TweetFollow Us on Twitter

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

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.

 
AAPL
$116.47
Apple Inc.
+0.16
MSFT
$47.98
Microsoft Corpora
-0.72
GOOG
$537.50
Google Inc.
+2.67

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cobook 3.0.7 - Intelligent address book....
Cobook Contacts is an intuitive, engaging address book. Solve the problem of contact management with Cobook Contacts and its simple interface and powerful syncing and integration possibilities.... Read more
StatsBar 1.9 - Monitor system processes...
StatsBar gives you a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the following areas of your Mac: CPU usage Memory usage Disk usage Network and bandwidth usage Battery power and health (MacBooks only)... Read more
Cyberduck 4.6 - FTP and SFTP browser. (F...
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
Evernote 6.0.1 - 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
calibre 2.11 - Complete e-library manage...
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
Herald 5.0.1 - Notification plugin for M...
Note: Versions 2.1.3 (for OS X 10.7), 3.0.6 (for OS X 10.8), and 4.0.8 (for OS X 10.9) are no longer supported by the developer. Herald is a notification plugin for Mail.app, Apple's Mac OS X email... Read more
Firetask 3.7 - Innovative task managemen...
Firetask uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask's "Today" view shows all relevant... Read more
TechTool Pro 7.0.6 - Hard drive and syst...
TechTool Pro is now 7, and this is the most advanced version of the acclaimed Macintosh troubleshooting utility created in its 20-year history. Micromat has redeveloped TechTool Pro 7 to be fully 64... Read more
PhotoDesk 3.0.1 - Instagram client for p...
PhotoDesk lets you view, like, comment, and download Instagram pictures/videos! (NO Uploads! / Image Posting! Instagram forbids that! AND you *need* an *existing* Instagram account). But you can do... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to E...
Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to Earn In-Game Stuff for Far Cry 4 Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Golfinity – Tips, Tricks, Strategies, an...
Dig this: Would you like to know what we thought of being an infinite golfer? Check out our Golfinity review! Golfinity offers unlimited ways to test your skills at golf. Here are a few ways to make sure your score doesn’t get too high and your... | Read more »
Dark Hearts, The Sequel to Haunting Meli...
Dark Hearts, The Sequel to Haunting Melissa, is Available Now Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Meowza! Toyze Brings Talking Tom to Life...
Meowza! | Read more »
Square Enix Announces New Tactical RPG f...
Square Enix Announces New Tactical RPG for Mobile, Heavenstrike Rivals. Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] With their epic stories and gorgeous graphics, | Read more »
Quest for Revenge (Games)
Quest for Revenge 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The great Kingdom of the west has fallen. The gods ignore the prayers of the desperate. A dark warlord has extinguished... | Read more »
Threadz is a New Writing Adventure for Y...
Threadz is a New Writing Adventure for You and Your Friends Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] In the tradition of round-robin storytelling, | Read more »
SteelSeries Stratus XL Hardware Review
Made by: SteelSeries Price: $59.99 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 4.31 out of 5 stars | Read more »
ACDSee (Photography)
ACDSee 1.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Capture, perfect, and share your photos with ACDSee. The ACDSee iPhone app combines an innovative camera, a powerful photo... | Read more »
ProTube for YouTube (Entertainment)
ProTube for YouTube 2.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 2.0.2 (iTunes) Description: ProTube is the ultimate, fully featured YouTube app. With it's highly polished design, ProTube offers ad-free... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $400 with Apple refurbished 2014 1...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping... Read more
New 13-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air on sale for $8...
 Adorama has the 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. B&H Photo has the 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook... Read more
Apple Expected to Reverse Nine-Month Tablet S...
Apple and Samsung combined accounted for 62 percent of the nearly 36 million branded tablets shipped in 3Q 2014, according to early vendor shipment share estimates from market intelligence firm ABI... Read more
Stratos: 30 Percent of US Smartphone Owners t...
Stratos, Inc., creator of the Bluetooth Connected Card Platform, has announced results from its 2014 Holiday Mobile Payments Survey. The consumer survey found that nearly one out of three (30 percent... Read more
2014 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $...
 B&H Photo has lowered their price on the new 1.4GHz Mac mini to $449.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this new... 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
64GB iPod touch on sale for $249, save $50
Best Buy has the 64GB iPod touch on sale for $249 on their online store for a limited time. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for... Read more
15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $17...
 B&H Photo has the 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1799.99 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. B&H will also include free copies of... Read more
New Logitech AnyAngle Case/Stand Brings Flexi...
Logitec has announced the newest addition to its suite of tablet products — the Logitech AnyAngle. A protective case with an any-angle stand for iPad Air 2 and all iPad mini models, AnyAngle is the... Read more
Notebook PC Shipments Rise Year-Over-Year as...
According to preliminary results from the upcoming DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report, the global notebook PC market grew 10 percent year-over-year in Q3’14 to 49.4... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**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, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Store Leader Program - College Gradu...
Job Description: Job Summary As an Apple Store Leader Program agent, you can continue your education as you major in the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll 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
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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.