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McIlroy--Seybold Announcements Were Aplenty

November 1999
The seminar business is really a branch of show business. There are hits and there are flops. And sometimes it's completely mysterious why one show is a hit and another a flop.

Working with Seybold Seminars for the last few years, I've observed the mysterious situation whereby some of the conferences are a much greater success than others. And the exact reason can be tough to pin down. (If it was easy, they'd always be hits!)

This year's Seybold San Francisco program was an extraordinary success. Several people told me that it was the best conference they'd been to in the last few years. I'm not sure why. Let me try and share with you some of the big announcements from Seybold San Francisco, and maybe you can judge why this program was so well received.

An Apple a Day. . .
Probably the biggest news (and certainly the biggest crowd-pleaser) was the announcements from Apple Computer. I'd say that at Seybold San Francisco, Apple went from being an "also-ran" computer company to regaining its role as the

No. 1 graphics and media platform. While Macintoshes remain second-tier for Web developers, for print-oriented publishers, this is definitely the company with which to work. Acting CEO Steve Jobs offered one of his patented, Broadway performances. There were several announcements, but clearly the most significant is a computer called the G4. It's a stunner.

Graphic arts applications are memory hogs. It's been impossible to find a computer that's fast enough for publishers, particularly because of applications like Adobe Photoshop. With the G4, Apple has come close to offering what Steve Jobs refers to as "a desktop supercomputer." The processing speed, particularly for graphics, is miles ahead of the competition. Equally amazing is that the top-of-the-line model retails for about $3,500.

Some of you will have heard about the fancy, 22˝ flat panel "cinema" display that Jobs previewed in San Francisco. Available this fall at $4,000 a pop, it's actually more expensive than any of the computers that were demonstrated. This monitor has more showbiz value, than practical value to graphic design.

The other news from Apple was mostly in the operating system. Jobs previewed OS/9 (which will be shipping by the time you read this article). It represents a modest improvement over OS/8. Probably the most exciting features in OS/9 are improvements to ColorSync, as well as improvements to AppleScript, namely the ability to use AppleScript via TCP/IP.

 

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