TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Nov 99 Viewpoint

Volume Number: 15 (1999)
Issue Number: 11
Column Tag: Viewpoint

Viewpoint

by Chris Espinosa, Manager, Components & Scripting, Apple Computer, Inc.

15 years in the computer business is a long time. According to Moore's Law, in 15 years, chip densities double 10 times, giving us a thousandfold increase in computing power. When this magazine was first published in 1984, 10 megabytes was a good size hard disk; the leading software applications were Lotus 1-2-3, WordStar, and dBase III; an ANSI standards committee had just been formed to standardize the C programming language; and Microsoft's total yearly revenue was under $100 million dollars, and its stock wasn't publicly traded.

Nowadays 10 Megabytes is a decent application memory partition; the leading software applications are Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Internet Explorer; the programming community has had a brief flirtation with Objective-C, a fling with visual Rapid Application Development environments, then settled down with C and C++, with a little Java and Perl to make things interesting. And Microsoft is bigger than AT&T, GM, and U. S. Steel combined - but, then again, Yahoo! is bigger than GM and U. S. Steel.

One thing I like in all this change, though, is the way that MacTech continues to open new topics to the Macintosh programming community. Keeping up with any changing technology is hard, and there are several that I've just given up trying to follow. I could once wire up digital logic circuits, but that was when there were four NAND gates on one chip. A machine-language I/O loop for the Apple II was simple, but an interrupt-time handler for FireWire or USB is a lot harder. But I can look at recent issues of MacTech and learn something I didn't know how to do before, about 3D graphics or WebObjects or PDF plug-ins. This is basic knowledge that I might not normally go and seek out, but once I know about it I may be able to apply it in something I'm doing down the road.

The Getting Started section of MacTech has always impressed me. Anybody coming into the Mac programming world has to go through a trial by fire: just knowing how to write in C is just enough to get you into deep trouble. Without understanding how the Mac launches processes and allocates memory, without basic MacsBug skills, and without the little details (like what those Finder flag bits actually do) that we all take for granted, a new programmer could get incredibly frustrated. It's great that MacTech brings this knowledge out and keeps it fresh to help bring new people into the Macintosh programming community.

And more than most other magazines, MacTech has been about community. The MacTech sponsored Developer Central sections at MacWorld Expo are social events. It's great to see my favorite hundred people from the Mac development world year after year, with great new demos and products to make the developer's life easier. These people wear two hats. Like most developers, they live and die by the quality of development tools on the Mac. But they're the ones who create the tools, so there's an interdependence that transcends the normal commercial competition among vendors. MacTech, through its technical content and ads, Developer Central, the MacDev-1 mailing list, and the large MacTech web site, gives this community a place to meet, exchange ideas, and reach developers.

With the explosion of the Internet in the past five years MacTech has broadened its coverage from just the Mac world to topics like CGIs, server-side includes, and XML. It's also ventured out into many possible "next big things" like Palm OS programming, and the BeOS. I think this is one of the reasons that MacTech is still around after 15 years. Not to imply that Mac might go away (though eventually everything does, and we were far too close for comfort just 3 years ago), but an organization that weds itself to one platform lives and dies by that platform. MacTech readers found themselves in this pickle several times, but MacTech drove on. Without jumping on every new bandwagon to come around, MacTech has delivered to us a good survey of interesting things that might be big and have some relevance to the Mac programmer. That some of these crashed and burned is just part of life's rich pageant. But, for each demised language or operating system, there's another that we should have paid attention to. Who could have told us in 1991 that we had better pay attention to Mach and NeXTStep because in five years it would be the future of the Macintosh?

As to what future that is, it's hard for me to say. First, I don't know, and second, if I did know and told you, they'd fire me. But I can point out some reasonable conclusions. Steve Jobs is in firm control of Apple and has turned it from a billion-dollar-hemorrhage to a hot products company that's quintupled its stock price. This has been done mostly on the hardware side, with solid progress on Mac OS 8, 8.5, 8.6, and now 9. But don't expect Steve to rest. The same passion for elegant design and powerful simplicity that has gone into the iMac and iBook is now being applied to the Mac OS. This isn't easy - software doesn't tend to get 2x faster and smaller every generation like hardware does - and there will be some favorite technologies left behind, like SCSI, ADB, and LocalTalk. But the result should be a modern (finally!), competitive operating system that brings forward years of Macintosh experience but leaves behind years of accumulated workarounds.

And, MacTech will be there to cover it. (After all, they've covered A/UX, NeXTStep, Pink/Taligent/CommonPoint, AIX, Copland and the BeOS...) I look forward to Getting Started stories that cover the basics of Mac OS X software, interesting in-depth articles on topics like the Quartz graphics system, hints and tips on how to live with gdb, and a lot of interesting synergies between Mac OS X's Mach-based roots and the UNIX-based world of the Web.

Congratulations MacTech, on 15 years of reading pleasure, and here's to many, many more.

