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/.

 
AAPL
$102.94
Apple Inc.
+0.44
MSFT
$45.02
Microsoft Corpora
-0.41
GOOG
$573.81
Google Inc.
+2.21

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0 - Copy, backup, an...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
pwSafe 3.1 - Secure password management...
pwSafe provides simple and secure password management across devices and computers. pwSafe uses iCloud to keep your password databases backed-up and synced between Macs and iOS devices. It is... Read more
StatsBar 1.8 - 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
Path Finder 6.5.5 - Powerful, award-winn...
Path Finder is a file browser that combines the familiar Finder interface with the powerful utilities and innovative features. Just a small selection of the Path Finder 6 feature set: Dual pane... Read more
QuarkXPress 10.2.1 - Desktop publishing...
With QuarkXPress, you can communicate in all the ways you need to -- and always look professional -- in print and digital media, all in a single tool. Features include: Easy to Use -- QuarkXPress is... Read more
Skype 6.19.0.450 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.1.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.505 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The Manhattan Project Review
The Manhattan Project Review By Andrew Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: ROCKET SCIENCEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Manhattan Project offers a great Euro-style gameplay experience, but it is totally... | Read more »
Rhonna Designs Magic (Photography)
Rhonna Designs Magic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Want to sprinkle *magic* on your photos? With RD Magic, you can add colors, filters, light leaks, bokeh, edges,... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: August 25-29, 2014
Shiny Happy App Reviews   | Read more »
Qube Kingdom – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Qube Kingdom is a tower defense game from DeNA. You rally your troops – magicians, archers, knights, barbarians, and others – and fight against an evil menace looking to dominate your kingdom of tiny squares. Planning a war isn’t easy, so here are a... | Read more »
Qube Kingdom Review
Qube Kingdom Review By Nadia Oxford on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: KIND OF A SQUARE KINGDOMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Qube Kingdom has cute visuals, but it’s a pretty basic tower defense game at heart.   | Read more »
Fire in the Hole Review
Fire in the Hole Review By Rob Thomas on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: WALK THE PLANKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Seafoam’s Fire in the Hole looks like a bright, 8-bit throwback, but there’s not enough booty to... | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwi...
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwide Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Dodo Master Review
Dodo Master Review By Jordan Minor on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEST EGGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Dodo Master is tough but fair, and that’s what makes it a joy to play.   | Read more »
Motorsport Manager Review
Motorsport Manager Review By Lee Hamlet on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MARVELOUS MANAGEMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite its depth and sense of tactical freedom, Motorsport Manager is one of the most... | Read more »
Motorsport Manager – Beginner Tips, Tric...
The world of Motorsport management can be an unforgiving and merciless one, so to help with some of the stress that comes with running a successful race team, here are a few hints and tips to leave your opponents in the dust. | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished iPads available for up to $...
Apple is 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. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
Are We Now In The Post-Post-PC Era?
A longtime and thoroughgoing laptop aficionado, I was more than a little dismayed by Steve Jobs’s declaration back in 2010 when he sprang the iPad on an unsuspecting world. that we’d entered a “post-... Read more
PC Outlook Improves, But 2014 Shipments Still...
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -3.7 percent in 2014. To hat’s actually an improvement from the... Read more
IDC Lowers Tablet Sales Projections for 2014...
Following a second consecutive quarter of softer than expected demand, International Data Corporation (IDC) has lowered its worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 forecast for 2014 to 233.1 million units. The... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 21″ 1.4GHz iMacs for $929 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $170 off the cost of new models,... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $300 on an iMac with Apple refurbi...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
The Rise of Phablets
Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, a businesses and technology consulting firm focused solely on the financial services industry, has released an infographic depicting the convergence of... Read more
Bad Driver Database App Allows Good Drivers t...
Bad Driver Database 1.4 by Facile Group is a new iOS and Android app that lets users instantly input and see how many times a careless, reckless or just plain stupid driver has been added to the... Read more
Eddy – Cloud Music Player for iPhone/iPad Fre...
Ukraine based CapableBits announces the release of Eddy, its tiny, but smart and powerful cloud music player for iPhone and iPad that allows users to stream or download music directly from cloud... Read more

Jobs Board

*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
*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
*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
*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.