Best of Show
Bi-annually Macworld’s editors select the hottest new products introduced at Macworld Expo! Check out the Best of Show winners from the San Francisco January ’99 Expo. And check back here on Wednesday 7/21/99 for the New York Best of Show winners!
Adobe After Effects 4.0 Adobe Systems (408/536-6000, www.adobe.com ) has revamped its video post-production software with sophisticated masking capabilities, real-time effects previews, a powerful particle generator, and other new features.
Amorphium This $149 3-D sculpting program from Play’s Electric Image division (888/888-7529, www.play.com ) lets 3-D newcomers create animated models with minimal fuss. It’s one of the most painless ways we’ve seen to create animated 3-D imagery.
Extensis PhotoGraphics Extensis (503/274-2020, www.extensis.com ) has taken the plug-in concept to new levels by offering a vector-based drawing program that runs from within Adobe Photoshop. Its text-generation features are especially strong.
G3 Power Macs The latest G3 systems from Apple Computer (408/996-1010, www.apple.com ) sport a faster bus, FireWire and USB connections, and an iMac-inspired industrial design. Better yet, Apple has aggressively priced the machines, available in 300Mhz, 350Mhz, and 400Mhz models.
Game Wizard for iMac This 3-D graphics accelerator from Micro Conversions (817/468-9922, www.microconversions.com ) breaks the rules of iMac connectivity by using the computer’s undocumented mezzanine port. It’s the only way for iMac users to access the game-playing performance of 3Dfx’s Voodoo 2 chip. However, be forewarned: you may void the warranty on your iMac. Note that the new multicolored iMacs do not include a Mezzanine slot, so this product will only work with the original Bondi blue models.
Kai’s Photo Soap 2.0 MetaCreations (805/566-6200, www.metacreations.com ) has overhauled its $50 image-editing package with a more-intuitive interface and useful new features, including the ability to run Photoshop plug-ins. You can even use Photo Soap’s brushes to paint filter effects into an image.
LiveStage This QuickTime scripting tool from Totally Hip Software (604/685-6525, www.totallyhip.com ) lets you create interactive movies that include a wide range of media elements. You can even write your own version of Tetris or other simple computer games.
Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.5 The latest edition of Microsoft’s (425/882-8080, www.microsoft.com ) free Web browser–and Outlook Express 4.5, its free e-mail client–dispenses with fancy bells and whistles in favor of small but important productivity improvements. We especially like the Page Holder feature, which lets you store a page outside the main browser window, and Form AutoFill, which lets you automatically complete online forms.
Rage 128 This 128-bit graphics chip from ATI Technologies (905/882-2600, www.atitech.com ) powers the company’s new line of 2-D/3-D graphics accelerator boards–as well as Apple’s new Mac systems.
Virtual Game Station This $49 program from Connectix (650/638-7380, www.connectix.com ) performs a seeming miracle: letting you run many Sony PlayStation games on a G3 Mac. It won’t run every PlayStation game, and it sometimes drops frames, but it instantly brings dozens of new game titles to the Mac.