TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacTech Spotlight-Paul Kafasis CEO, Rogue Amoeba Software

Volume Number: 23 (2007)
Issue Number: 05
Column Tag: MacTech Spotlight

MacTech Spotlight: Paul Kafasis CEO, Rogue Amoeba Software

Your Company?

Rogue Amoeba Software

What do you do?

My official title is CEO/Lackey, which makes me the high and low man on the corporate ladder here. Essentially, it's my job to make sure the programmers can keep on programming. That means I handle product management, business development, marketing, website content, some support, and much more.

How long have you been doing what you do?

I've been working for Rogue Amoeba since we founded it in 2002. I've been handling various aspects of software development (at other companies) for about 8 years total, but Rogue Amoeba has been by far the most successful.

Your first computer:

My first computer was a Mac Plus, in about 1987, with 8 blistering MHz of CPU power.

Are you Mac-only, or a multi-platform person?

As far as my personal use, I'm exclusively on the Mac, and have been since that Mac Plus. I have various levels of understanding of Unix, Linux, Solaris and Windows, from working support jobs in college, and Rogue Amoeba has one Windows port (of Airfoil) that I use a cheap Dell to test. That Dell spends 95% of the day turned off, secretly wishing it was a Mac.

What attracts you to working on the Mac?

I never sat down and said "I'm going to develop software, and I'm going to do it on the Mac". It happened organically - everyone at Rogue Amoeba uses a Mac, so naturally we develop for the Mac.

There certainly are things that make it exciting and keep us here on the Mac, however. First and foremost, the user community is great in terms of purchasing and supporting third party software. People often assume if we developed for Windows, we'd have much higher sales volume. However, it seems that far fewer Windows users purchase third party software, and there are often many alternatives and competitors. The user base may be much larger, but that doesn't instantly mean success.

As well, OS X is a great platform to develop on. It's young, it's fresh, and it's constantly being updated with new technologies. When we first started developing on it (in 10.0), it was a wide open playing field - no one wanted to run Classic if they could avoid it, so old applications could be remade and reworked, and new ideas could be explored.

What's the coolest thing about the Mac?

I hear this question a lot, and I don't think there's one specific thing. It's not "the Dock" or "great third party software". For me, the best part about the whole Apple experience is the attention to detail.

My MacBook's MagSafe connector is a perfect example of this - I've personally pulled at least one laptop off a table by tripping over the power cord, but never again. The accessible case of the G3/G4 towers, the scrolling track pad of newer laptops, the built-in iSight - they all represent an attention to detail and the way users work that I just don't see evident in other machines.

If I could change one thing about Apple/OS X, I'd:

This question is a setup for disaster and retaliation, isn't it? As far as OS X goes, I'd like to see a new/rewritten Finder.

In terms of changing Apple itself, without question I'd like to change their culture of secrecy. Users aren't terribly affected by this, they just get surprised when Apple unveils a major new product like the iPod. However, as far as being a developer on the platform, getting information and details on anything from Apple is like pulling teeth. From bug reporting to specifications of existing and upcoming products, we've always had a hard time getting to the people we need at Apple through what few established channels exist. This is sort of accepted by the Mac development community, but Apple's complete lack of communication with its third-party developers is far from the norm with most companies.

What's the coolest tech thing you've done using OS X?

I'll use this to talk about something we did at Rogue Amoeba. When working on Airfoil 2, back at the end of 2005, we decided to attempt to add support for sending audio to multiple AirPort Express units. And while it is straightforward to send audio to multiple units, keeping the playback between them properly synchronized, is not. Quentin worked a great deal trying to find a way to synchronize audio with the limited options provided by the AirTunes protocol. After about two months of research, a way was found by reading undocumented quality-of-service reports from the Airport Express, combined with an audio stretching/shrinking algorithm. It worked, but was eventually fall out of sync. At this point Mike Ash took over, and spent another month working on some high-level math to get units working nearly perfectly in sync with one another.

We released this January 7th, with the hopes of revolutionizing the way people used AirPort Express units. On January 10th, Apple released iTunes 6.0.2 with AirTunes 2, which quietly added support for multiple synchronized units as well. To solve the synchronization problem, they completely redid the AirTunes protocol (called AirTunes 2), to support synchronization natively.

We were eventually told by Apple, that they didn't believe synchronization with AirTunes 1 was possible, at all. So we had achieved the impossible, but no one ever knew.

Where can we see a sample of your work?

The software I've worked with everyone at Rogue Amoeba to create, is available on our website at Free trials of all our software can be downloaded there, and license keys can be purchased through our online store.

