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

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Lyn 1.7.2 - Lightweight image browser an...
Lyn is a fast, lightweight image browser and viewer designed for photographers, graphic artists, and Web designers. Featuring an extremely versatile and aesthetically pleasing interface, it delivers... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.6.7beta02 - GUI for OpenVP...
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
jAlbum Pro 13.4 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more
calibre 2.65.1 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
jAlbum 13.4 - Create custom photo galler...
With jAlbum, you can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly, with pro results - Simply drag and drop photos into groups, choose a design... Read more
Backblaze 4.2.0.966 - 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
Backblaze 4.2.0.966 - 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
Tunnelblick 3.6.7beta02 - GUI for OpenVP...
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
calibre 2.65.1 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
jAlbum Pro 13.4 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more

Clean Text (Productivity)
Clean Text 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Productivity Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Gemini - A Journey of Two Stars (Games)
Gemini - A Journey of Two Stars 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: *** SPECIAL LAUNCH SALE: $2.99 (25% off) *** "A mesmerizing and unexpectedly emotional journey." -- Los... | Read more »
How to get four NFL superstars for your...
Even though you're probably well on your way to building a top notch squad for the new season in Madden NFL Mobile, let's say you could beef it up by adding Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Von Miller, and Todd Gurley to your roster. That's... | Read more »
Cartoon Network Superstar Soccer: Goal!!...
Cartoon Network Superstar Soccer: Goal!!! – Multiplayer Sports Game Starring Your Favorite Characters 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Become a soccer superstar with your... | Read more »
NFL Huddle: What's new in Topps NFL...
Can you smell that? It's the scent of pigskin in the air, which either means that cliches be damned, pigs are flying in your neck of the woods, or the new NFL season is right around the corner. [Read more] | Read more »
FarmVille: Tropic Escape tips, tricks, a...
Maybe farming is passé in mobile games now. Ah, but farming -- and doing a lot of a other things too -- in an island paradise might be a little different. At least you can work on your tan and sip some pina coladas while tending to your crops. [... | Read more »
Become the King of Avalon in FunPlus’ la...
King Arthur is dead. Considering the legend dates back to the 5th century, it would be surprising if he wasn’t. But in the context of real-time MMO game King of Avalon: Dragon Warfare, Arthur’s death plunges the kingdom into chaos. Evil sorceress... | Read more »
Nightgate (Games)
Nightgate 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** Launch Sale: 25% OFF for a limited time! *** In the year 2398, after a great war, a network of intelligent computers known as... | Read more »
3 best fantasy football apps to get you...
Last season didn't go the way you wanted it to in fantasy football. You were super happy following your drafts or auctions, convinced you had outsmarted everyone. You were all set to hustle on the waiver wire, work out some sweet trades, and make... | Read more »
Pokemon GO update: Take me to your leade...
The Team Leaders in Pokemon GO have had it pretty easy up until now. They show up when players reach level 5, make their cases for joining their respective teams, and that's pretty much it. Light work, as Floyd Mayweather might say. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Global Tablet Shipments Projected to Increase...
Digitimes’ Jim Hsiao reports that global tablet shipments will increase by 16.3 percent sequentially to reach nearly 47 million units in 2016′s third quarter, but that volume will still be down over... Read more
Apple’s 2016 Back to School promotion: Free B...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2: $499 - 64GB Wi-Fi iPad... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $961...
Overstock has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $961.63 including free shipping. Their price is $138 off MSRP. Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks available starting at $929. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
BookBook Releases SurfacePad, BookBook &...
BookBook has released three new covers just for iPad Pro: SurfacePad, BookBook and BookBook Rutledge Edition. BookBook for iPad Pro is a gorgeous leather case reminiscent of a vintage sketchbook.... Read more
Clean Text 1.0 for iOS Reduces Text Cleanup a...
Apimac today announced availability of Clean Text for iOS, a tool for webmasters, graphic designers, developers and magazine editors to reduce text cleanup and editing time, and also for any iPhone... Read more
27-inch iMacs on sale for up to $220 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1899 $100... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 and 2015 13″ MacBook Airs now available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 2016 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad mini 2s available for...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad mini 2s for up to $80 off the cost of new minis. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 16GB iPad mini 2 WiFi: $... Read more

Jobs Board

Hardware Design Validation Engineer - *Apple...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more Read more
*Apple* /Mac Support Engineer - GFI Digital,...
FI Digital, Inc. is currently seeking candidates for a full time Apple Support Engineer to add to our Maryland Heights, Missouri IT team. Candidates must be dynamic Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
Apple Solutions ConsultantJob Number: 51218534Pleasant Hill, California, United StatesPosted: Aug. 18, 2016Weekly Hours: 40.00Job SummaryAs an Apple Solutions Read more
SW Engineer *Apple* TV - Apple Inc. (United...
The Apple TV team is looking for excellent software engineers with experience in hardware, media management, media playback, content delivery and a passion for Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform 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.