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 He prepared the CGI shell, and I hacked out some code to play with QuickTime’s compression manager and the (unpublished) Layer Manager.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

VueScan 9.5.75 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Opera 44.0.2510.1449 - High-performance...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Opera 44.0.2510.1449 - High-performance...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Skim 1.4.29 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
FontExplorer X Pro 6.0.2 - Font manageme...
FontExplorer X Pro is optimized for professional use; it's the solution that gives you the power you need to manage all your fonts. Now you can more easily manage, activate and organize your... Read more
1Password 6.7.1 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Vivaldi 1.9.818.44 - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
Vivaldi 1.9.818.44 - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
Skim 1.4.29 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
1Password 6.7.1 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Fire Emblem Heroes event announces new m...
As reported yesterday, Nintendo was gearing up a live press event for their popular mobile game,Fire Emblem Heroes. While the stream revealed a lot of new things, the event was entirely in Japanese. Luckily we have a rundown of what was announced... | Read more »
Best games we played this week
Another week, another slate of new mobile games. Although there weren't as many big name releases as last week, there were plenty of unique video game titles that came out that's sure to keep you interested over the weekend. Everything from classic... | Read more »
Olli by Tinrocket (Photography)
Olli by Tinrocket 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get drawn in with Olli by TinrocketOlli instantly turns your everyday moments into hand-drawn art and animations. • Watch... | Read more »
Penarium (Games)
Penarium 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Fire Emblem Heroes is way more profitabl...
Profits for Nintendo's mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes are apparently impressive enough to beat out other Nintendo titles likeSuper Mario Run, despite having 10 times fewer downloads. [Read more] | Read more »
Classic series Robot Unicorn Attack 3 no...
The classic Adult Swim browser game, Robot Unicorn Attack, branched off into a series of popular mobile games. Now, the latest entry into the series, Robot Unicorn Attack 3, is available for iOS and Android mobile devices. [Read more] | Read more »
Sudoku Sweeper (Games)
Sudoku Sweeper 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A minimalist mashup of Minesweeper and Sudoku. Logic puzzle perfection. Every row, column and zone contains a bomb and one of... | Read more »
Under Leaves (Games)
Under Leaves 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Journey into the forest, the jungle or the depths of the deep blue sea. Find chestnuts for the pigs, a caterpillar for the... | Read more »
Ninja Pizza Girl (Games)
Ninja Pizza Girl 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: In the not-so-distant future, rampart traffic congestion has resulted in only one way to deliver pizzas across town in thirty... | Read more »
SCRAP (Games)
SCRAP 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: That day, for no apparent reason, SCRAP decided to wake up and run. He had to, because his activation was a mistake the "Factory" could... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pros available for $200 off MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB... Read more
13-inch Gray 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook P...
Amazon has the 13″ Space Gray 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro (model MNQF2LL/A) in stock today and on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray... Read more
15-inch 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook P...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $2599…$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz/256GB Space Gray Touch Bar Mac...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz/256GB Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $150 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/256GB Touch... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $151 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $151 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1348 $151 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP... Read more
Weekend deal: Up to $420 off new MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros available for $230 to $420 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2.6GHz... Read more
Price drop: 15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro...
Amazon has dropped their price on 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) to $1709.99 including free shipping. Their price is $290 off MSRP for this model. Note that stock may sell out quickly at... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $899, save $100
B&H Photo has the 2.8GHz Mac mini (model number MGEQ2LL/A) on sale for $899 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
New System Clock for macOS by B-Eng Now Avail...
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of System Clock, the company’s new system monitor and information app developed exclusively for macOS. System... Read more

Jobs Board

Product Manager, *Apple* Platforms - Viacom...
…Product Manager to drive the execution of its iOS and AppleTV experiences. The Apple Platform Product Manager will be a leader in our Agile/Scrum environment and Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**493714BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 001024-Weatherford-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master Read more
*Apple* OS X Server Administrator (Active Se...
** Apple OS X Server Administrator \(Active Secret Clearance\)** **Description** Come be a part of a top notch team, apply today\!\! Tuva TUVA provides turnkey Read more
*Apple* Mac Computer Technician - GeekHampto...
…complex computer issues over the phone and in person? GeekHampton, Long Island's Apple Premium Service Provider, is looking for you! Come work with our crew Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**501846BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Location Number:** 001126-South Bay Center-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.