Macworld 2011 'celebration' showcased new products
Jan. 31, 2011
by Mark Ollig

It started back in 1985.

It presents innovative, cutting-edge software, hardware, and accessories for your Apple computing devices.

It is an opportunity to learn from the actual programmers and developers who design and produce these accessories and products.

The “It” is the annual Apple convention, Macworld Conference and Expo.

Every year since its beginning, the Macworld Conference and Expo event has been the ultimate showcase for third-party businesses and developers which create and manufacture new add-ons, apps, and devices designed to work with Apple’s computing products.

This year’s 2011 Macworld Conference took take place Jan. 26 - 29 and the Macworld Expo portion was Jan. 27–29. Both events were at the Moscone Center’s West Hall in San Francisco.

These combined events are considered to be a ‘celebration’ which is intended to educate, as well as entertain the people attending.

The number of visitors expected at this year’s Macworld Conference and Expo was estimated at 25,000.

The number of vender exhibits was said to be 230.

More than 100 new products were expected to be presented.

Last Wednesday,the Macworld Industry Forum conferences featuring 11 speakers, including Apple programming legend, Bill Atkinson.

As part of the original Apple Macintosh developers group, Atkinson created the revolutionary MacPaint application, and was the designer for Apple’s QuickDraw graphics library used in the early Macintosh computers.

Mr. Atkinson spoke about how humans interfaced or communicated with computers.

Atkinson talked of how earlier human user interfaces (UIs) ranged from using punched paper cards, teletype machines, and video terminals.

He spoke of the Apple II, along with Apple’s Lisa and Mac computers point-and-click graphical user interfaces.

Atkinson covered UIs such as the early touch screens, modern capacitive multi-touch sensors, and virtual keyboards.

He also talked about how the computer UI will eventually become “a conversational user interface with a personal assistant avatar.”

He predicted that in the future, we will interface with computing technology using natural language, and, eventually, the human-computer interface will become more of a two-way interactive conversation.

Atkinson wrote, “The center of the conversational user interface will become the personal assistant avatar.”

Colin Crawford, CEO of Media7, spoke on how magazine publishers can use the iPad as a venue for their content because of its “rich media experience.”

Crawford’s statement reinforces my belief about the current iPad being more of a media content consumption device rather then a content creation device.

Last Thursday, during the entertainment segment at Macworld 2011, actor, comedian, and, per the Macworld Expo website, “long-time supporter of Macworld,” Sinbad, shared his perspectives on all things Mac.

Looking back, Macworld events have been used as the platform for making major product announcements from Apple – and there have been many.

Let’s take a look at some of them.

In 1998, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iMac and the PowerBook G3.

The 2001 announcement was the introduction of iTunes and the PowerBook G4.

The Safari web browser and 12-inch display PowerBook were presented to the public in 2003.

In 2004, Apple’s vice-president of marketing introduced the newly-updated iMac, featuring the PowerPC G5 processor.

The presentations in 2005 included the launch of the Mac Mini, iPod shuffle, and an office software suite of applications called iWork.

In 2006, Intel’s Core Duo-based processors in the new iMac computers running with the Mac operating system 10 (OS X) were announced by Jobs.

At the 2007 Macworld Expo, Jobs introduced the now popular iPhone.

In 2008, Jobs introduced the MacBook Air — advertised as the world’s thinnest notebook computer.

Two announcements occurred during the 2009 Macworld event. One was the Apple’s introduction of new 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro portable notebook computer.The other was a surprise announcement by Apple Inc., stating this would be the last year in which the company would actively participate at Macworld.

Some clarification about Macworld is needed here.

The Macworld online and print magazine is published by Mac Publishing.

Mac Publishing is a separate company from the one which specifically oversees the Macworld Expo event – IDG World Expo. They do, however, happen to share in the Macworld brand name.

The corporate parent to both is called IDG (International Data Group).

A rumor circling the Macworld blogospheres says there will be a new iMac coming out in March equipped with the Intel “Sandy Bridge” processor.

I noted one Apple advertisement on its website suggesting, “Once you go Mac, you never go back.”

Will this humble, Windows PC user ever make the switch to a Mac?

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Well, this particular old dog is not quite ready to roll over and make the switch to a Mac – not just yet, even though my oldest son keeps trying to convince me to do so.

However, the 17-inch MacBook Pro notebook computer does look very tempting.

The home website for the Macworld Expo/Conference is located at http://www.Macworldexpo.com.

The Macworld online magazine can be seen at http://www.Macworld.com.

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