TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Sep 95 Viewpoint
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:9
Column Tag:Viewpoint

Viewpoint

By Scott T Boyd, Editor-at-Large

What!? You missed MacHack again? What are we going to do with you? Oh, well, this tenth anniversary of MacHack had much to offer for about 300 Macintosh hackers from all over the map.

Some people go for the sessions. Some people go for the caffeine. Some people go for the amazing things that happen when they deprive their body of sleep for 72 hours. Nobody goes for the food! And this year nobody went for the luxurious accommodations of the Southfield, Michigan, Ramada (who needs air conditioning, anyway?).

Nevertheless, this event ranks among the few unmissable events of the year for those who just can’t get enough of Mac programming. Why? The people, of course. Nowhere else can you find such a favorable ratio of hackers to marketeers. It’s one of the few places where marketing, Windows, and other holy cows come under constant and brutal attack, much to the delight of the crowd.

The Ninth Annual MacHax™ MacHack Best Hack Contest (hosted each year by Greg Marriott and yours truly) attracts a wildly-diverse set of entries, and accounts for the bleary-eyed, caffeine-pumped, sleep-deprived crew of entrants who show their wares to a rabid, merciless crowd of their peers. The show starts at midnight, and follows two days of crazed hacking.

I’m often asked how one goes about winning. Strangely, I get a disapproving look (or small amounts of cash) when I suggest bribing the judges. I’ve never won (I’d just get accused of cheating, anyway), so instead I’ll offer a few tips on how to have a great time at MacHack.

I wandered around the machine room at 2AM, seeing if I could interest anyone in a Web-hack idea I’d been mulling over. I didn’t know whether I’d find someone to work with on this hack, or on another hack, but 2AM is a good time to find the right kind of person. Many people were already working on their hacks, but I met a guy I’d never met before, Grant Neufeld. Strangely, though, I’d been to his web site <http://arpp1.carleton.ca/grant/>. He was working on a CGI shell - it was perfect for hosting my portion of the hack, and he liked my idea.

We started working right away. He prepared the CGI shell, and I hacked out some code to play with QuickTime’s compression manager and the (unpublished) Layer Manager. We changed designs about a thousand times, and finally got something mostly working. At that point, we decided that public relations was the next most important thing to address, so we put together a killer About box, picked a cool name (Whatson?), and Grant made the icon.

Instead of getting our demo rehearsed, we decided to add another feature (the real killer feature), and found ourselves up against the deadline that I myself had imposed. What to do? Ha! I changed the rules, and moved the start of the Hack Show to 12:30! (Everyone accused me of it anyway, and it makes a better story if I just give in and say so, in spite of the fact that the Hack Show equipment really wasn’t ready, honest!)

How did it turn out? We didn’t win (something about running out of the room in the middle of demonstrating the hack at the Hack Show, but that’s a whole ’nuther story). In retrospect, if we’d really wanted to win, we probably should have gone ahead and made t-shirts. That would have made all the difference, no doubt. Nevertheless, we had a blast. In the process of madly throwing together the bits and pieces of this hack, we met and got help from roughly a dozen people, we faked up a fun photo with Photoshop, and we dabbled in several areas of the Macintosh toolbox we hadn’t played with before, all the while relishing the camaraderie, chaos, and caffeine.

Convinced? Want to enjoy the conference, at least vicariously? The list of winners and some of the hacks are at <http://www.machack.com/>. Want to try out Whatson? <http://www.hax.com/whatson.acgi>.

From the “Where’s the Beef?” Department

Microsoft’s reputation for out-marketing Macintosh prevails in the consumer arena. Microsoft holds the title in the developer arenaas well. For example, Microsoft continued their full frontal assault at MacHack, both with their Windows95 preconference, and with ample support and cosponsoring of the machine room and Internet connection. On the other hand, Apple, once famous for insanely-great developer relations, has recently fared poorly in Macintosh developers’ hearts and minds, losing ground as Microsoft presses on with aggressive developer relations efforts. This year’s strong sponsorship of MacHack stands as a clear and welcome exception.

What’s a Macintosh zealot to do? Well, never fear. Hope springs eternal. In what might be Apple’s answer to Microsoft’s challenge, Apple recently brought Guy Kawasaki back on board as an Apple Fellow. His mission? To “represent developer issues and perspectives to Apple”, among other things.

In that vein, he has started up a mailing list designed for the Macintosh faithful. He wants list participants to help him understand what developers need and want.

If you can handle a healthy dose of e-mail, join the list by sending a message to <mailto: semper.fi@thing1.info.apple.com> with the body of the message (not the subject line) containing subscribe YourRealName. Once you’re on the list, you can send mail to the same address. You can also send mail directly to Guy at <mailto: MacWay@aol.com>

Food For Thought

“Can one Guy get ahead of [Microsoft’s] James Plamondon? He’s pretty far out there!”

- Name withheld

“You know you’re really having fun when you find yourself falling asleep at ‘breakfast.’”

