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.

Ever?

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 http://picasaweb.google.com/BorkwareLLC.


If you or someone you know belongs in the MacTech Spotlight, let us know! Send details to editorial@mactech.com

 
AAPL
$529.82
Apple Inc.
+4.88
MSFT
$40.09
Microsoft Corpora
+0.08
GOOG
$528.40
Google Inc.
-7.70

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

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
Monolingual 1.5.9 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 1.1.1.180...
Download the patch by launching the Starcraft II game and downloading it through the Battle.net connection within the app. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a strategy game played in real-time. You... Read more
Sibelius 7.5.0 - Music notation solution...
Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software for Mac. It is as intuitive to use as a pen, yet so powerful that it does most things in less than the blink of an eye. The demo includes... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Bike Assault Review
Bike Assault Review By Nadia Oxford on April 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: RIDE FASTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Bike Assault is as basic as an arcade-style game gets, though it’s not devoid of charm and challenge.   | Read more »
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Review
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Review By Rob Thomas on April 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: PERFECTLY (WAR)CRAFTEDiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad This World of Warcraft CCG spin-off is easy to pick up, almost impossible to put... | Read more »
Hearthstone: Tips and Tricks for Becomin...
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a deceptive game because it can be so easy to get into, but doing well winds up being a bit of a challenge. Well, for those just jumping into the game with its iPad release, here are a few general tips on how to... | Read more »
Puzzle Breaker Review
Puzzle Breaker Review By Jordan Minor on April 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: PUZZLES AND DRAGONSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Puzzle Breaker combines simple match-3 gameplay with a surprisingly strong RPG feel.   | Read more »
Createrria Gets an Update that Adds Lead...
Createrria Gets an Update that Adds Leaderboards, Parental Controls, and More Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review By Lee Hamlet on April 21st, 2014 Our Rating: :: SPIDER-SENSE TINGLING. IN A GOOD WAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad With great power comes… Ah who cares? I just want to swing!   | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: April 14-18, 2014
Spring Into Our App Reviews   | Read more »
Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Bas...
Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Basket Full of Goodies, Courtesy of Madfinger Games Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Dead Trigger 2 | Read more »
Almost All of Playdek’s Library is on Sa...
Almost All of Playdek’s Library is on Sale Right Now, and You Should Check it Out Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Playdek has released quite a few great iOS ports of board and card games over the years, and now most of them... | Read more »
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Exper...
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Experience with Farmville 2: Country Escape Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

$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
Android Leads in Operating System Share Andro...
Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, LLC (CIRP) has released its latest results of its research on mobile phone operating systems for the calendar quarter that ended March 31, 2014. This analysis... Read more
Pelican Products, Inc. Introduces New Lineup...
Pelican Products, Inc., the global leader in the design and manufacture of high-performance protective cases, today announced the launch of a new line of rugged phone cases for both the Apple iPhone... Read more
SaveDrives – Car Dashboard Video Camera &...
Drivers who want to help reduce potential damage to their health and finances in the event of an accident can download the innovative new no-cost app SaveDrives – Car Dashboard Video Camera &... Read more
Deal Alert! 13-inch MacBook Pro on sale for $...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $200 off MSRP. Price is valid... Read more
Free HopTo 2.2 Helps Enhance Your Productivit...
The HopTo app helps you do more on your iPad by providing more and easier adaccess to files and documents. Version 2.2 adds Egnyte and HopTo’s Mac OSX File Connector. If you already have the hopTo... Read more
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month:...
As the country recognizes National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Sprint is reminding wireless consumers to focus on driving while behind the wheel, to not text or email while driving, and to... Read more
13-inch 2.4GHz Retina MacBook Pro available f...
Abt has the 13″ 2.4GHz 128GB Retina MacBook Pro available for $1229 including free shipping. Their price is $70 off MSRP. 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.