Murph's VAPORWARE Column for October 1991

Murph's VAPORWARE Column for October 1991

Post by Murph Sewa » Mon, 30 Sep 1991 01:06:27



                         VAPORWARE
                       Murphy Sewall
             From the October 1991 APPLE PULP
       H.U.G.E. Apple Club (E. Hartford) News Letter
                          $24/year
                       P.O. Box 18027
                  East Hartford, CT 06118
            Call the "Bit Bucket" (203) 257-9588
 Permission granted to redistribute with the above citation

                  These are rumors folks;
           we reserve the right to be dead wrong!

Here Come the Color Notebooks.
Several battery powered notebooks with color displays will be introduced
at Fall Comdex.  Among the brand names will be Epson, Toshiba Sharp, and
AST Research.  Epson will have an active matrix display, AST and Sharp
have passive matrix screens, and Toshiba will offer both.  Although new
triple-supertwist technology and faster refresh rates have improved the
contrast of the passive screens, the active matrix displays produce more
vibrant color but also cost $1,500 to $2,000 more.
- InfoWorld 2 September and PC Week 16 September

Notebook SPARC.
Tadpole Technologies will introduce the first SPARC CPU Notebook
computer running SunSoft's new Solaris operating system (see below) at
Fall Comdex.  A minimal configuration (8 MBytes of RAM, 85 MByte hard
drive, and 720K floppy) of the 25 MHz, 7 pound system will list for
$5,950.  - PC Week 9 September

Pen-Based PalmTop May Set New Trend
Remember that somewhat mysterious item in the August 1990 column about
former Apple superstar programmers Bill Atkinson, Andy Hertzfeld, and
Marc Porat forming a spin-off firm named General Magic to develop a
product referred to as the Personal Intelligent Communicator (PIC)?
Well you'll soon see the result of General Magic's joint venture with
Apple and Sony.  PIC is a Mac-like pen-based palmtop with a built-in
cellular modem and a HyperCard-like interface which weighs under two
pounds.  Although the brand name will be General Magic, manufacture will
be by Apple and Sony.  The initial units will feature limited
handwriting recognition capabilities and later models would offer full
cursive recognition as well as voice recognition.  Introduction is
expected sometime next year.
- PC Week 9 September and Asian Computer Weekly 16 September

Vaporware by the Truckload.
IBM has announced more than 100 products which will permit Big Blue's
workstations, minicomputers, and mainframes to coexist with similar
systems from other vendors.  The new products, scheduled to ship next
year, are seen as an indication that IBM now recognizes that
"...centralized, hierarchical computing is no longer relevant" according
to Computer Network Architects president Frank Dzubeck.
- InfoWorld 16 September

Whichever Outline Font Technology You'd Like.
Apple and Adobe have announced that they've signed a letter of intent
that calls for the inclusion of Adobe Type 1 font technology within a
version of System 7 to be released early next year.  Apple's 20 August
press release states that the rasterizer technology that has been sold
as Adobe Type Manager since October of 1989 will soon be incorporated
into the Macintosh system software. Not surprisingly, Apple plans to
continue to support the TrueType format.  Microsoft's Brad Silverberg
says his company has no plans to incorporate Type 1 fonts into Windows.
- TidBITS, InfoWorld, and PC Week 26 August, and MacWeek 10 September

Whichever LAN You'd Like.
Chips and Technologies plans to offer a chipset which will support both
Ethernet and Token Ring.  The chipset will make it possible for
manufacturers to build PC systems which can accommodate either of the
leading network protocols.  The chips should ship early next year.
- InfoWorld 9 September

PowerBooks and Quadras
The new Macintosh portables, the first Apple computers that can really
be called notebooks, will be called PowerBooks.  The powerful 68040
offerings will be named the Mac Quadra 700 (desktop) and Quadra 900
(tower) - snazzier names than the "Macintosh IIex" that had been rumored
earlier. The Quadras of October will be 25 MHz, but sources inside Apple
say work on a 33 MHz version of the tower is nearly completed.  There is
a special significance to the name "Quadra," from the Latin for the
number four.  Since the failure of the of the Apple ]['s would-be
successor, the Apple ///, Apple has quietly vowed never to name another
computer with the number "three."  It would have sounded silly to have a
Macintosh IV without having had a Mac III, so the company presumably did
the next best thing and skirted the issue with some linguistic fiddling.
- MacWeek 20 August, TidBITs 26 August and PC Week 9 September

