TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacTech Spotlight: Kent Sutherland

Volume Number: 23 (2007)
Issue Number: 11
Column Tag: Spotlight

MacTech Spotlight: Kent Sutherland, Independent Developer/Student

Independent Developer/Student


http://www.ksuther.com/

What do you do?

I'm a nineteen-year-old, third-year undergraduate computer science student at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. I work on Chax and other programming projects in my free time. Chax is an InputManager bundle that adds features to iChat. I have also contributed to Adium as part of Google's 2006 Summer of Code.

How long have you been doing what you do?

I initially released Chax in December of 2005, but I've been programming on OS X since my freshmen year of high school. In middle school I dabbled in Mac Toolbox/C and HyperCard, although at that age I wasn't old enough to really understand what I was doing -- I just knew that programming was something that I wanted to do.

Your first computer:

The first computer I used was a Mac IIsi that my parents bought when I was about three years old. I was hooked, and I've been a full-blown computer addict and Mac user ever since.

Are you Mac-only, or a multi-platform person?

Through most of high school I was an exclusive Mac user, but I've become more familiar with other platforms in the past few years. I much prefer using and developing on the Mac, but I do own a PC running Windows and Linux. It spends most of its time powered off.

What attracts you to working on the Mac?

A number of different things draw me to the Mac, one of them being the Mac community itself. It's so cool that individuals or small teams of developers can create some really neat programs and get the attention of a large portion of the Mac community. I initially developed Chax for my own use, but it eventually attracted the attention of a bunch of users, blogs, and magazines. Being able to create something and actually make a difference is surprising to me, especially in a fairly short amount of time.

If I could change one thing about Apple/OS X, I'd:

I'd get Apple to put a higher priority on speed. It feels as if Apple doesn't put nearly enough time into optimizing new software. Aperture being a prime example -- I remember an early version of Aperture on a quad G5 being virtually unusable. While progressive releases do get faster, it would be nice to see Apple get this right the first time around.

What's the coolest tech thing you've done using OS X?

The coolest thing that I've done in OS X, so far, is Chax. Although the InputManager injection method that Chax uses to load into iChat is one of the simplest ways of getting inside an application, it's cool how much you can do with Objective-C once you're in. Coding inside iChat has also been a great learning experience for me. I've gained a more detailed understanding of Objective-C and better reverse engineering skills as a result.

Outside of OS X, another project that I enjoyed was a computer vision project for a class that performed basic face recognition. There wasn't anything innovative about it, but as I'm still learning more about computer science every day, I found it an interesting subject. As computers get faster and built-in cameras become more common, I'm hoping to see more applications that use these cameras for live input and perform more sophisticated image processing in real time. iChat Theater in Leopard is a fun example, but applications that leverage real-time object or face recognition could be even more useful.

Where can we see a sample of your work?

Chax, and its source code, is available for free on my website at http://www.ksuther.com/

The next way I'm going to impact IT/OS X/the Mac universe is:

I'm not yet sure what my next big thing is going to be. Continuing with Chax in Leopard and beyond is certainly a possibility, but there's a lot more out there than just working off of Apple's applications. I am definitely going to work on more Mac applications and projects in the future.

 
AAPL
$528.59
Apple Inc.
-3.11
MSFT
$39.78
Microsoft Corpora
-0.21
GOOG
$530.81
Google Inc.
-4.00

