Magazine article Information Today

Online '89 Puts Focus on the '90'S

Magazine article Information Today

Online '89 Puts Focus on the '90'S

Article excerpt

Online '89 Puts Focus On the '90's

In early November, the Online '89 conference and exhibition set up shop at the Palmer House in Chicago with a totally revamped agenda. It would appear that the move to the "windy city" was just the shot in the arm this annual conference needed. After two rather disappointing years it looks like Jeff Pemberton finally has a hit. Attendance was brisk throughout the three days with the upper midwest location pulling in a large Canadian audience.

Another drawing point was the new two day conference within a conference, Databases In Schools '89. This program was aimed at database educators in schools and universities but the largest percentage of the nearly 200 attendees were from secondary schools. The well rounded program offered sessions on everything from information on how to get started with online and CD-ROM searching and choosing database services to predictions, by leaders in the field of information and computers, on the future of database searching in education.

Another new feature this year, which proved to be popular with attendees, was the introduction of workshops. These were small group, interactive learning sessions on basic IBM computer handling, going online with a Macintosh, and doing a CD-ROM installation.

The main conference opened with the usual welcome by Jeff Pemberton and was followed by the keynote address given by Robert W. Lucky, Ph.D. Dr. Lucky is the Executive Director of AT&T Bell Laboratories communications research and his informative presentation explained how closely online information systems are intertwined with communications.

The exhibit hall is always one of the main attractions at any of these conferences and this proved to be true at Online as well. Many exhibitors used the opportunity to demonstrate new products which helped attract visitors to their booths. Free drawings for everything from wine to CD-ROM players also helped to keep the traffic flowing.

Along with the wide array of sessions there were numerous product presentations going on throughout each day. One product presentation of particular interest was Maxwell Online, Inc. - Positive Progress. For months rumors have been circulating about Maxwell Online's plans for the "Software of the 90's." One source would say it was in the planning stages, another would say the company was almost ready to release. David Macdonald, vice president, sales and marketing at Maxwell, gave an indepth update of the company's progress since the integration of the Orbit Search Service and BRS Information Technologies and put many of the rumors to rest. …

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