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The MacTech Spotlight: Matthew Drayton, Nolobe Pty Ltd.

Volume Number: 24
Issue Number: 10
Column Tag: MacTech Spotlight

The MacTech Spotlight: Matthew Drayton, Nolobe Pty Ltd.

What do you do?

I am the CEO and lead developer at Nolobe.

How long have you been doing what you do?

I've been a Mac developer for close to 8 years. I started after completing my Computer Science degree in 2000. I went to work for Peter N. Lewis at Stairways Software where my main responsibility was the development of Interarchy.

At the start of 2007 I formed my own company and purchased the rights to Interarchy from Peter. It was essentially an employee buyout.

What was your first computer:

My first computer was an Apple IIc. I have a lot of fond memories of that computer. It was the computer I first learnt how to program on. My first Mac was my second computer, a LC II.

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

We are Mac-only. I've never had any desire to develop for any other platform.

What's the coolest thing about the Mac?

I think the coolest thing about the Mac today is the Unix underpinnings. I love that I have a Unix workstation in front of me, and I love that I am completely shielded from it. I don't need to go anywhere near the Unix underbelly unless I want to.

What is the advice you'd give to someone trying to get into this line of work today?

It is important to first figure out what your goals are - fame, fortune, job, etc - and then move in that direction. I wanted to earn a living writing Mac software so I sought out Peter N. Lewis. He gave me a job and taught me everything he knew about Mac development. Today I have my own company doing what I love.

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

I'm not sure this answers the question, or if anyone else will think it is cool, but I do. Lots of people think Interarchy is a Cocoa app. It isn't. In fact it is still largely written in Pascal. About once a month we will get an email from a customer congratulating us on rewriting Interarchy in Cocoa. I get a real buzz whenever one of these emails come in. It means we are doing something right.

Where can we see a sample of your work?

You can download or read about our applications at

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

Currently we are working on updates to both Interarchy and Iris. I am particularly excited about the new version of Interarchy. It is going to have a very neat feature that takes advantage of the SSH file transfer protocol we added to Interarchy 9.0. We are also looking at getting into iPhone development but that is too far away to discuss.

Anything else we should know?

Interarchy (neé Anarchie) was first released on the 7th December 1993 meaning it will turn 15 later this year. That Interarchy has lasted this long is a real testament to Peter's ability as a Mac developer. I hope that I can keep it going for another 15 years.

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