 
AAPL
$524.94
Apple Inc.
+5.93
MSFT
$40.01
Microsoft Corpora
-0.39
GOOG
$536.10
Google Inc.
-20.44

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

PDFpenPro 6.2 - Advanced PDF toolkit for...
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Create... Read more
PDFpen 6.2 - Edit and annotate PDFs with...
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
Monolingual 1.5.9 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... 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
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 1.1.1.180...
Download the patch by launching the Starcraft II game and downloading it through the Battle.net connection within the app. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a strategy game played in real-time. You... Read more
Sibelius 7.5.0 - Music notation solution...
Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software for Mac. It is as intuitive to use as a pen, yet so powerful that it does most things in less than the blink of an eye. The demo includes... Read more
Typinator 5.9 - 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
MYStuff Pro 2.0.16 - Create inventories...
MYStuff Pro is the most flexible way to create detail-rich inventories for your home or small business. Add items to MYStuff by dragging and dropping existing information, uploading new images, or... Read more
TurboTax 2013.r17.002 - Manage your 2013...
TurboTax guides you through your tax return step by step, does all the calculations, and checks your return for errors and overlooked deductions. It lets you file your return electronically to get... Read more
TrailRunner 3.8.769 - Route planning for...
Note: While the software is classified as freeware, it is actually donationware. Please consider making a donation to help support development. TrailRunner is the perfect companion for runners,... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Livescribe 3 Smartpen Review
Made by: Livescribe Price: $149.99 for Livescribe 3 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 4.44 out of... | Read more »
Unpossible Review
Unpossible Review By Carter Dotson on April 17th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RALPH WIGGUM APPROVESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Unpossible is much better than its English!   | Read more »
Hitman GO Review
Hitman GO Review By Carter Dotson on April 17th, 2014 Our Rating: :: GO HITMAN, GO!Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Hitman GO is not the obvious way to do a mobile version of the Hitman series, but it’s an incredibly... | Read more »
Monster High Ghouls and Jewels is a Frea...
Monster High Ghouls and Jewels is a Freaky Fashion-Forward Match-3 Puzzler Posted by Rob Rich on April 17th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Dinosaur Train A to Z Review
Dinosaur Train A to Z Review By Amy Solomon on April 17th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DINO DETAILSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Dinosaur Train A to Z is an educational app about dinosaurs that includes In-App Purchases... | Read more »
Easter Comes to Junk Jack X – Bringing N...
Easter Comes to Junk Jack X – Bringing New Crafts, Chemistry, and More Posted by Rob Rich on April 17th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Call of Cookie Review
Call of Cookie Review By Jordan Minor on April 17th, 2014 Our Rating: :: COOKIE CRUMBLESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Call of Cookie proves that plants aren’t the only fighting foods out there.   | Read more »
Corel Launches Video Editing App Pinnacl...
Corel Launches Video Editing App Pinnacle Studio for iPhone, Updates iPad Version for iOS 7 Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 17th, 2014 [ | Read more »
Bad Vamp Review
Bad Vamp Review By Jennifer Allen on April 17th, 2014 Our Rating: :: BASIC VAMPIRIC ADVENTURESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Run or destroy the vampires in this simple, single-screen game that lacks real bite.   | Read more »
The Shadow Sun gets a New Update, Goes o...
The Shadow Sun gets a New Update, Goes on Sale for the First Time Since its Release Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 17th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Hyundai Brings Apple CarPlay To The 2015 Sona...
Hyundai Motor America has announced it will bring Apple CarPlay functionality to the 2015 Sonata. CarPlay is pitched as a smarter, safer and easier way to use iPhone in the car and gives iPhone users... Read more
Updated iPads Coming Sooner Than We Had Thoug...
MacRumors, cites KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, well-respected as an Apple product prognisticator, saying that Apple will introduce an upgraded iPad Air and iPad mini in 2014/Q3, meaning the... Read more
Toshiba Unveils New High And Low End Laptop M...
Toshiba has announced new laptop models covering both the high-end and low-end of the notebook computer spectrum. Toshiba 4K Ultra HD Laptop Toshiba’s new Satellite P55t features one of the world’s... Read more
Save up to $270 with Apple refurbished 13-inc...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished October 2013 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available starting at $1099, with models up to $270 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished iPad mini with...
The Apple Store has Certified Refurbished 2nd generation iPad minis with Retina Displays now available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free.... Read more
Microsoft Blinks – Drops Microsoft Office 365...
Microsoft has dropped the annual subscription fee for Microsoft Office 365 Personal – which is needed in order to create and edit documents in Microsoft Office for iPad. However, Apple’s iOS and OS X... Read more
New AVG Vault Apps for iOS and Android Help K...
AVG Technologies N.V. an online security company for 177 million active users, has announced the launch of its latest mobile application, AVG Vault. The free app introduces an innovative user... Read more
Free Local Carrot iPhone App Helps Find Fresh...
I love fresh vegetables. I’m not a vegan, although I was for several years in the 1980s, but fresh vegetables and other whole foods are still my dietary mainstays as a matter of taste rather than... Read more
CarSO Pro – Car Service and Finance Manager/O...
Lviv, Ukraine-based BM-Studios’ CarSO Pro is a tool to manage operations concerning your car. Never forget to change the oil or prolong the insurance for your car. Remember when you’ve done the car... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Airs available startin...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. The following Airs are available today: -... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**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
*Apple* Retail - Manager - Holyoke - Apple I...
Job Summary Keeping an Apple Store thriving requires a diverse set of leadership skills, and as a Manager, you’re a master of them all. In the store’s fast-paced, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Manager - Apple (United Sta...
Job SummaryKeeping an Apple Store thriving requires a diverse set of leadership skills, and as a Manager, you're a master of them all. In the store's fast-paced, dynamic Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**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
*Apple* Retail - Market Leader - Cincinnati...
…challenges of developing individuals, building teams, and affecting growth across Apple Stores. You demonstrate successful leadership ability - focusing on excellence Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.