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From the Editor, August 2007

Volume Number: 23 (2007)
Issue Number: 08
Column Tag: Editorial

From the editor

Hype: look it up in a dictionary and you'll soon likely see a picture of an iPhone. Hundreds of thousands of people have now purchased an iPhone without ever having seen or used the device prior to purchase. The good news comes on several fronts: initial use confirms that the iPhone is everything you were told it would be. This made Apple a boat-load of cash. Finally, despite being platform-independent (hey, it's a phone!), because it's from Apple, it's most closely associated with Macintosh. This means that you now have 700,000+ new devices to target! This month, we have advice from someone who's been-there-done-that.

Marc Ressl, a web and embedded mobile developer has bestowed WebShell for the iPhone upon us (http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mressl/webshell/). Having the ability to ssh from an iPhone is probably the single biggest make-or-break issue to many techs. While we're next hoping for Apple Remote Desktop on iPhone, Marc has been kind enough to share his experiences with WebShell and developing a site for the iPhone.

Hot off the heels of two recent technical conferences, Rich Morin compares Apple's WWDC and Usenix. If you regularly attend one or the other, Rich's article may give you reason to expand your horizons.

Dave Dribin's Road to Code tackles a fundamental, yet challenging C language concept with aplomb: pointers. This is a make-or-break moment for many trying to tackle C and languages in its lineage. I have a feeling this will be a column many people will be referring back to for years to come.

We're also featuring a review of the latest REALbasic release. REALbasic is one of those often unknown or underrated products. Don't let the "basic" part of the name fool you: REALbasic is a robust and powerful development environment that has grown up with the Mac and can now run on and cross-compile for Linux and Windows. If you've never seen REALbasic, or just haven't looked in a while, check out Norman Palardy's review.

José Cruz is back with another trip into AppleScript territory. This time, he details the tar shell utility and uses AppleScript to make a point-and-click GUI interface for it.

In addition to our regular Mac In The Shell column and Kool Tools feature, we have our monthly MacTech Spotlight. This month, we're featuring Dave Schroeder, our first Spotlight-featured person who is not solely a developer. Dave is very active in the Mac sys admin community on lists and in giving presentations. He notes that you might also recognize him from the "Mac OS X Security Challenge", which received quite a bit of attention in 2006 after a misleading story about Mac OS X security started making the rounds. (The article implied that any Mac connected to the network could be "hacked" in "30 minutes"; nearly all of the news coverage forgot to mention that local user accounts were being given out on the machine).

Enjoy the fading season before it changes, this chock-full-of-knowledge issue, and pressing all of this learning into service!

Edward Marczak,

Executive editor

 

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