Thursday, January 16, 1997

MacWorld Melee!

Editor's NOTE: This is a moldie oldie that I pulled from a text dump archive. None of the links will work anymore (or 99% won't) - but the names and companies have NOT changed.

Greetings from the computing bowels of the lovely city by the bay - San Francisco, California. It's my annual pilgrimage to "fog city" (not to be confused with the excellent software company fog city software) for a week of outrageous hotel prices, inflated parking prices, expensive food and drink... oh yeah, and computer stuff.

MacWorld in San Francisco is like an intimate encounter with 9,000 of your closest friends - there's no time to see them all - and even if you could you wouldn't. Among all the Internet hype, new hardware announcements, software introductions, show specials on software you'll never use, and endless opportunities to melt even the most hearty of credit cards, there were a few notable things in the pipeline that I found to be of interest to us folk who wax poetic in the (sometimes lonely) land of FileMaker development:

  • There's a new version of FileMaker Pro in the works... That's about all I can say about it. Suffice it to say it will be good and will include new stuff as well as fix some stuff that's been bugging all of us for years.

  • New versions of CGI's exposed: All three major FileMaker CGI vendors showed off their latest versions (all included WebStar 2.x plug-in capabilities),
    *Web Broadcasting's WEB FM (and "Web Essentials" bundle), *BlueWorld Communication's Lasso (as well as a super-duper 2.0 version that will include it's own HTTP server AND will Java-enable FileMaker), *Everyware's Tango. I'll be ranting and raving about CGI & FileMaker stuff in a future column.... but you owe it to yourself to check out the latest YUMMY offerings from these vendors!

  • Cool New MAC ONLY Software
    *Everything FileMaker CD Matt and folks at ISO have put out THE reference source for FileMaker users! This FANTASTIC $35 CD is chocked-full of over 600 megs of actual FileMaker FILES, EXAMPLES, TECHNIQUES and more - get it while it's HOT!

    *Secure FM (download here!) Danny Mack and the wired-in people at New Millennium have cooked up an extension that will dim out editing menu commands IN FILEMAKER! They're also at looking at doing a windoze version, and adding FULL MENU CONTROL in a future version!

    *Web Collage that will collate info from the Web or FileMaker databases and create (and auto-upload to server or FTP) GIF images based on the data

    *Myrmidon by Terry Morse Software - weird name, COOL print driver that will translate ANYTHING that can be printed into HTML and other formats (INCLUDING script steps, field definitions, etc.)

    *Coda by Random Noise is a visual Java builder for creating 100% Java web pages. It will also run on Windows 95, Windows NT, AND Solaris - WAY COOL!

    *Web Burst - by the good folks over at PowerProduction is a visual animation tool that will generate it's own Java code, classes, and HTML,
    *Home Page 2.0 (Mac & Windows) - nice update to a useful, mostly WYSIWYG HTML editor - watch this space for more info on possible FMP integration in a future version

  • Coolest place to stay in S.F. if you're staying a week or more - is the City Central Townhouse (click for picture) owned by my good friend Leigh Robinson. This place is the best - it's right next to Jefferson Square and is in walking distance from the Civic Center, Main Library, Memorial Opera House, Japantown, St. Mary's Cathedral, etc. It's 3 bedrooms, 2-1/2 baths of pure pleasure that INCLUDES a jacuzzi tub in master bath, fully equipped kitchen, fireplace, washer/dryer, multiple TV's, VCR, phone, answering machine, roof garden, exercise stuff, and housekeeping services! Check it out - it's even got it's own web site!. You can also contact Leigh at (510) 236-5496, FAX (510) 215-9385 or write to Express, P.O. Box 1639, El Cerrito, CA 94530 and tell em' BOB SENT YOU.

  • Mac Based ISP I met the folks from the Bay Area Infoasis at the most excellent Macs of Marin FileMaker Pro SIG meeting that I hosted. If you want to super-charge your site by offering the power of FileMaker and CGI's, but don't want the hassles of having your own T-1 or server, contact them and check out their FileMaker Serving services (from $100/mo.)

    I also met (for the first time in person) Chris Ogden fellow wine nut, CGI maestro and author of the most excellent AppleScript Web Site that uses Tango and FileMaker Pro to run the ENTIRE site! He and I... well... um... let's just say that the good people at the oh-so-trendy watering hole "Bix" weren't sorry to see us leave in the wee hours of the morning. Keep watching this space for more on the super yummy FileMaker gyrations from the slight-of-hand magicians at Infovista.

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