TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Oct 94 Editor's Page
Volume Number:10
Issue Number:10
Column Tag:The Editor’s Page

What We Did on Our Summer Vacation
in Boston

By Scott T Boyd, Editor

What We Did
On Our Summer Vacation in Boston

Well, so it wasn’t really a vacation. I wouldn’t wish setting up a booth in the World Trade Center without any air conditioning on anyone, especially as a vacation activity. [You have to understand, exhibitors aren’t really considered “people” and therefore don’t need air conditioning. - Ed. nst]

Actually, there was a good bit of fun. Strangely, though, the biggest parties aren’t always the best bet. This year at least one of the biggest almost completely succeeded in what must have been a deliberate attempt to screen out the t-shirt crowd. All that effort to have a museum full of suits? Go figure. Two much smaller parties made their mark. Mac the Knife hosted a nice little get-together. The attendee list spoke volumes about the quality of the Knife’s sources. The best party, though, had to be one where the party guests supported the party by buying t-shirts. Yes, it was the “System 7.5 Sucks Less” party, and the quality of the production bears witness to the kind of results you can get with a small team of hard-working, dedicated team members. Some good (non-engineering) folks at Apple had a hard time believing that “sucks less” was a good thing, but us programmer types enjoyed the good-natured ribbing. Strange, but there were a lot more t-shirts than suits at this party!

The show itself held a few surprises, and a lot of non-surprises. If there was a theme, it might have been “More of the same, only native!”

The best part of the show for us was the opportunity to spend time with a whole bunch of the people who build the developer tools we use. MacTech Magazine had two booths, one on the floor of the World Trade Center, and a tiny one in the Apple tent. The tent spot was right in the midst of a number of developers, right between Symantec and Metrowerks. During lulls, developer tool authors mingled, swapped stories, and gave each other a hard time. I got to watch as a worker on one side of us talked a guy from the other side out of a t-shirt, saying, “I promise I’ll wear it to work.” That’s something we’d like to see.

Random Show Observations

Much of what we saw in the way of developer tools has already shown up in print here, or will soon. On the other hand, some of what we saw on the show floor gave us some things to think about. For example, RAMDoubler’s success evoked exclamations like, “Isure would like to have a big hit and get rich!” from even the most modest of developers. Berkeley Systems had people standing five deep to get free inflatable goodies and watch fun screen “savers”. And, although WordPerfect was giving away umbrellas, we saw people standing in line not knowing about the freebies. They wanted to watch WordPerfect’s demo because, “There’s no way I’m going to put OLEon my Macintosh just to run the big, new version of Word. I want to see what I’m going to be using next” (we don’t make this stuff up).

Dayna was showing a cool demo of their wireless networking. Apple was showcasing just how many applications have gone native (although they didn’t bother to point out just how many of them were done with CodeWarrior). Computer Chronicles, the PBSTVshow, was taping segments all over the show floor. The World Trade Center food was pretty good, and not expensive, either. We expected airport quality and prices.

The one game that programmers kept talking about was Sensory Overload, from Reality Bytes. Everyone says it’s just like Doom. I (shamelessly) talked them out of a copy so we could do our duty and give you a quick review. In a nutshell, one programmer didn’t understand the attraction. Another programmer disappeared for several hours, then cursed me for letting him try it (probably because he couldn’t find anywhere to buy it yet).

Even though it was available before the show, going on the road gave Neil a chance to give his new 19.2 PowerPort modem a real workout. He’d been struggling with Apple’s modem “solution” for his Duo, and is pleased to report that he’s found the alternative. Neil does more e-mail or faxes per minute than anyone Iknow, and he grooved on Global Village’s performance and fax software. He says, “Faxing is now so much faster and easier, it isn’t worth comparing to Apple’s software. Check it out!”

Speaking of computers and phones, Collaboration Technologies was showing their still-in-development PhoneBridge® to everyone with telephony products, and kicking up quite a stir. PhoneBridge is a hardware/software combo which connects to your Mac via ADB, Sound In, and Sound Out. It can mix and match audio and knows all about phones. You can use it and your Mac as a most interesting phone. The best part? It’s a developer platform. I told a few friends about it, and each one immediately went and demanded that Collaboration take their money and give them a developer kit. It was great to see developers truly excited about a new technology! My favorite developer opportunity for it? To use it to mix in the background sound of your choice to create custom atmosphere for your calls (e.g. “Wow, this connection is really bad. I’ll have to call you back”). One developer is already working on a real-time Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) secure phone application for it. For more info, e-mail phonebridge@apple.com.

Hawking His Wares

Stephen Hawking, renowned physicist, gave a thoughtful keynote, taking us through the thought process of wondering whether there is life elsewhere in the universe. Along the way, he identified computer viruses as a life form (controversial, but not convincing), and used it to get a good laugh. His humor may very well have been the highlight of his talk. At a show like MacWorld, it wasn’t surprising to discover that a big reason for his keynote was his new CD-ROM multimedia version of A Brief History of Time, his 1988 best-seller.