- Brad Kollmyer, bradk@vitalsoft.com

“It wasn’t broken air conditioning at the MacHack Windows preconference - it was the Mac programmers burning in Hell ”

- Anonymous

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Microsoft Office 2016 15.25 - Popular pr...
Microsoft Office 2016 - Unmistakably Office, designed for Mac. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote provide the best of both worlds for Mac users - the familiar Office... Read more
FileZilla 3.21.0 - Fast and reliable FTP...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. Version 3.21.0: Fixed Vulnerabilities Fixed a string format... Read more
Fantastical 2.2.5 - Create calendar even...
Fantastical 2 is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event... Read more
The Hit List 1.1.26 - Advanced reminder...
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
Typinator 6.10 - Speedy and reliable tex...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more
EtreCheck 3.0.2 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
FileZilla 3.21.0 - Fast and reliable FTP...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. Version 3.21.0: Fixed Vulnerabilities Fixed a string format... Read more
EtreCheck 3.0.2 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
Microsoft Office 2016 15.25 - Popular pr...
Microsoft Office 2016 - Unmistakably Office, designed for Mac. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote provide the best of both worlds for Mac users - the familiar Office... Read more
Typinator 6.10 - Speedy and reliable tex...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more

Bowmasters tips, tricks and hints
At least for this writer, archery was one of the more pleasant surprises of the 2016 Rio Olympics. As opposed to target shooting with guns, which was dreadfully boring, watching people shoot arrows at targets was pretty darn cool. [Read more] | Read more »
Best apps for watching live TV
The Olympics have come and gone, leaving nearly everyone in a temporary state of "What the heck am I going to watch on TV right now?" Besides old reruns of Golden Girls, but that goes without saying. [Read more] | Read more »
What is Flip Diving, and why has it take...
Move over Pokemon GO. There's a new king in town, and it's "the world's #1 cliff diving game." [Read more] | Read more »
5 places where Pokemon GO is still numbe...
In the U.S., the bloom is off the Pokemon Go rose ever so slightly. It's still doing great, sitting atop the top grossing chart as it has for some time, but it's no longer among the top 10 free apps in downloads, possibly because darn near... | Read more »
Madden NFL Mobile: How defense has chang...
Saying that defense is not a priority in Madden NFL Mobile is a bit of an understatement. In asynchronous head-to-head play, you don't take control of your defenders at all, as the AI manages them while your opponent plays offense. When it's your... | Read more »
Feed Hawk (News)
Feed Hawk 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: News Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Feed Hawk makes it easy to subscribe to the RSS feed of the website you are visiting. From within Safari, simply open a share... | Read more »
Reigns character guide: Who's who i...
Know your foes. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. And there are probably some other cliches that would apply to your perilous spot on the throne in Reigns as well. [Read more] | Read more »
Match 3 puzzler Small Lime is now availa...
Set to hit Android and IOS on the 17th August, Small Lime is the newest match 3 mobile game, and hopes to throw something a little different into the mix. If you love match 3 puzzles, but are tired of the same old ideas being re-hashed again and... | Read more »
Deus Ex GO tips, tricks, and hints
When Square Enix Montreal first hit us with Hitman GO,it was seen as a clever board game twist on a property that you wouldn't normally think would fit that kind of format. Lara Croft GOexpanded things even further while keeping some of the same... | Read more »
Leap of Fate (Games)
Leap of Fate 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** Minimum hardware: iPad 4, iPad mini 2, iPhone 5s. *** | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Typinator 6.10 comes with 50 improvements – G...
Ergonis Software today announced release of Typinator 6.10, a new version of their text expander utility for macOS. Typinator 6.10 comes with 50 improvements, including new features, compatibility... Read more
Taxi Sim 2016 Puts Users Behind the Wheel in...
Ovilex Soft today announces Taxi Sim 2016, an update to their ultra-realistic 3D driving simulator app for iOS and Android devices — literally a global event what with the company’s nearly 450,000... Read more
11-inch 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for...
Amazon has the current-generation 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MJVM2LL/A) on sale for $788 for a limited time. Their price is $111 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
12-inch 32GB and 128GB WiFi iPad Pros on sale...
B&H Photo has 12″ 32GB & 128GB WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for up to $70 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi iPad Pro: $... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
WaterField Launches Kickstarter for Intrepid...
San Francisco based WaterField Design have announced their first Kickstarter campaign for the one-of-a-kind Intrepid iPhone Travel Wallet. The all-new design includes iPhone play-through capability... Read more
Five of Top 10 Worldwide Mobile Phone Vendors...
Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 344 million units in the second quarter of 2016, a 4.3 percent increase over the same period in 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. Overall sales of... Read more
DriveSavers Offers $300 Off Data Recovery Ser...
DriveSavers, with more than 30 years of experience recovering photos, videos, contact lists, financial records and other important data that may have been kept on devices damaged or even destroyed by... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions Germanto...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Professional Learning Specialist - A...
# Apple Professional Learning Specialist Job Number: 51234379 Portland, Maine, Maine, United States Posted: Aug. 18, 2016 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (...
# Lead Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 51218465 Richmond, VA, Virginia, United States Posted: Aug. 18, 2016 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Lead ASC Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 51218534 Pleasant Hill, California, United States Posted: Aug. 18, 2016 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** As an Apple Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions Chestnut...
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.