New products, new style spark Computerworld Expo

A brace of new products - and some coaching in the arts of presentation - helped make the opening corporate day of the Computerworld Expo one of the busiest ever. The Expo, at the Carter Holt Harvey Pavilion at Auckland Showgrounds, ends today.

A brace of new products - and some coaching in the arts of presentation - helped make the opening corporate day of the Computerworld Expo one of the busiest ever.

The Expo, at the Carter Holt Harvey Pavilion at Auckland Showgrounds, ends today.

Three companies - IBM, SolNet and BCL - have network computers on show, both flavours of 56K modem technology are represented and both authoring and origination services for DVD (Digital Video Disk) are being touted.

Miniaturisation is also something of a theme, with Casio putting a big push behind the Windows CE-based Cassiopeia and Exabyte's tiny, titanic tape drive attracting a lot of attention.

On the desktop, Compaq is showing off its over-the-top 200MHz MMX Presario 4780, a full-featured monster which it hopes will win back the consumer initiative. Apple is absent, but two clone brands - Motorola's StarMax and Power Computing are carving out niches.

The new StarMax boxes are the first Mac-compatibles to feature the Tanzania motherboard, which allows connection to standard PC devices - including PC keyboards - and distributor Sanderson is targeting the enterprise market. The Power Computing stand featured a 240MHz machine running the recently-licensed BeOS (from a Jaz drive!) and some show-offy real-time 3D.

IDG Expo organiser Doug Casement says the buzz at the Expo's opening day can be partly put down to the training seminar the Expo team ran for exhibitors last November.

"We pointed out that if they stood there for three days with their arms folded, nobody was going to talk to them. If you smile and talk to people and do some sort of special offer, you're away laughing.

"People were there seriously - admittedly on corporate day you do get more of the heavy hitters, but this year it was noticeable how many of the exhibitors invested more in their stands. Theydecided that if they were going to be there, they were going to do some business.

"There was a lot of interest in graphics, in high-end storage, then of course IBM are socking it to people with their integration. And Compaq and Digital are both raving about the people through their stands."

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