TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apr 96 Viewpoint
Volume Number:12
Issue Number:4
Column Tag:Viewpoint


By Scott T Boyd, Editor Emeritus

While everyone else takes pot-shots at Apple, I’ve got to think that developers face a tremendous set of challenges. We’ve all got plenty on our plates just trying to build cool stuff for the Macintosh. The last thing we need is an entire media machine nay-saying the platform, especially when developers have rarely faced such a wide array of opportunities.

The Macintosh developer has long had to deal with people who question the merit of developing for the Mac’s smaller market share. In fact, each of us probably has a sophisticated litany of justifications, good for dealing with friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, and people we bump into in computer stores. Well, I don’t know about you, but my real reason for doing Macintosh development is simple - Macintosh is cool. I still remember the mind-boggling paradigm shift I felt the first time I saw the interface. My notion of computing changed forever.

As I learned to build Macintosh software, I came to know not only the machine, but also the Macintosh Way. Guy Kawasaki popularized the phrase and offered cogent lessons for developers, but the Macintosh Way was evident even to those who didn’t benefit from his writings.

Boldness to innovate

The Macintosh screamed, “My inventors went way out on a limb when they built me!” While the rest of the world was clamoring for a faster, cheaper IBM PC-clone with more RAM and disk, a team of upstarts built what they thought a computer should really be. A graphical interface, a mouse, a synergistic blending of hardware/software, and even a large set of standardized routine libraries for programmers (complete with late-binding for those routines).

Insistence on excellence

Feature after feature, Macintosh pushed the limits of technology to benefit users. No one offered a CRT with square pixels, but Macintosh had them. And they were at a 1:1 ratio, making life for developers much sweeter.

Auto-inject/auto-eject floppies. What can I say? It was cool, and users learned to love them.

Documentation, well written and designed to serve the needs of real programmers.

Confidence they’d come

When they built Macintosh, the total market size was zero. There was absolutely no market whatsoever for it. Nevertheless, they pressed ahead, built it, and then did everything it took to build a market for it. Many of those efforts worked less well than others, but twenty-two million machines later, I must say, I’m impressed.

Thinking back to the early days, Apple wooed developers vigorously. Documentation was early, cheap, and plentiful. The developer program was free, and developers got excellent prices on equipment. Frankly, without those prices, I don’t know that I would ever have been able to afford to join in the fun. Developers formed a sense of community and camaraderie, and some energetic souls at Apple found lots of ways to encourage us along the way. Some even went way out of their way to seed young, unproven college kids with an alpha version of MPW (thanks Technostud!), building a sense of excitement that led to me losing so much sleep that I started having those dreams where I find myself realizing that I have a final exam and I forgot to attend any of the classes (oh, come on now, admit it - you’ve had these, too, right?).

The Macintosh Way

Coolness. That’s what drew me to the Macintosh. The product, the company, the community, and the vast possibilities, all built up coolness.

OK, so that’s how many of us got into this business. Now we’re surrounded by “realists”, nay-sayers who would tell us that we’re wasting our time on the Macintosh. Now, you might suspect that I’d say one of two things. For one, I might say, “Defend the Macintosh at all costs. We’re too deeply vested to turn back now.” On the other hand, I might say, “Look, Windows has won, Apple has lost, and the Macintosh can’t ever catch up, so why fight it. Go where the market is.”

Well, I won’t say either one of those things. Remember why I got into this business? Coolness. I trusted my gut instincts and went where the action was. While I’ve never believed that Apple had an exclusive on coolness (in fact, they lately seem to have discovered a wellspring of “interesting” behavior that challenges their innate coolness), I’ve taken Apple’s coolness for granted for years.

What’s my take on all this then? Simple. Go for the coolness. Macintosh offers lots of it, and a whole host of Macintosh developers couldn’t ever exhaust the possibilities. By the same token, coolness lurks in other places, too.

“Going to the coolness” suggests that coolness always comes from somewhere else. Let me suggest this - in the quest for coolness, sometimes you may simply have to take the coolness with you, and that applies whether you’re exploring a new platform, or unearthing new treasures on an old favorite. That’s the Macintosh Way.


