Apple Computer intends to make its new translucent computer, the iMac, the central focus at this week’s MacWorld in New York. A spokesperson for the Cupertino, California-based company told Computergram that Apple would use the show to push the iMac in advance of its general release date in August. She added that Apple would make […]
Apple Computer intends to make its new translucent computer, the iMac, the central focus at this week’s MacWorld in New York. A spokesperson for the Cupertino, California-based company told Computergram that Apple would use the show to push the iMac in advance of its general release date in August. She added that Apple would make a number of minor announcements on Wednesday, following the keynote speech, but that there would be no significant announcements until the launch of the iMac next month. The fact that the company’s interim chief executive Steve Jobs won’t even be present at the keynote tomorrow (he will participate via satellite from the West Coast) is a sure indication the company isn’t gearing itself up for any major product releases, and analysts are predicting the same. However, a plethora of companies are expected to use the show to launch third party devices designed to make the iMac more marketable. To address the chief criticism of the iMac to date, its lack of floppy disk drive, Iomega will introduce a new high-density external ZIP drive with 100MB storage capacity. The company also plans a Mac version of its multimedia product, Buzz; a video- capture device and editing board. Not to be outdone, Imation Corp and Panasonic Industrial Co will introduce the USB Universal Serial Bus version of their SuperDisk disk drive, first announced back in May. The iMac has two USB ports for peripherals. The SuperDisk, previously known as the LS-120, is the 120Mb intended floppy disk replacement that reads legacy 1/44Mb and 720Kb diskettes, and is supported, among others, by Compaq Computer Corp. The Imation SuperDisk USB Drive will read both PC and Mac formatted floppy disks, and existing SuperDisk diskettes from Imation. A standard USB floppy drive is also expected to be available from Apple for the iMac, but probably as a build-to- order option. Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard Co will introduce the HP Printer Cable Kit for iMac at the show, so that its HP DeskJet printers can be used with the new machine. Apple will be pushing the iMac as the ultimate games machine although, as yet, there are no specific details as to what features the computer offers to back these claims up. The USB bus should make it easier for joystick, steering wheel and gamepad manufacturers to support Mac games. Other predictions for the show include sneak previews of a new lower-cost version of the iMac, which will fill the gap between Apple’s PowerBook range and the now defunct e-Mate; a low-cost portable aimed at the education market, but the company declined to provide any details.