Computers: The Stepchild Comes of Age

Hard sell in New Orleans at the first national software trade fair

The Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans has seen S.R.O. crowds for two Super Bowls, several professional fights, an N.C.A.A. basketball championship and a couple of Rolling Stones concerts, among other events. For three days last week 20,000 people tramped through the 13-acre stadium for a different type of spectacle. They were looking at 12,000 software programs put on display by more than 600 manufacturers at a gathering called Softcon: it was the first nationwide trade show devoted exclusively to software, the programs...

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