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

OmniPlan 3.0 - Robust project management...
With OmniPlan, you can create logical, manageable project plans with Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical paths. Break down the tasks needed to make your project a success,... Read more
Yummy FTP 1.11 - FTP/SFTP/FTPS client fo...
Yummy FTP is an FTP + SFTP + FTPS file transfer client which focuses on speed, reliability and productivity. Whether you need to transfer a few files or a few thousand, schedule automatic backups, or... Read more
Tweetbot 2.1 - Popular Twitter client. (...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
MacPilot 8.0 - Enable over 1,200 hidden...
MacPilot gives you the power of UNIX and the simplicity of Macintosh, which means a phenomenal amount of untapped power in your hands! Use MacPilot to unlock over 1,200 features, and access them all... Read more
Typinator 6.7 - 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
Adobe Lightroom 6.2 - Import, develop, a...
Adobe Lightroom is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $9.99/month bundled with Photoshop CC as part of the photography package. Lightroom 6 is also available for purchase as a... Read more
ForeverSave 2.1.4 - Universal auto-save...
ForeverSave auto-saves all documents you're working on while simultaneously doing backup versioning in the background. Lost data can be quickly restored at any time. Losing data, caused by... Read more
VueScan 9.5.27 - 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
AirPort Utility 6.3.6 - Set up and manag...
Note: Most recent release available only within OS X 10.11 El Capitan update. Use AirPort Utility to set up and manage your Wi-Fi network and AirPort base stations, including AirPort Express, AirPort... Read more
Quicksilver 1.3.1 - Application launcher...
Quicksilver is a light, fast and free Mac application that gives you the power to control your Mac with keystrokes alone. Quicksilver allows you to find what you need quickly and easily, then act... Read more

Super Sharp (Games)
Super Sharp 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Your finger has never been so sharp! Cut with skill to complete the 120 ingenious physics levels of Super Sharp and become a cut... | Read more »
Assembly - Graphic design for everyone...
Assembly - Graphic design for everyone 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Assembly is the easiest most powerful design tool on the App Store. Create anything you can... | Read more »
YAMGUN (Games)
YAMGUN 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The invasion has begun! Protect the walls of the citadel against waves of enemies! But watch out, you will soon run out of ammo...... | Read more »
Royal Bounty HD (Games)
Royal Bounty HD 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: New World Computing Approved "Hi Guys! looks good so far! keep up the good work. I worked on HoMM 3 and 4 creating all of the... | Read more »
Swords & Crossbones: An Epic Pirate...
Swords & Crossbones: An Epic Pirate Story 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Camel Up (Games)
Camel Up 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
The Martian: Bring Him Home (Games)
The Martian: Bring Him Home 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Based on the best selling novel and critically acclaimed film, THE MARTIAN tells the story of Astronaut Mark... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: September 21-30, 2...
Leap Into Fall With 148Apps How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above... | Read more »
Tweetbot 4 for Twitter (Social Networki...
Tweetbot 4 for Twitter 4.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Social Networking Price: $4.99, Version: 4.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off for a limited time. *** | Read more »
Mori (Games)
Mori 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Stop, rewind and unwind with Mori. Time is always running, take a moment to take control. Mori is an action puzzle game about infinitely... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Save up to $350 with Apple refurbished iMacs
Apple has Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $350 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac – $1949 $350 off MSRP - 27... Read more
Mac Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro: $2818.99, $181 off MSRP - 3.5GHz 6-core Mac Pro: $3699... Read more
5K iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP, fre...
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. They have the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2149, $150 off MSRP... Read more
Twelve South Redesigns BookArc For Today’s Sm...
Twelve South has announced a redesigned version of their very first product, BookArc for MacBook. Tailored specifically for the newest generation of MacBooks, BookArc holds the new, smaller Apple... Read more
Phone 6s Tips & Tricks – Tips Book For iP...
Poole, United Kingdom based Tap Guides Ltd. has announced the release and immediate availability of iPhone 6s Tips & Tricks, an in-depth eBook available in the iBookstore that’s priced just $2.99... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $994,...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $994.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $105 off MSRP. Price valid... Read more
Is The iPad Pro Really A Serious Laptop Repla...
Probably not, at least for productive professionals and other power users. Steve Jobs declared that we’d entered the “post-PC Era” with the advent of the original iPad in 2010, a phrase we don’t hear... Read more
Wednesday Deal: 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros f...
Adorama has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $130 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1199.99 $... Read more
uBar 3.0 for Mac OS X – Custom Dock Replaceme...
Brawer Software has announced the release of uBar 3.0, an important update to their popular app and window manager for Mac OS X. uBar allows users to position it whichever side of the screen they... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Customer Support P...
Job Description:Customer SupportSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the Read more
Software Engineer, *Apple* Watch - Apple (U...
…the team that is revolutionizing the watch! As a software engineer on the Apple Watch team, you will be responsible for building world-class applications and frameworks Read more
*Apple* Online Store UAT Lead - Apple (Unite...
**Job Summary** The Apple Online Store is a fast paced and ever evolving business environment. The User Acceptance Testing (UAT) lead in this organization is able to Read more
Hardware Systems Integration Engineer - *App...
**Job Summary** We are seeking an enthusiastic electrical engineer for the Apple Watch team. This is a design engineering position that entails working with Read more
Touch Validation Design (EE) - *Apple* Watc...
**Job Summary** Help launch next-generation Touch Technologies in Apple products. The Touch Technology team develops cutting-edge Touch solutions and technologies that Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.