Macworld Expo rings in '99

New Macintosh systems will vie with digital video releases as the headline event at this week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, sources said. The show will also deliver Web design and high-end connectivity tools, but there will be a conspicuous shortage of professional imaging and print products.

New Macintosh systems will vie with digital video releases as the headline event at this week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, sources said. The show will also deliver Web design and high-end connectivity tools, but there will be a conspicuous shortage of professional imaging and print products.

Apple is expected to unveil the company's new line of professional desktop systems, code-named Yosemite, during interim CEO Steve Jobs' keynote address on Tuesday.

With FireWire reportedly on the logic board, the new Yosemite machines will appeal to the burgeoning digital video market. Sources said Apple will unveil new versions of QuickTime and Final Cut, a hybrid video editing and effects package acquired from Macromedia in the spring. Apple declined to comment.

Adobe will show its new version of After Effects, but it will not reveal the real-time version of Adobe Premiere 5.1, which runs only on Windows NT. At least four After Effects plug-in vendors will unveil new wares at the show. Atomic Power will introduce a new set of plug-ins called Evolution; ZaxWerks will show Invigorator, which generates 3D text and logos from 2D images; Photron USA will unveil a new blue-screen plug-in; and Forge Technology will show Version 2.0 of its Freeform plug-in.

Astarte will preview a range of new options for DVD authoring and production, including DVDirector, a DVD authoring application designed for video production companies and corporate videographers. Show goers with a yen for warped imagery can see VR SceneWorx, the multinode QuickTime VR scene design package shipping this week from VR Toolbox. VRtools will release two QuickTime VR authoring apps: conVRter, a QuickTime VR movie editor, and deliVRator, which optimises files for Web delivery.

A spate of vendors will release products aimed at Web designers and multimedia creators. Totally Hip Software will ship LiveStage, its QuickTime-based tool for creating streaming multimedia for the Web. Stone Design will ship the Web Slice & Dice 1.0, which creates Web image mosaics.

For Webmasters, Active Concepts will ship the Mac OS version of Funnel Web 3.0, an upgrade to its Web traffic analysis tool. Microsoft plans to release Internet Explorer 4.5 Web browser for Mac OS.

While multimedia and Web designers will have much to browse, the pickings will be slimmer for traditional design and print professionals. Sources said most publishing products at the show will have a distinctly consumer feel, such Version 2.0 of MetaCreations' Soap photo editing tool. What the show will offer publishers is new high-end connectivity as well as colour management products.

Ad agency and pre-press pros can check out the shipping version of Iterated Systems' STiNG reXpress. Hermstedt will unveil a Primary Rate Interface ISDN PCI card intended for prepress and graphics shops. Team ASA will roll out the next version of its Gigabit Ethernet card for Mac OS and Windows NT systems. And Miramar Systems will show off its upcoming update to MacLAN for Windows NT.

On the colour management front, Colour Solutions plans to showcase its new colour matching system, Colourblind Matchbox, which lets users create and edit ICC profiles and calibrate Pantone and spot colours.

Two companies will show USB-based colour management tools. X-Rite will announce the Monitor Optimiser USB, due in the second quarter, while Miro Displays will unveil the iBug. A smattering of professional design tools will also debut at the show.

Extensis will show PhotoGraphics 1.0, the company's suite of vector-drawing and text-formatting Photoshop plug-ins. Better known for its video plug-ins, DigiEffects will unveil Euphoria, a set of Photoshop plug-ins for creating effects like aged film, fog and snow.

Corel and Corbis will display new versions of their stock-image Web sites at the show.

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