Back in the Real World

Last week Idropped in on a Software Entrepreneurs Forum in Palo Alto for an OpenDoc vs. OLEdebate. Both sides brought their heavy hitters, and they played to a packed audience. Every time Igo to one of these debates, both side refine their approaches, using lessons learned in previous debates.

I keep finding myself looking at the issues being discussed. Is SOM the right object model? Do developers really need non-rectangular objects? Will the shipping technology “win” because it’s available and the other is not? Is a framework necessary, or programming components at the “bare-metal” APIlevel easy enough?

In this issue, we have a letter where the writer insists that MacTech Magazine rally behind Apple, lending our support because we owe our support to Apple, and so Microsoft doesn’t win. A debate along these lines is happening in comp.sys.mac.programmer.

I expect that most of you find at least some of these questions interesting, perhaps even worthy of debate. I have to wonder, though, are these really the issues you care about?

For example, how will you, the developer, decide whether you will support OpenDoc? Will it take convincing you that OpenDoc is the superior technology? Maybe knowing that it’s available cross-platform will be your deciding factor? Maybe SOM is what you’ve been waiting for? It could be that you’ll go with it because it’s an Apple technology, and you’ll follow Apple’s lead. Or maybe you’ll go with it because it’s not a Microsoft technology.

And how will you decide whether you’ll support OLE? Microsoft Office is wildly successful. Perhaps you want to play into that market. Of course, it’s shipping, and maybe you have to get to market now, and you simply can’t afford to wait. Maybe OLEis enough for your needs, or you’ve already got a Windows product, and it only makes sense to use the Microsoft technology that you believe will become dominant.

Here’s an issue we haven’t heard much about. What’s the debugging experience going to be like when you’re intermingling components from a number of different vendors? Is one technology more conducive to easy debugging than the other?

These and other issues will play into the decisions that countless developers will be making. The shape that the debate has been taking focuses on these issues.

Yet, there’s something we haven’t heard enough about, and that’s the business model. The debate we’ve seen so far has centered on interesting issues, but it’s time that the debate starts hitting on the issues that make the real difference for developers.

The biggest of these: how are you going to make money? A number of questions come to mind, and none of these has received the kind of treatment necessary for business planning at the small, third-party developer level. Will there be room for more than one kind of each component in the marketplace? How does a little developer get into the channels? Will makers of suites have their collection of components that are good enough, leaving little room for better components too gain entry? Will end-users really shop for individual components? Will Apple and Microsoft do something to help the small developer survive the transition?

Here’s another big question. Is it really an either/or choice? It’s easy to come away from these debates with the notion that you have to choose up sides. It’s also easy to come away thinking that you’ve got to make up your mind soon.

We’re not even sure why Apple keeps attending the debates. Maybe it’s just a way to get in front of developer audiences. Maybe it’s to give developers a reason to stall and not make a big committment to OLE just yet. Apple has a strong offering. It interoperates with OLE. We see little reason to position it as a competitor.

We’re going to take the time to examine both technologies and the business issues surrounding them. We expect the vested interests to take issue with some of what gets printed here. That’s why we invite all comers to make their case. And feel free to rebutt. But let’s get the debate focused on the needs of the developer. By the way, if there’s an issue you’d like to see addressed, let us know, and we’ll raise it with the players.

Prograph Conference

Prograph International is hosting the 2nd Annual Prograph Developers’ Conference October 14-16 at Apple’s R&D campus in Cupertino, CA. The conference will focus on new developments in client/server database tools and cross-platform technologies for PowerMac and Windows. (415) 773-8234 for more info on how you can spend three days soaking up Apple atmosphere while immersing yourself in Prograph.

Food For Thought

Ever wonder how Apple comes up with its licensing strategy and pricing? We had to scratch our heads over this one. To license QuickTime Package 2.0 for Macintosh costs $300/year, yet QuickTime for Windows 1.1 is only $250. What’s the message here?

Not Food For Thought

You know that glue we used to bind the CD into the August issue? We visited our printer and asked them what it was called. The technical term? Booger glue.

 
AAPL
$105.22
Apple Inc.
+0.39
MSFT
$46.13
Microsoft Corpora
+1.11
GOOG
$539.78
Google Inc.
-4.20

