September 1991

NeXT takes low profile at Siggraph

by Dan Goldman

Las Vegas: The thousands of programmers, engineers, and computer artists here recently for the annual Siggraph conference and exhibition had to look hard to find evidence of NeXT's participation in the high-end computer graphics markets.

NeXT cancelled its booth plans and instead hosted a hospitality suite at a conference hotel.

NeXT computers drew large and enthusiastic crowds in third-party booths on the exhibit floor, however. Brooktree and Philips-Signetics both highlighted NeXTdimension's video capabilities (each has chips on the ND board). Wolfram Research showed Mathematica 2.0 running on a NeXTstation Color. Midwest Litho Arts demonstrated the NeXTstation Color as a RenderMan rendering engine for a networked Macintosh running Pixar's Showplace 3D software.

NeXT developers in attendance included Andrew Stone of Stone Design, privately showing a new, more intuitive beta version of DataPhile, the flat-file database. NeXT itself showed a number of demonstration programs at the suite, ranging from a possible Icon successor to a multimedia animation and authoring tool. There was no announced shipping date for this software.

Popular attractions on the exhibit floor included NewTek's Video Toaster and new 3-D design software from a number of companies, notably Alias. The scene stealer was Silicon Graphics's new IRIS Indigo computer (see related story, page 1), boasting a smart industrial design and SGI's suite of graphics software.

Other signs of NeXT could be found in software such as Hewlett-Packard's Interface Architect, a more limited and less elegant Interface Builder-like tool based on Motif. Conference attendees were baffled by NeXT's pullout. "It has one of the best development environments," said one software engineer. "With that and its video, it could have blown people away."

Created by Stone Design's Create(tm) at 2005-08-20 23:23:39 -0500