The MacTech 25, 2007
2007 MacTech 25 (continued)
"Yes, actually I did write the book." It'd be easy to think that this could be Amit's tag line after having written what is now regarded as the book on OS X, Mac OS X Internals: A Systems Approach. However, that would bypass not only his pleasant and humble nature, but also his ability to communicate advanced and esoteric topics to you, no matter your level of technical expertise. Even his website, http://osxbook.com, reveals an amazing range of topics including command-line tools, an open contest to explain a flaw in the OS X kernel and anecdotes such as an Apple Store Genius trying to throw one over on him, and his first purchase of an Apple PowerBook.
Amit's place in Macintosh history is now further cemented by his current role as Head of Macintosh Development at Google. Amit also went on to wow the crowd at the 2007 Macworld Expo by announcing that he had ported FUSE to OS X, and it is now a Google-hosted project (http://code.google.com/p/macfuse/). This is all in addition to his previous Mac-related works like HFSDebug and SMSRotateD that remain useful tools. We're thrilled to have Amit hacking for "us" after his prior stint at IBM's Almaden Research Center, and we hope OS X continues to provide the challenge he's looking for. - erm
Andrew Welch is another honoree that seems to be a part of the Macintosh landscape since time immemorial. He had great success as an early shareware developer, focusing primarily on games. How much time did you give Malestrom, or Apeiron? He has expertly parlayed these early successes into the full-blown Mac development shop Ambrosia Software. Now, in addition to high-quality games (have you checked out Redline or Sketch Fighter?), Ambrosia produces utilities that, for many of us, have become indispensable.
Andrew remains rooted in the Mac world via the Ambrosia forums (http://www.ambrosiasw.com/forums) and has posted a number of entries there that have become focal points for the community at large. Most notably, he was one of the first to give a clear explanation of the Leap-A "virus" -- furthermore, he humbly notes that he didn't come up with everything there himself, but credits the people who did.
Even though this is the first time on the MacTech 25 for Andrew, I can't imagine that it isn't the first of many. With solid development of games and utilities such as SnapzProX and Easy Envelopes, it assures his and Ambrosia's survival and importance in the Macintosh world. - erm
Andy gets the nod again in the MacTech 25 list this year. There is no doubt about his influence in the Mac world. Indeed, his influence pervades the world of computing technology as a whole. He has a huge readership as a technology columnist for The Chicago Sun-Times as well as Macworld Magazine's back-page opinion writer. Andy says that he will write for anyone foolish enough to pay him. And they do: his writings have appeared in Playboy, Yahoo! Internet Life, CNN.com, and Roger Ebert credit him for writing "at least a third" of his "Little Movie Glossary". Of course, Andy's blog (http://www.cwob.com/yellowtext/) further extends his mystique and influence with his acerbic commentary. Although, because you see him all over the Macintosh world and he writes enthusiastically about Apple products, you might come to believe that he is an Apple sycophant; but, nothing could be further from the truth. He is an honest reviewer and writer about technology. He will sing the praises of any product that meets his criteria -- as he says, "a new product or service must clearly and immediately answer the question, 'why did this need to exist'?". He likes lots of Apple products for that reason -- as he has said, "for righteous, whole-wheat reasons".
Andy is the author of The Max OS X Tiger Book and The Mac Xcode 2 Book.
One reason for his influence is that Andy is a pleasure to read: because of his breadth of knowledge not only of technology, his command of language, his use of metaphor and analogy and his ability to entertain readers as he informs them.
Andy made his indie film debut last year, owns two goldfish named Click and Drag, builds animatronic toys that can be controlled via telepresence to hassle cats, has one published credit contributing to a single issue of the "Ren & Stimpy" comic, that the column he wrote about modifying his girlfriend's coffeemaker is a true story, that while said girlfriend is no longer in the picture, the business with the coffeemaker was in no way at fault, and that he has had to say "No, really, this is probably the best you can do with my hair" to TV makeup people often enough that he's had the phrase printed on embossed pocket-sized cards for convenience. If you've seen Andy at a show or expo, you recognize the truthfulness in the hair statement. And the rumor is that he sleeps with his leather cowboy hat on. - jr
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