Apple presented the Driven by Design seminar at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in SF. It is a free, touring seminar (make sure that you know when the seminar comes to your town here), with presentations by Adobe, Extensis, GretagMacbeth, Quark and HP. The focus seemed to mostly be on the new products by these companies, along with their Panther and G5 optimization. Although the intended audience seemed to be print professionals, there were some web publishing flecks here and there.
What follows is my quick, dirty rundown of the seminar.
The biggest presentation of all was definitely revolving around Adobe and the up-and-coming Creative Suite (CS). While I do not agree with the new naming convention, as well as the narrow bundling of apps (Photohop/Imageready without GoLive in a standard bundle?), I am very impressed with the new and improved features (hey, PageMaker geeks, the Story Editor is back!). Maybe I was just impressed with the speed of operations on the G5 running Panther that they had up on the stage, lit from below, so we could all ooh and ahh at it.
Much applause came for the new Photoshop CS filter, Highlights and Shadows. It can help you fix easily under/overexposed areas of your photograph, without affecting the mid-range tones. Sure, you can do that with Curves, but this filter was most excellent in action.
Quark seemed to only have 15-20 minutes of stage time, of which I kinda shrugged off. As heavy of a Quark Xpress user I have been, I think that they shot themselves in the foot when they decided to focus on web-publishing tools. Meh.
The other thing to get excited about was Extensis’ new version of Portfolio. They have created Portfolio Express, or as they put it, the “cyberpalette”: a floating palette with your entire asset library that resides in the Finder and all your other apps. Easy drag-n-drop from the palette seems to make finding that right file for the job a breeze. I think that this would be my first purchase of all the products I saw that day.
GretagMacbeth showed some cool color management tools, which seemed very user friendly, and very useful for all kinds of displays, scanners, printers and projectors. I took note, but I’m not ready to plop down the money on these tools (although Kevin was quite interested, for both professional and personal use).
We skipped the part of the seminar that was entitled “Migrating to OS X”. At least a third of the audience was still on OS 9, and they could not use all these featured apps and tools if they did not upgrade. So this was a smart little move for Apple… but it didn’t apply to us. That’s okay, extended lunches are good! They say there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, but Apple provided us with one, even with this being a free seminar.
I managed to sneak one MoBlog entry in during the day. As you can see, it wasn’t a packed house, but there was a good amount of people there. I think that the seminar was a good success, and I recommend you check it out if it is coming to your town.