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

TeamViewer 9.0.28116 - Establish remote...
TeamViewer gives you remote control of any computer or Mac over the Internet within seconds, or can be used for online meetings. Find out why more than 200 million users trust TeamViewer! Free for... Read more
Viber 4.1.0 - Send messages and make cal...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device,... Read more
Apple iOS 7.1.1 - The latest version of...
The latest version of iOS can be downloaded through iTunes. Apple iOS 7 brings an all-new design and all-new features. Simplicity Simplicity is often equated with minimalism. Yet true simplicity is... Read more
1Password 4.3 - Powerful password manage...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Lens Blur 1.3.0 - True out-of-focus boke...
Let Lens Blur transform your existing photo into true SLR-quality out-of-focus bokeh effect! Everyone needs a gorgeous personalized background for a social profile, blog, Web/UI design, presentation... Read more
VMware Fusion 6.0.3 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
Tweetbot 1.5.1 - Popular iOS twitter cli...
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 4.1.7 - Copy, backup,...
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
PDFpenPro 6.2 - Advanced PDF toolkit for...
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Create... Read more
PDFpen 6.2 - Edit and annotate PDFs with...
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Zeebox is Now Beamly TV – Still Offers t...
Zeebox is Now Beamly TV – Still Offers the Same Social Networking TV Fun, Plus a New Look Posted by Rob Rich on April 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Bandai Namco Unveils Upcoming Slate of M...
At their recent Global Gamers’ Day event, Bandai Namco was largely focused on their console and PC offerings for the upcoming year. However mobile still had a small presence, with some upcoming titles revealed by the company – though few were in a... | Read more »
The Story Behind Grammar Girl’s Grammar...
Learning is so much more rewarding when it’s also fun. That’s part of the reason why recent educational app, Grammar Pop HD, garnered such a positive review from us last week. The brainchild of Mignon Fogarty, otherwise known as Grammar Girl, we... | Read more »
Pinnacle Studio for iPhone Review
Pinnacle Studio for iPhone Review By Jennifer Allen on April 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: SIMPLY POWERFULiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Video editing while on the move has never been so convenient.   | Read more »
Taste Savant Review
Taste Savant Review By Jennifer Allen on April 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: TASTY RECOMMENDATIONSiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad In need of some new restaurant recommendations? This app will be ideal,... | Read more »
Where’s My Water? Featuring XYY Adds Mor...
Where’s My Water? Featuring XYY Adds More Than Just Sheep to the Liquid Physics Puzzler Posted by Rob Rich on April 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
FarmVille 2: Country Escape Review
FarmVille 2: Country Escape Review By Jennifer Allen on April 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY FARMINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad FarmVille is bigger and brighter than ever before, but don’t expect it to sway you... | Read more »
Doctor Who: Legacy receives big update,...
Doctor Who: Legacy receives big update, adds Perk System and more Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Strongarm Universal Mount Hardware Revie...
Made by: Viatek Price: $14.99 for 2 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 3.69 out of 5 stars | Read more »
Boxer Review
Boxer Review By Campbell Bird on April 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: KO YOUR INBOXUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Turn your inbox into a task list or tune it to your own needs with this highly customizable, user friendly... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Updated iPad Price Trackers
We’ve updated our iPad Price Tracker and our iPad mini Price Tracker with the latest information on prices and availability from Apple and other resellers. Using a mobile device? We’ve also updated... Read more
Everything You Wanted To Know And Probably Mo...
Macworld UK’s Lou Hattersley takes a look inside Apple’s A7 System On Chip (SoC) , noting that its processor module is much more powerful than other smartphone chipsets. He notes that the A7 was a... Read more
Mavericks Now Runs Half Of Internet Connected...
Computerworld’s Greg Keizer reports that half of all Macs that went online in March were running OS X Mavericks with Version 10.9 accounting for the largest adoption percentage of any individual OS X... Read more
WinZip Mac 3 Simplifies Cloud Sharing And Pri...
WinZip has announced WinZip Mac 3, a new file sharing app that makes it simple to manage, protect and share files across email and the cloud. With direct support for Dropbox and Google Drive,... Read more
2.5GHz Mac mini, Apple refurbished, available...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2.5GHz Mac minis available for $509, $90 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Read more
13-inch MacBook Pro, Apple refurbished, avail...
The Apple Store continues to offer Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (4GB RAM/500GB HD) for $999 which is $200 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Read more
15-inch MacBook Pros (refurbished) available...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished October 2013 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available starting at $1699, with models up to $400 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping... Read more
$100 off cellular iPad minis plus free $20 gi...
Best Buy is discounting cellular iPad minis with Retina Displays by $100 on their online store for a limited time. They’ll also throw in a free $20 Best Buy gift card. Choose free shipping or free... Read more
Updated Price Trackers
We’ve updated our Mac Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers: - 15″ MacBook Pros - 13″ MacBook... Read more
Apple refurbished MacBook Airs available for...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2013 MacBook Airs available for up to $200 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…customers purchase our products, you're the one who helps them get more out of their new Apple technology. Your day in the Apple Store is filled with a range of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Inc. Research Data Specialist - Appl...
…of Worldwide Market Research & Intelligence. The team is responsible for conducting Apple branded consumer market research. It is also responsible for analyzing data Read more
*Apple* Automotive Parts Department position...
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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.