The next way I'm going to impact IT/OS X/the Mac universe is:

I think Rogue Amoeba's next product, as yet unannounced, will really have a major impact. Audio Hijack and Audio Hijack Pro have focused on recording in general. With our next application, we're going back to Audio Hijack's roots and doing radio recording right. If you've ever watched and record TV with Tivo, you'll have some idea of what we're doing. That'll be coming in the first quarter of 2007, and we're really excited.

Anything else we should know?

I hope people will check out our software, we've got free trials of all of it, as well as several useful Freebies. If that's not interesting enough, we've also got stylish t-shirts and plush toys of our mascot Ammo.


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Bookends 12.6.0 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Access the power of Bookends directly from Mellel, Nisus Writer Pro, or MS Word (... Read more
Apple iBooks Author 2.4 - Create and pub...
Apple iBooks Author helps you create and publish amazing Multi-Touch books for iPad. Now anyone can create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad. All... Read more
Web Snapper 3.3.9 - Capture entire Web p...
Web Snapper lets you capture Web pages exactly as they appear in your browser. You can send them to a file as images or vector-based, multi-page PDFs. It captures the whole Web page - eliminating the... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.6beta10 - 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
EtreCheck 2.5.1 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is a simple little app to display the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support... Read more
Paragraphs 1.0.4 - Writing tool just for...
Paragraphs is an app just for writers. It was built for one thing and one thing only: writing. It gives you everything you need to create brilliant prose and does away with the rest. Everything in... Read more
Things 2.8 - Elegant personal task manag...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
Coda 2.5.12 - One-window Web development...
Coda is a powerful Web editor that puts everything in one place. An editor. Terminal. CSS. Files. With Coda 2, we went beyond expectations. With loads of new, much-requested features, a few surprises... Read more
PCalc 4.3 - Full-featured scientific cal...
PCalc is a full-featured, scriptable scientific calculator with support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit... Read more
DiskMaker X 5.0 - Make a bootable OS X i...
DiskMaker X (was Lion DiskMaker) helps you to build a bootable drive from the official OS X installer app (the one you download from the Mac App Store). It detects the OS X Install program with... 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 »
100 Years' War (Games)
100 Years' War 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Tower in the Sky (Games)
Tower in the Sky 0.0.60 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 0.0.60 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
hocus. (Games)
hocus. 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: New, polished, mind-bending, minimal puzzle game with dozens of levels and extra-ordinary design Features:- Beautifully crafted... | Read more »
Mos Speedrun 2 (Games)
Mos Speedrun 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Mos is back, in her biggest and most exciting adventure ever! Wall-jump to victory through 30 mysterious, action packed levels... | Read more »
3D Touch could be a game-changer, but it...
Were you one of the lucky/financially secure enough ones to buy a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus over the weekend? Yup, me too (I’m not convinced I was either of those two things, but let’s go with lucky for now), so I thought I’d delve into just... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

12-inch MacBooks in stock for up to $120 off,...
Adorama has 12″ Retina MacBooks in stock for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. For a limited time, Adorama will include a free Apple USB-C to USB Adapter,... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for... has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1799 including free shipping. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model (except for Apple’s $1699... Read more
iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Feature Improved Durabi...
Upgraded components in the new iPhone 6s Plus cost $16 more than the components in the earlier iPhone 6 Plus according to a preliminary estimate from IHS Inc. The bill of materials (BOM) for an... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
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
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB SSD Retina MacBook Pros available $979, $320 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB... Read more
iOS 9 Reflections Ten Days In – The ‘Book Mys...
I’ve never been much of an early adopter by philosophy or temperament, although I did buy the iPad Air 2 I’m typing this column on last fall only about a month after Apple unveiled it. However, my... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available for...
Apple has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for $120 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $179, $120 off - 3TB... Read more
OS X El Capitan Available as a Free Update To...
OS X El Capitan, the latest major release of Apple’s desktop operating system, is available today, September 30 as a free update for Mac users. “People love using their Macs, and one of the biggest... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $150-...
B&H Photo has 2015 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1815 $184 off - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Updated For iOS 9, InterConneX Lets You Store...
InterConneX version 1.2 is now a 64-bit app that’s completely compatible with iOS 9. InterConneX is a file storage, file management, and file sharing app for the iPhone or iPad that now takes... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Systems Engineer (Mclean, VA and NYC...
Title: Apple Systems Engineer (Mclean, VA and NYC)Location: United States-New York-New York-NYC 200 Park Avenue (22005)Other Locations: United Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're Read more
*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
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
SW QA Engineer - *Apple* TV - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** The Apple TV team is looking for experienced Quality Assurance Engineers with a passion for delivering first in class home entertainment solutions. **Key Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.