within a month.
Portland, Ore.-based NetXposure revealed its Image Portal X Web-based asset management application. The $14,995 (per CPU) solution now can use the Adobe InDesign plug-in InCaddy, as well as adds LDAP support. Owners of previous versions with current service contracts can upgrade for free.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba-based eZedia Inc. showed off its eZediaQTI 2.0, a $99 multimedia-authoring application. New in Version 2 are its user interface, inclusion of six new themes, an Attributed Panel, built-in spell checking and improved text handling. Owners of Version 1 can upgrade for free until the end of the month.
Pixion Inc., of Pleasanton, Calif., announced its PictureTalk Enterprise Conference Server and PictureTalk Hosted Services for Mac OS 10.3.2. Both work on Mac OS versions from 9.2 to 10.3 and include support for the Power Mac G5, iChat AV, Safari and iCal and Entourage calendars. Pricing is on a custom basis.
Next Page: Hardware Products at Macworld Expo SF.
Hardware Products Expo SF
The new Squeezebox from Mountain View, Calif.-based Slim Devices is a $299 hardware system that allows streaming of MP3s and Internet radio to stereo systems. The device offers an LED readout showing track info. It receives data over any 802.11 standard network and supports MP3, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, FLAC, and uncompressed WAV and AIFF audio formats.
Huge Systems Inc. of Agoura Hills, Calif., announced the aptly named Huge MediaVault U320-R Max Disk Array, a small-footprint storage solution with capacities up to 1,25TB of data and providing 600GB of removable disk cartridges. Four models range from $3,359 to $5,949.
The Bluetooth USB Printer Adapter from Compton, Calif.-based Belkin Corp. will allow any USB-equipped printer to connect wirelessly with any Bluetooth 1.1-enabled device. The adapter will ship on Jan. 23 for $99.99.
Belkin also announced its 802.11g Wireless Print Server for $129.95, which connects up to two USB-equipped printers to a wireless network, and the 802.11g Wireless Ethernet Hub for the same price, which allows wireless communication with any Ethernet-equipped computer.
Yorba Linda, Calif.-based EZQuest Inc. introduced its Boa Slim dual-format DVD-RW/+RW external drive and Boa 8x dual-format DVD-RW/+RW external drives. Both drives support most DVD recordable as well as CD recordable formats and work on Mac OS X. The FireWire-compatible version of the former, more-portable model costs $319; the latter runs $249 to $299 depending on bundled software.
Roku LLC of Palo Alto, Calif., brought out the SoundBridge Network Music Player for streaming music from your Mac via AirPort or Ethernet. The M2000 model is $449.99 and the M1000 model is $224.00. These introductory prices will rise $50 and $25, respectively, at the end of February.
Ogdensburg, N.Y.-based Parliant Corp. announced PhoneValet Message Center, a voice-mail solution. Costing $199.95 for a single-line system, the telephony suite tracks and records calls, and gains multiline answering capabilities and voice-mail boxes.
SANcube800 from MicroNet Technology of Torrance, Calif., is a FireWire 800-based storage area network (SAN) product that is expected to ship by the end of the quarter. No pricing was announced.
Editors Note: This story was updated to include correct pricing information for Portland, Ore.-based NetXposure revealed its Image Portal X Web-based asset management application.