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 http://www.rogueamoeba.com/. 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. http://www.rogueamoeba.com/merchandise/.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to become the ultimate robot warrior...
Chrono Strike is a delightfully immersive beat ‘em up with a sense of humor (any game with a good Sims reference gets points in my book). [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Snow Roll is a devilish endless runner very much in the vein of Flappy Bird. It revels in its dastardly level of difficulty, and doesn’t really care how angry you get at it as it knows you’ll keep coming back for more. [Read more] | Read more »
How to win big in Slots Deluxe
Cheating while gambling is illegal and morally wrong, and in some parts of the world it leads to men with names like Vinnie "Six Knuckles" Manchenzo beating you to a pulp in a dark alley. [Read more] | Read more »
How to take over the world in Dictator 2
Running a country isn't easy - especially when you're a dictator who wants to take over the world and crush everyone in your path while you do it. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Tank.iois - you guessed it! - another multiplayer arena battler likeAgar.io and Slither.io. It does differentiate itself by putting you in a tiny tank though, so it's not exactly the same. To help you get that all-important high score, we've got a... | Read more »
How to unlock characters in One Tap Tenn...
As the title suggests, One Tap Tennis requires only a single tap to play its particular brand of tennis, and rewards you with a ton of unlockable characters if you perform well. Fortunately for you, we at 148Apps have got a few tips and tricks to... | Read more »
Grab it now: Game Craft’s Legend of War...
The real time strategy game is now available for you to sink your teeth into, through the App Store and Google Play. Combining elements of skill, strategy and empire building, Legend of War is a real gamers’ game. [Read more] | Read more »
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka (Gam...
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Skateboard Party is back! This third edition of the popular sports franchise features professional skater... | Read more »
Cubious (Games)
Cubious 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubious – How smart are you? How high is your IQube? Solve the impossible puzzles to find out, and help a lost little cube find his... | Read more »
Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Enterprise Workers Pick Technology Over Perks...
New Adobe study shows surprising attitudes about office jobs and where the future of work is heading. Adobe has released survey findings revealing that a surprising 70 percent of U.S. office workers... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sale: $50-$100 off 11-in...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 11″ MacBook Airs with 256GB SSDs on sale for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100 off MSRP... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple MacBook Pro...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple iMacs and M...
Take up to $150 off the price of a new iMac or Mac mini at the following Apple resellers this Memorial Day weekend: iMacs: B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP... Read more
Apple refurbished Retina MacBook Pros availab...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Goal Zero and OtterBox Partner to Expand iPh...
Goal Zero, specialists in portable power, have announced a partnership with OtterBox, brand smartphone case protection, to offer the Slide and Slide Plus Batteries as modules compatible with the new... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Project Engineer - Smart Source Inc...
SmartSource is in need of an Apple Project Engineer for a 12 month contract opportunity in Pittsburg, PA. Role: Apple Project Engineer Location: Pittsburg, PA Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
Service Assistant - *Apple* Chevrolet *App...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive, we Read more
Editor, *Apple* News - APPLE (United States...
Job Summary The Apple News team is looking for a passionate and knowledgeable editor with experience covering entertainment/pop culture and experience running social Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.