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From the Editor, July 2008

Volume Number: 24 (2008)
Issue Number: 07
Column Tag: Editorial

From the Editor

It's that kind of feeling you get when you're lost in a new town and a stranger points you in the right way. Or the e-mail that you get from someone who remembers the current project you're on and have sent you a supporting article. It's about sharing; passing on the knowledge that you have. And that's why MacTech is here: to disseminate knowledge from all over to help you, the reader, do a better job. We get comments from all over, up and down the scale. While most say they are very happy with the magazine, some say we're too basic and others say we're too advanced.

One way to get just the magazine you're looking for is to contribute. As the person responsible for finding authors and topics, I feel pretty good about the spread of content we present each month. If there's something missing, though, please, speak up! If you can share a cool bit of technology that you've worked on, then write about it. If someone you know has something they should be sharing, prod them to write! Let us know all about it at

This month sees the return of Kool Tools, our regular feature introducing you to applications you should know about. This month, Dennis Sellers reviews OmniGraffle Pro 5 and DVDxDV.

Returning author Ben Greisler teaches us about one of the most awaited features in Leopard Server, the Wiki server. As a system administrator, you need to know more than just how to enable the service. It's important to know what impacts you and your users so you can keep things running smoothly. Ben shows the way.

Marcus Zarra gives a straightforward account of creating a menubar item. A handy way to give users status on processes that may have no other interface, "Enhancing Your Application With NSStatusItem" talks about the topic in a way that we haven't published previously.

On the cover, Mihalis Tsoukalos brings us everything you need to know about creating a widget. Specifically, he shows how to create an RSS feed widget "by hand," detailing all of the moving parts.

Dave Dribin's Road to Code drives into deeper territory exposing Objective-C's ability to archive objects.

Our publisher Neil Ticktin gives the scoop on the recent announcement by Microsoft that VBA will be coming back in the next version of Microsoft Office. If you rely on VBA scripting, what do you do now? We reveal several alternatives. (One option that cropped up after the article was written is the current beta of OpenOffice 3, which supports basic VBA scripts. You may want to investigate this in addition to the options in our article. Find the beta at

Greg Neagle, writing for MacEnterprise, helps you plan for rolling out FileVault in an enterprise. For a home user, FileVault is as simple as enabling it. However, larger organizations need to plan for its use, and Greg shares his tips and tricks on doing so.

Author Norman Palardy brings us the next addition to his series on REALbasic. This time he dives into the beginnings of a real application.

In this month's MacTech Spotlight, we feature Matt Giger, owner of Lunar Software. The primary product from Lunar Software is EarthBrowser: a "platform for viewing and creating geographically based information." (Yes, this existed before Google Earth). Matt didn't mention, but I will, Cosmo Saver (, an awesome screen saver from Lunar Software that lets you drift through the Solar System. Check out Matt's travels from Vic-20 to OS X developer and beyond.

Mac In the Shell is on holiday this month, and will be back next month with more shell-based antics.

Until next month, please, keep sharing — both your code and your thoughts!

Ed Marczak,

Executive Editor


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