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

Mellel 3.5.5 - The word processor for sc...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
Bookends 12.8.3 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.18 - Easy-to-use...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 4.2.14- - Binary dis...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.291 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Sound Studio 4.8.11 - Robust audio recor...
Sound Studio lets you easily record and professionally edit audio on your Mac. Easily rip vinyls and digitize cassette tapes, or record lectures and voice memos. Prepare for live shows with live... Read more
Sound Studio 4.8.11 - Robust audio recor...
Sound Studio lets you easily record and professionally edit audio on your Mac. Easily rip vinyls and digitize cassette tapes, or record lectures and voice memos. Prepare for live shows with live... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.291 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.18 - Easy-to-use...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 4.2.14- - Binary dis...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more

The best 2v2 card combos in Clash Royale
2v2 is making it's grand return toClash Royalequite soon. 2v2 has quickly become one of the game's most popular gameplay modes, though they still have yet to make it a permanent fixture in the game. 2v2 is exciting and adds some new flavor to... | Read more »
The best games we played this week - Aug...
Another busy week has come to a close. We played a lot of excellent games this week and now it's time to look back and reflect on some our favorites. Here are our picks for the week of August 18. [Read more] | Read more »
War Wings beginner's guide - how to...
War Wings is the newest project from well-established game maker Miniclip. It's a World War II aerial dogfighting game with loads of different airplane models to unlock and battle. The game offers plenty of single player and multiplayer action. We... | Read more »
How to win every 2v2 battle in Clash Roy...
2v2 is coming back to Clash Royale in a big way. Although it's only been available for temporary periods of time, 2v2 has seen a hugely positive fan response, with players clamoring for more team-based gameplay. Soon we'll get yet another taste of... | Read more »
Roll to Win with Game of Dice’s new upda...
Joycity’s hit Game of Dice gets a big new update this week, introducing new maps, mechanics, and even costumes. The update sets players loose on an exciting new map, The Cursed Tower, that allows folks to use special Runes mid-match. If you feel... | Read more »
Bottom of the 9th (Games)
Bottom of the 9th 1.0.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Play the most exciting moment of baseball in this fast-paced dice and card game! | Read more »
The best apps for viewing the solar ecli...
If you somehow missed the news, many parts of the United States will be witness to a total solar eclipse on August 21 for the first time in over 90 years. It'll be possible to see the eclipse in at least some capacity throughout the continental U... | Read more »
The 5 best mobile survival games
Games like ARK: Survival Evolved and Conan Exiles have taken the world of gaming by storm. The market is now flooded with hardcore survival games that send players off into the game's world with nothing but maybe the clothes on their back. Never... | Read more »
Portal Walk (Games)
Portal Walk 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Portal Walk is adventure and relaxing platform game about Eugene. Eugene stuck between worlds and trying to find way back home.... | Read more »
Technobabylon (Games)
Technobabylon 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: City of Newton, 2087. Genetic engineering is the norm, the addictive Trance has replaced almost any need for human interaction,... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1699. That’s $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a 15″ MacBook Pro. An Apple one-year warranty is... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available startin...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: – 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP – 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Pros available startin...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ WiFi iPad Pros available starting at $589. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: – 32GB 12″ iPad Pro WiFi: $589... Read more
Weekend sale: 13-inch MacBook Pros for up to...
Amazon has new 2017 13″ MacBook Pros on sale today for up to $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (MPXV2LL/A): $1599.99 $200 off MSRP – 13″ 3.1GHz/... Read more
Back To School With The Edge Desk All-in-one...
Back to school is just around the corner, and the ergonomically correct Edge Desk all-in-one portable kneeling desk is ideal for students living in dorms and small apartments, Edge Desk features:... Read more
Norton Core Secure Wi-Fi Router Now Available...
First introduced at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Norton Core, a secure, high-performance Wi-Fi router, fundamentally changed the concept of Wi-Fi routers by making security the primary... Read more
ViewSonic Adds New 27-inch 4K UHD Monitor to...
ViewSonic Corp. has introduced the VP2785-4K, a 27-inch 4K UHD (3840×2160) monitor that delivers precise and consistent color representation and performance to ensure incredible image quality. Built... Read more
Apple now offering Certified Refurbished 2017...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2017 27″ iMacs for up to $350 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: – 27″ 3.... Read more
13-inch 2.3GHz MacBook Pros on sale for $100...
Amazon has the new 2017 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pros on sale today for $100 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 13″ 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (MPXQ2LL/A): $1199.99 $100 off MSRP – 13″ 2.... Read more
Clearance 2016 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available for up to $200 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MMGF2LL... Read more

Jobs Board

Development Operations and Site Reliability E...
Development Operations and Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Payment Gateway Job Number: 57572631 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jul. 27, 2017 Read more
Frameworks Engineering Manager, *Apple* Wat...
Frameworks Engineering Manager, Apple Watch Job Number: 41632321 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jun. 15, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Summary Read more
Map Quality Analyst Lead, *Apple* Maps Eval...
…a team of subject matter experts measuring the quality of a range of Apple Maps algorithms, such as Map search, recommendations, and routing. Our group works with Read more
Business Development Manager, *Apple* Pay -...
Job Summary Apple Pay is seeking an experienced Business Development professional to join the Apple Pay team to develop partnerships and strategic alliances with Read more
Information Systems Engineer, *Apple* Retai...
Job Summary Do you have a passion for the technology and systems that make Apple amazing? Are you interested in joining IS&T Retail on what they do best? This is an Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.