TweetFollow Us on Twitter

MacTech Spotlight: Mark Dalrymple, Google; Borkware LLC

Volume Number: 24
Issue Number: 12
Column Tag: MacTech Spotlight

MacTech Spotlight: Mark Dalrymple, Google; Borkware LLC

What do you do?

I'm a software engineer at Google working on Macintosh client applications. I'm also the principal author of "Advanced Mac OS X Programming" (AMOSXP) with Aaron Hillegass, and "Learn Objective-C on the Macintosh" (LoC) with Scott Knaster, two of the most amazing co-authors anyone could be blessed with.

I also have Borkware LLC, under which I do contracting-currently in mothballs.

How long have you been doing what you do?

I've been gainfully employed as a programmer for 18 years, a kid computer geek for 6 years before that. Now get off my lawn.

What was your first computer?

Apple ][. I learned to program that thing by typing in game listings from magazines. Fixing the inevitable typos was the best introduction to how programming works I can think of. I had a goal (start slaying dragons) and the thing standing in my way was some stupid FOR loop. I had incredible support from my father, Glenn Dalrymple, who nurtured my nascent nerdhood, patiently explaining things like "strings" and "integers". I won't talk about FORTRAN 77 in the USCD Pascal system running on the ][. That might be considered cruel.

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

I try to stay Unix-flavor only. I use Linux on SliceHost for my websites and the Mac for everything else. Amusingly enough, I tend to avoid Xcode, using emacs for my day to day work. My last foray into Xcode was writing a new chapter of X code tips and tricks for "Learn Objective-C On the Macintosh", where I ended up filing 30 bugs with Apple (more than one a page!), one of which I had to burn a DTS incident so I could finish the chapter. After that I returned to my lispy friend.

What attracts you to working on the Mac?

It's a great blend of Mac and NeXT goodness. I like the Mac UI, and I like the Unix command line world too. Right tool for the job.

What's the coolest thing about the Mac?

Cocoa and Objective-C rank number 1. The language and toolkit are the most fun I've had in programming in a long time. After that, comes the platform's software and design aesthetic. My favorite programs, like VoodooPad, Acron, MarsEdit, ScreenFlow, and TapeDeck strike a great balance between UI groovyness and down-to-earth functionality.

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

Even if you decide not to get a degree in computer science there are some fundamental things you should know, like algorithms, data structures, big-O notation, design patterns, and the like. Don't ignore the low-level stuff either - bitwise operators are still in use, and it's good to know them. Also get involved in Open Source projects, even as a consumer. You'll be looking at and modifying other people's code throughout your career, so might as well get used to it. Very little software these days is done by a lone coder.

Lastly, apply the golden rule: treat others with the dignity and respect you would like to be treated. A little humility goes a long way.

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

I'm not sure if it counts as cool, but I did get Oracle 8i running on Linux running on Virtual PC on OS 9 on a TiBook 500. It wasn't slow, it was majestic! But it worked well enough for what I wanted it to do.


One of my proudest accomplishments that nobody's ever seen was the "List Manager" in Visix's cross-plaform Galaxy product in the early 90's. It was a scrolling arbitrarily sized 2-D table with lots of display and selection flexibility, designed so you could put a calculation engine underneath it and then have a functioning spreadsheet product.

Where can we see a sample of your work?

I have some very old code samples at Borkware, plus you can download the code samples from AMOSXP there. I also have a lot of code in Google's Update Engine project, that was open sourced in the fall.

Once I finish revising the books, I have a lot of cross-stitch software to write for my wife, Sharlotte.

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

Revised editions of Loc and AMOSXP. Right now I'm writing about FSEvents and Disk Arbitration. Woooo!!

Anything else we should know?

I'm actually a musician and photographer (I met the wife in an orchestra we played in), using this computer-thing as a way of paying for those two habits. You can see some of my photography at

If you or someone you know belongs in the MacTech Spotlight, let us know! Send details to


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Apple Safari 10.0.1 - Apple's Web b...
Note: The direct download link is currently unavailable. It is available in the OS X 10.11.6 release, as well as in the Apple Security Updates. Apple Safari is Apple's web browser that comes with OS... Read more
Apple macOS Sierra 10.12.1 - The latest...
With Apple macOS Sierra, Siri makes its debut on Mac, with new features designed just for the desktop. Your Mac works with iCloud and your Apple devices in smart new ways, and intelligent... Read more
Apple iOS 10.1 - The latest version of A...
iOS 10 is the biggest release of iOS ever. A massive update to Messages brings the power of the App Store to your conversations and makes messaging more personal than ever. Find your route with... Read more
Hazel 4.0.7 - Create rules for organizin...
Hazel is your personal housekeeper, organizing and cleaning folders based on rules you define. Hazel can also manage your trash and uninstall your applications. Organize your files using a familiar... Read more
Opera 40.0.2308.90 - High-performance We...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
BetterTouchTool 1.93 - Customize Multi-T...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Backblaze - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac. With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Postbox 5.0.5 - Powerful and flexible em...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more
Coda 2.5.19 - One-window Web development...
Coda is a powerful Web editor that puts everything in one place. An editor. Terminal. CSS. Files. With Coda 2, we went beyond expectations. With loads of new, much-requested features, a few surprises... Read more
Toast Titanium 15.1 - $99.99
Roxio Toast 15 Titanium, the leading DVD burner for Mac, makes burning even better, adding Roxio Secure Burn to protect your files on disc and USB in Mac- or Windows-compatible formats. Get more... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

