Tech Industry

Apple extras fill up show

Macworld's focus falls squarely on the consumer iMac, but plenty of new software and hardware for other products is also being introduced.

NEW YORK--While the focus at Macworld Expo is squarely on Apple's iMac consumer computer, plenty of new software and hardware is being rolled out for Apple Computer's "other" desktop and notebook products.

Apple itself is rumored to be readying new systems with PowerPC processors running at 333 and 366 MHz and faster system bus speeds to squeeze additional performance from its Power Macintosh G3 systems. Currently, the fastest available G3 system runs at 300 MHz. Along with new systems, price cuts could be on tap as well.

What's showing at Macworld New York?
Hardware:
The iMac is prominently displayed, while faster G3 systems could make an appearance.

USB peripherals for the iMac--scanners, removable storage drives, and printers--abound.

New 3D graphics and QuickTime graphics cards should attract long-time Mac loyalists.

Software:
New video editing software could appeal to consumers and pros alike.

The Mac can now run the Windows 98 operating system.

Updated versions of Web authoring tools are front and center.

A lot has been made of the iMac's unusual casing, but the USB (universal serial bus) connector will be the center of attention for potential buyers looking to expand the consumer computer's capabilities. Umax may not be offering Mac clones for much longer, but the company will offer the Astra 1220U 36-bit color scanner and will ship in September for $179.

Other iMac items include the following:

  • Apple introduced the PowerBook DVD-Video Kit for Macintosh notebook computers. When combined with a PowerBook G3 series system, users can view DVD video titles such as movies on their Macintosh portable. The kit includes a PowerBook DVD-ROM drive and a DVD-Video PC Card (circuit board) which provides DVD playback.

  • Iomega and SyQuest introduced USB versions of their removable cartridge storage drives for the Mac.

  • Iomega rolled out a Mac version of its multimedia product called "Buz," a video capture device and editing board. The board lets a video camera attach to the Mac.

  • Keyspan will offer a PCI expansion card for older Macintosh computers that will allow users to hook up USB peripherals to their Mac. Estimated price is $100.

  • Avid released Avid Cinema, which allows consumers to capture, edit, and publish video using the built-in cards on certain Power Macintosh G3 systems. The software is available for $139. The company is also expected to introduce new software and hardware for professionals wanting to work with high-quality, uncompressed video.

  • IXMicro introduced a new TV tuner card for Macs that offers still and video image capture capabilities and 3D accelerator cards with a 128-bit graphics processor. It will be priced from $229 to $499.

  • Connectix is demonstrating Virtual PC 2.1, which allows G3 Macs to run the Windows 98 operating system by emulating PC hardware. The estimated street will be $179, with product expected to ship in August. The company also updated its RAM Doubler software for use with Mac OS 8. The software, which allows users to run more applications at once, will have an estimated street price of $45.

  • Hewlett-Packard will offer a cable that can connect its DeskJet series printers (which have a parallel port connector) to the iMac, for an estimated retail price of $69 when they become available in August. Alps will demonstrate a USB version of the MD-1300 color printer connected to the iMac. The printer is expected to be available this fall, the company said.