Amiga on Toast.
NewTek's Video Toaster for the Amiga is an impressive miniature
production studio on a card (see last October's column).  Newtek will be
bringing this product to a wider market by introducing the PC Toaster
and the MacToaster at the December Consumer Electronics Show.  Both
boards are said to work by incorporating an Amiga into the design (does
that mean it can be tweaked into running Amiga software?).
- InfoWorld 9 and 16 September

Is the 88000 Dead or Only Asleep?
Opus Systems, a Cupertino maker of  UNIX coprocessor cards for PC
clones, produces a card based on the Motorola 88000 family (the PM-425).
A number of copies of the PM-425 are in the hands of  Apple's "Pink
Project" developers.  Although Apple's deal with IBM "officially"
terminated work with the 88110 CPU, an executive at Opus says
development is really merely in suspended animation pending actually
converting the single chip PowerPC to silicon.  Opus had announced plans
to expand their line of 88000 family boards, but those intentions now
have been put in limbo.  Nevertheless, Apple's engineers continue to
tinker with the 88000 chips they already have (in their spare time,
presumably), and Opus's interest in the 88000 family will be quickly
renewed if Apple's is.  In short, believe the "Red and Blue CPU" whenyou
see it.  - found in my electronic mailbox

Solaris 2.
Sun Microsystem's software subsidiary, SunSoft, has entered the 32-bit
operating sweepstakes by renaming the current SunOS as "Solaris 1.0" and
announcing Solaris 2.0 for both SPARC and Intel CPU systems.  Solaris
2.0 will support multiprocessing, multithreading, and integrated
networking.  The new operating software is scheduled to ship in the
second quarter of next year.  - InfoWorld 9 September

Freeform 3D.
The hit of August's MacWorld for integrated media professionals came
from Alias Research Inc., who demonstrated "the world's first freeform
3D illustration and design package," Alias Sketch.  Most 3D packages
require lathing and extruding shapes in multiple windows, showing the
top, bottom and side views of the object.  In Sketch, everything is
created in a single 3D perspective with freeform drawing tools.  Very
cool!  According to the sales staff, Sketch should ship in October;
others in the company say a month or so later.  - TidBITs 12 Aug

Did You Save Your Receipt?
Registered  owners of Jazz for the Macintosh will be able to upgrade to
Mac Lotus 1-2-3 for only $49.  Specific details aren't available yet,
but will be when the product starts shipping.  If you have moved in the
many years since you registered a copy of Jazz, be sure to send Lotus a
change-of-address notice.  - TidBITs 12 Aug

New Laser Printers.
Hewlett-Packard will introduce the LaserJet IIp+ on October 14.  The
plus is a faster Motorola 68000 processor (still PCL 4 and four pages
per minute).  The list price will be $1,200.  Apple plans to introduce
two new, high-end laser printer models, the LaserWriter IIg with built
in Ethernet ($4,999) and IIf to replace the current NTX ($3,999) at Fall
Comdex.  The printers will include a TrueType rasterizer and "Fine
Print" which adds halftone capabilities similar to HP's Resolution
Enhancement Technology.  GCC Technologies will reply by introducing as
many as nine new models during the next twelve months.  - InfoWorld 9
September and MacWeek 10 September

No Room in the Product Line.
IBM may never introduce the i486 multiprocessor SuperServer that it has
been showing at technology demonstrations for two years.  The hardware
and software are both ready for market, but Big Blue's marketers can't
figure out how to position the server so that it won't compete primarily
with its own RS/6000 and AS/400 lines.  - InfoWorld 9 September

Hold Your Applause.
Ashton-Tate's presentation product, Applause for Windows, may be
released by the end of this year, or it could be sold to a third party.
The fate of the program, which currently is in alpha test, will depend
on the final outcome of Borland's purchase of Ashton-Tate.
- PC Week 2 September

Not Until 1992.
MacWrite Pro, Harvard Graphics for Windows, OS/2 2.0, and Windows NT
will not ship before the end of 1991.  Microsoft is showing a prototype
of Excel 4.0 which may ship as early as January. IBM's Signature word
processor which was set for shipping on September 17 was suddenly
delayed indefinitely; no reason was given.
- PC Week 9 September, MacWeek 10 September,
  InfoWorld 2 and 16 September
-------------
TidBITS from Penguin Things Software is a weekly Macintosh HyperCard
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