Journal, Technology

MacWorld San Francisco 2002

It’s been a few years since I last went to a MacWorld. The past few years, I’ve been happy watching from the sidelines, reading coverage of the event through Apple’s web site or the numerous Macintosh news, information, and rumor sites on the Web.

Since I had to pick up Randy from the airport on Tuesday evening, I drove to and parked my car at the Millbrae CalTrain Station. I find that taking CalTrain is cheaper, less stressful, and more convenient than driving up all the way to San Francisco.

The Mac faithful was out in full force at MacWorld this year. There were a number of people with conspicuous white headphones (i.e. iPods) and an equal number carrying Titanium PowerBooks or white iBooks. I even saw a few Newtons in the crowd as well! As they say, “Newtons never die, they just keep getting new batteries!” Apple didn’t announce any new handheld computer at Monday’s keynote, but they did announce the iMac. The desk-lamp looking iMac was everywhere at Apple’s booth, and it was this hardware product that was the main focus of Apple’s enormous display.

The next two conferences on plate for Apple are Seybold and MacWorld Tokyo in February. I have a hunch that the company will announce the next lineup for their professional Macintosh line. After all, the new iMacs have specs that are very close to the current lineup of PowerMacs.

Digital Cameras

MacWorld could have doubled as a Digital Camera Show, as I have never seen more digital cameras and DV cameras in people’s hands than at yesterday’s show. I guess I’ve been going to the wrong types of camera shows, no? Most of the people had consumer to prosumer digicams, although I did see about five D30 owners and a couple of Olympus E-10 shooters. There was even one photographer with either a Canon D2000 or a Kodak DCS520/560. That’s the professional digital camera based on the EOS-1N body.

Canon had a booth at the conference, and they had a couple of 1D’s on display there. In speaking with Jim Rose, the Canon rep for the Bay Area, the company is aware of and investigating the banding issue with 1D’s. The official word or response, however, is going to come from Tokyo. So, we play the waiting game to how Canon is going to resolve what many people see as a critical flaw in their 1D. In shooting with the 1D, I know that some of my pictures will exhibit banding. If I expose properly, however, banding can be minimized and a great picture can be realized.

iPhoto doesn’t support the Firewire connection on my 1D (neither does Image Capture in MacOS X). Sigh. The program is great for consumers, but it doesn’t cut it for working professionals or advanced users. The quality of the photo books was decent, though. I think that it’ll make a great present for families. I’ll probably end up using that feature of iPhoto the most in the future.

When I was walking through the entrance to one of the Halls, two of the Maloney Security Guards emphatically told me, “No photography in the showroom!” WTF!?! There were people walking the exhibit halls with hulking Canon XL-1 DV Cameras and everybody was happily clicking away with their digital cameras. I should have said, “You mean like this?” while blasting off an 8fps burst from the 1D! I didn’t have the nerve yesterday, but if I’m in that situation again, watch out, men from Maloney!

People

I ran into a number of people at the conference, including Vince (Palm), Carl de Cordova (DoDots), Eric, Adam Nash, Jonathan Nash, and Eugene Kim. Edna and Erik were there as well as Sinbad and Herbie Hancock (though I didn’t see him). Sinbad’s a big gadget fan, having sung the praises of the Newton and Palm in the past. Now he’s using a Blackberry wireless organizer.

MacWorld did seem smaller than in previous years, judging from the number of cordoned-off areas in the North and South Exhibit Halls. I was able to go through all the rows of the exhibit halls in the day that I was there. Nothing really caught my eye as the thing to buy at the Expo, though I was tempted to get a copy of DeBabilizer 5.0 for increasing the efficiency of my image processing workflow.

I’m not going to go to the Expo today (Wednesday) or Friday. If the spirit moves me, I might make another CalTrain trip up tomorrow to catch anything that I might have missed, or to take some additional photos. We’ll see!

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