MacExpo 2003

technology

iSight cameras and PowerBooks

I'd been looking forward to going to the MacExpo for weeks; piles of great Apple products and hundreds of other Mac-fans--what could be better? My impression was that there weren't quite as many exhibitors as last year, but there was still a lot to see. Apple was there with the whole range of hardware on display, and was running seminars on the new features in Panther, the G5 and so on. Adobe was there too, showing off their new Creative Suite. There were some very good seminars--particularly the ones run by Adobe on tips and tricks with Photoshop. Of course, this meant that I immediately wanted two things: a copy of Photoshop CS and a new digital camera that will write RAW files. RAW files are the cat's pyjamas! I wouldn't have to worry about exposure settings at all then — just shoot in RAW, then fiddle with the sliders until it looked good.

Apple always displays their hardware so well (on uplit perspex benches) that even the eMacs looked good. The new iMacs with the 20" screens were very pretty, and the G5s were superb. The word 'fast' isn't really adequate to describe the G5. Applications open before you even think about what you want to do. So I'll console myself with the thought that I value my 'staring into space' time while waiting for applications to load too much to get a G5. Well, I don't think I even convinced myself with that...

I had a good play with some very nice Fujifilm cameras (the FinePix S5000 and S7000). I like my Nikon Coolpix 885 a lot, but the menus make it a pain to adjust settings for manual shooting, and there's no aperture priority setting, which would be very handy. As often happens at these things, I found that chatting so some of the smaller exhibitors (small in the size of their companies, not their stature) was one of the most fun things. The woman at Crumpler Bags was very nice, and the nice Canadians from Harmony Remote were good value, too. Entertainment was also provided by Quark. I only sat down at the presentation because there were plenty of free chairs, and I was tired, but I quickly became mesmerised by the rapidly falling battery level on the Quark guy's iBook. Would he be able to finish his presentation before the juice ran out? It was like an episode of 24.

Everyone seemed to be having a good time. There was a G5 games arcade, in which young lads wearing hoodies fragged the bejesus out of one another. I must be the world's most useless computer games player, so I didn't even have the courage to try out the "Finding Nemo" kinds game. Besides, getting whupped by a six-year old in public is never nice.

Showing what I feel was an inhuman level of self-control, I managed not to buy anything at all. When I left that show, I found a voicemail message waiting for me from Mr. Bsag. He asked me to call him before I left the show. I immediately knew that this couldn't be good news — he has no interest in Mac (or any other computer) stuff, so it could only mean that he had broken something. Sure enough, it turned out that he had split a cup of tea all over the iMac keyboard. We've washed it out now and left it to dry properly, but I don't know if it's going to work again. Oh well...

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