WitchSpring2 (Games)
WitchSpring2 1.27 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.27 (iTunes) Description: This is the story of Luna, the Moonlight Witch as she sets out into the world. This is a sequel to Witch Spring. Witch Spring 2... | Read more »
4 popular apps getting a Halloween makeo...
'Tis the season for all things spooky. So much, so, in fact, that even apps are getting into the spirt of things, dressing up in costume and spreading jack o' lanterns all about the place. These updates bring frightening new character skins, scary... | Read more »
Pokémon GO celebrates Halloween with can...
The folks behind Pokémon GO have some exciting things planned for their Halloween celebration, the first in-game event since it launched back in July. Starting October 26 and ending on November 1, trainers will be running into large numbers of... | Read more »
Best Fiends Forever Guide: How to collec...
The fiendship in Seriously's hit Best Fiends has been upgraded this time around in Best Fiends Forever. It’s a fast-paced clicker with lots of color and style--kind of reminiscent of a ‘90s animal mascot game like Crash Bandicoot. The game... | Read more »
5 apps for the budding mixologist
Creating your own cocktails is something of an art form, requiring a knack for unique tastes and devising interesting combinations. It's easy to get started right in your own kitchen, though, even if you're a complete beginner. Try using one of... | Read more »
5 mobile strategy games to try when you...
Strategy enthusiasts everywhere are celebrating the release of Civilization VI this week, and so far everyone seems pretty satisfied with the first full release in the series since 2010. The series has always been about ultra-addictive gameplay... | Read more »
Popclaire talk to us about why The Virus...
Humanity has succumbed to a virus that’s spread throughout the world. Now the dead have risen with a hunger for human flesh, and all that remain are a few survivors. One of those survivors has just called you for help. That’s the plot in POPCLAIRE’... | Read more »
Oceans & Empires preview build sets...
Hugely ambitious sea battler Oceans & Empires is available to play in preview form now on Google Play - but download it quickly, as it’s setting sail away in just a few days. [Read more] | Read more »
Rusty Lake: Roots (Games)
Rusty Lake: Roots 1.1.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.4 (iTunes) Description: James Vanderboom's life drastically changes when he plants a special seed in the garden of the house he has inherited.... | Read more »
Flippy Bottle Extreme! and 3 other physi...
Flippy Bottle Extreme! takes on the bottle flipping craze with a bunch of increasingly tricky physics platforming puzzles. It's difficult and highly frustrating, but also addictive. When you begin to master the game, the sense of achievement is... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Apple’s Thursday “Hello Again” Event A Largel...
KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a strong record of Apple hardware prediction accuracy, forecasts in a new note to investors released late last week that a long-overdue redo of the... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off...
Amazon has 2016 12″ Apple Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free: - 12″ 1.1GHz Silver Retina MacBook: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.1GHz Gold Retina MacBook: $1199.99 $100 off... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
PixelStyle Inexpensive Photo Editor For Mac W...
PixelStyle is an all-in-one Mac Photo Editor with a huge range of high-end filters including lighting, blurs, distortions, tilt-shift, shadows, glows and so forth. PixelStyle Photo Editor for Mac... Read more
13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100-$140 of...
B&H has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for $100-$140 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $899 $100 off... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini available for $988, includes...
Adorama has the 2.8GHz Mac mini available for $988, $11 off MSRP, including a free copy of Apple’s 3-Year AppleCare Protection Plan. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ... Read more
21-inch 3.1GHz 4K on sale for $1379, $120 off...
Adorama has the 21″ 3.1GHz 4K iMac on sale $1379.99. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. To purchase an iMac at this price, you must first... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
Apple, Samsung, Lead J.D. Power Smartphone Sa...
Customer satisfaction is much higher among smartphone owners currently subscribing to full-service wireless carriers, compared with those purchasing service through a non-contract carrier, according... Read more
Select 9-inch Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale fo...
B&H Photo has select 9.7″ Apple WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $50 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 9″ Space Gray 256GB WiFi iPad Pro: $799 $0 off... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Towson,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Software Engineering Intern: Integration / QA...
Job Summary Apple is currently seeking enthusiastic interns who can work full-time for a minimum of 12-weeks between Fall 2015 and Summer 2016. Our software Read more
Software Engineering Intern: Frameworks at *...
Job Summary Apple is currently seeking enthusiastic interns who can work full-time for a minimum of 12-weeks between Fall 2015 and Summer 2016. Our software Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Nashua,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Napervi...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.