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 He prepared the CGI shell, and I hacked out some code to play with QuickTime’s compression manager and the (unpublished) Layer Manager.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

 
AAPL
$101.06
Apple Inc.
+0.10
MSFT
$47.06
Microsoft Corpora
-0.46
GOOG
$587.37
Google Inc.
-8.71

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Typinator 6.2 - Speedy and reliable text...
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
PopChar X 6.7 - Floating window shows av...
PopChar X helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar X provides a frustration-free way to access any font's special characters. Expanded... Read more
Evernote 5.6.0 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
Monosnap 2.2.2 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap allows you to save screenshots easily, conveniently, and quickly, sharing them with friends and colleagues at once. It's the ideal choice for anyone who is looking for a smart and fast... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.4beta36 - GUI for OpenVPN...
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
SoftRAID 5.0.4 - High-quality RAID manag...
SoftRAID allows you to create and manage disk arrays to increase performance and reliability. SoftRAID's intuitive interface and powerful feature set makes this utility a must have for any Mac OS X... Read more
Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.3 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Airfoil 4.8.9 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more
WhatRoute 1.13.0 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the... Read more
Chromium 37.0.2062.122 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. FreeSMUG-Free OpenSource Mac User Group build is... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This Week at 148Apps: September 15-19, 2...
Expert App Reviewers   So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iPhone/iPad lover to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just... | Read more »
Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker – Tips, Tricks,...
Hey There, Kittens: | Read more »
Goblin Sword Review
Goblin Sword Review By Andrew Fisher on September 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: RETRO GOODNESSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Fun visuals, good music, engaging level design, and lots of content make Goblin Sword an... | Read more »
Major New Update for CSR Racing Adds Fer...
Major New Update for CSR Racing Adds Ferrari and Multiplaye​r Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Veditor Review
Veditor Review By Jennifer Allen on September 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: PIMP YOUR VIDEOUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Want to add stickers and music to your videos? Veditor can do that easily.   | Read more »
1849′s Nevada Silver DLC is Still Search...
A few months ago, I took a look at 1849 from SomaSim. This Gold Rush-themed city builder for iPad had a fair bit going for it, but lacked in a few crucial areas to make it a true stand-out on the App Store. SomaSim has since added in a sandbox mode... | Read more »
Fruit Ninja Will be Reborn With a Massiv...
Fruit Ninja Will be Reborn With a Massive Update and Origins Animation Series Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Halfbrick Studios is rebuilding | Read more »
Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings Review
Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings Review By Amy Solomon on September 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings includes activities that allow young children explore different... | Read more »
CloudMagic Updated for iOS 8 – Adds Inte...
CloudMagic Updated for iOS 8 – Adds Interactive Notifications, Share Extension, and More Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 22nd, 2014 [ | Read more »
Starbase Annex (Games)
Starbase Annex 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: "it’s really very clever... a little bit of Hearthstone and a dash of Eclipse" - PocketTactics.com From the creator of Starbase... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

New iPhones Score Big in SquareTrade Breakabi...
SquareTrade has announced the iPhone 6 and its larger sibling, iPhone 6 Plus, performed impressively in Breakability testing, and each carries the top Breakability Score in their respective category... Read more
10 Million + First Weekend Sales Set New iPho...
Apple has announced it sold over 10 million new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, a new record, just three days after the launch on September 19. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are now available in the... Read more
Betty Crocker Launches New Cookbook for iOS
Betty Crocker, a General Mills brand, an established food industry leader, has announced its free digital cookbook app has been refreshed to make cooking with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch even easier... Read more
Apple restocks some refurbished 2014 MacBook...
The Apple Store has restocked some Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs, with prices starting at $769. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free. These... Read more
13-inch 128GB MacBook Air on sale for $949, s...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $949.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of... Read more
Apple offering free $25 iTunes Gift Card with...
The Apple Store is offering a free $25 iTunes Gift Card with the purchase of a $99 Apple TV for a limited time. Shipping is free. Read more
Apple refurbished iPod touch available for up...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Most colors are... Read more
iFixIt Tears Down iPhone 6; Awards Respectabl...
iFixit notes that even the smaller 4.7″ iPhone 6 is a giant among iPhones; so big that Apple couldn’t fit it into the familiar iPhone form factor. In a welcome reversal of a recent trend to more or... Read more
Phone 6 Guide – Tips Book For Both iPhone 6...
iOS Guides has announced its latest eBook: iPhone 6 Guide. Brought to you by the expert team at iOS Guides, and written by best-selling technology author Tom Rudderham, iPhone 6 Guide is packed with... Read more
How to Upgrade iPhone iPad to iOS 8 without D...
PhoneClean, a iPhone cleaner utility offered by iMobie Inc., reveals a solution for upgrading iPhone and iPad to iOS 8 without deleting photos, apps, the new U2 album or anything. Thanks to more than... Read more

Jobs Board

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
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…customers purchase our products, you're the one who helps them get more out of their new Apple technology. Your day in the Apple Store is filled with a range of Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** At the Apple Store, you connect business professionals and entrepreneurs with the tools they need in order to put Apple solutions to work in their Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.