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

OS X Server 4.0 - For OS X 10.10 Yosemit...
Designed for OS X and iOS devices, OS X Server makes it easy to share files, schedule meetings, synchronize contacts, develop software, host your own website, publish wikis, configure Mac, iPhone,... Read more
TotalFinder 1.6.12 - Adds tabs, hotkeys,...
TotalFinder is a universally acclaimed navigational companion for your Mac. Enhance your Mac's Finder with features so smart and convenient, you won't believe you ever lived without them. Tab-based... Read more
BusyCal 2.6.3 - Powerful calendar app wi...
BusyCal is an award-winning desktop calendar that combines personal productivity features for individuals with powerful calendar sharing capabilities for families and workgroups. BusyCal's unique... Read more
calibre 2.7 - Complete e-library managem...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more
Skitch 2.7.3 - Take screenshots, annotat...
With Skitch, taking, annotating, and sharing screenshots or images is as fun as it is simple.Communicate and collaborate with images using Skitch and its intuitive, engaging drawing and annotating... Read more
Delicious Library 3.3.2 - Import, browse...
Delicious Library allows you to import, browse, and share all your books, movies, music, and video games with Delicious Library. Run your very own library from your home or office using our... Read more
Art Text 2.4.8 - Create high quality hea...
Art Text is an OS X application for creating high quality textual graphics, headings, logos, icons, Web site elements, and buttons. Thanks to multi-layer support, creating complex graphics is no... Read more
Live Interior 3D Pro 2.9.6 - Powerful an...
Live Interior 3D Pro is a powerful yet very intuitive interior designing application. View Video Tutorials It has every feature of Live Interior 3D Standard, plus some exclusive ones: Create multi... Read more
The Hit List 1.1.7 - Advanced reminder a...
The Hit List manages the daily chaos of your modern life. It's easy to learn - it's as easy as making lists. And it's powerful enough to let you plan, then forget, then act when the time is right.... Read more
jAlbum Pro 12.2.4 - Organize your digita...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code!... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Rami Ismail Opens Up distribute​() for D...
Rami Ismail Opens Up distribute​() for Developers Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Rami Ismail, Chief Executive of Business and Development at indie game studio | Read more »
Great Hitman GO Goes on Sale and Gets Ne...
Great Hitman GO Goes on Sale and Gets New Update – Say That Three Times Fast Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Rival Stars Basketball Review
Rival Stars Basketball Review By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RESTRICTIVE BUT FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Rival Stars Basketball is a fun mixture of basketball and card collecting but its... | Read more »
Rubicon Development Makes Over a Dozen o...
Rubicon Development Makes Over a Dozen of Their Games Free For This Weekend Only Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
I Am Dolphin Review
I Am Dolphin Review By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEARLY FIN-TASTICUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Swim around and eat nearly everything that moves in I Am Dolphin, a fun Ecco-ish kind of game... | Read more »
nPlayer looks to be the ultimate choice...
Developed by Newin Inc, nPlayer may seem like your standard video player – but is aiming to be the best in its field by providing high quality video play performance and support for a huge number of video formats and codecs. User reviews include... | Read more »
Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Wi...
Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch Review By Jennifer Allen on October 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: CLASSY STORYTELLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fighting Fantasy: Caverns of the Snow Witch is a sterling... | Read more »
A Few Days Left (Games)
A Few Days Left 1.01 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.01 (iTunes) Description: Screenshots are in compliance to App Store's 4+ age rating! Please see App Preview for real game play! **Important: Make... | Read more »
Toca Boo (Education)
Toca Boo 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: BOO! Did I scare you!? My name is Bonnie and my family loves to spook! Do you want to scare them back? Follow me and I'll... | Read more »
Intuon (Games)
Intuon 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Join the battle with your intuition in a new hardcore game Intuon! How well do you trust your intuition? Can you find a needle in a... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Weekend sale: 13-inch 128GB MacBook Air for $...
Best Buy has the 2014 13-inch 1.4GHz 128GB MacBook Air on sale for $849.99, or $150 off MSRP, on their online store. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price valid... Read more
Nimbus Note Cross=Platform Notes Utility
Nimbus Note will make sure you never forget or lose your valuable data again. Create and edit notes, save web pages, screenshots and any other type of data – and share it all with your friends and... Read more
NewerTech’s Snuglet Makes MagSafe 2 Power Con...
NewerTech has introduced the Snuglet, a precision-manufactured ring designed to sit inside your MagSafe 2 connector port, providing a more snug fit to prevent your power cable from unintentional... Read more
Apple Planning To Sacrifice Gross Margins To...
Digitimes Research’s Jim Hsiao says its analysts believe Apple is planning to sacrifice its gross margins to save its tablet business, which has recently fallen into decline. They project that Apple’... Read more
Who’s On Now? – First Instant-Connect Search...
It’s nighttime and your car has broken down on the side of the highway. You need a tow truck right away, so you open an app on your iPhone, search for the closest tow truck and send an instant... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $949,...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $949.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $150 off MSRP. Price is... Read more
Save up to $125 on Retina MacBook Pros
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They’ll also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available sta...
The Apple Store has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for up to $60 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $255... Read more
Textilus New Word, Notes and PDF Processor fo...
Textilus is new word-crunching, notes, and PDF processor designed exclusively for the iPad. I haven’t had time to thoroughly check it out yet, but it looks great and early reviews are positive.... Read more
WD My Passport Pro Bus-Powered Thunderbolt RA...
WD’s My Passport Pro RAID solution is powered by an integrated Thunderbolt cable for true portability and speeds as high as 233 MB/s. HighlightsOverviewSpecifications Transfer, Back Up And Edit In... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple Inc. (U...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.