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The MacTech Spotlight: Rich Siegel, Bare Bones Software, Inc.

Volume Number: 25 (2009)
Issue Number: 01
Column Tag: MacTech Spotlight

The MacTech Spotlight: Rich Siegel, Bare Bones Software, Inc.

What do you do?

Founder and CEO

How long have you been doing what you do?

I've been writing code for the Mac since 1985.

Your first computer:

512K "Fat Mac" with external floppy drive and ImageWriter II.

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

Professionally, I've only written code for Mac OS and Mac OS X (the latter really including Unix, by extension), with some brief detours into in-house OS development.

What attracts you to working on the Mac?

I was originally attracted to the Mac by its ease of use, attention to detail and consistency in the user experience, and overall fit and finish relative to what was available at the time. Today, those characteristics are still what keep me working on the Mac.

What's the coolest thing about the Mac?

I think the coolest thing about the Mac is its repeated ability to "wow" anyone who's never seen one in operation, by doing things that we consider ordinary and appropriate, but which are unusual or impossible on other platforms - like moving a window between two displays without even thinking about it. Things like this astonish and please those who never thought it possible.

As Mac users first, we've been inspired by this to make our products operate the same way - things work the way they should, and customers are frequently astonished when the skeptical "Will this work?" is answered with a definite "Yes."

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

It's the same advice I'd give if I could go back in time twenty years. :-) Start with a product concept that will outlast current fads and fashions, and which bearing on problems that are personally important to you; execute that concept using solid engineering discipline, and bearing in mind that you WILL have customers to support, so your engineering decisions should also be informed by how they contribute to the supportability (or lack thereof) of your product.

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

Running a dungeon in World of Warcraft with a group of friends while building a GM release of a major BBEdit upgrade. :-)

Where can we see a sample of your work?

All of our products are available for downloading from our web site; the commercial products are provided as 30-day demo versions, and the freeware products are of course non-expiring.

The next way I'm going to impact the Mac universe is:

I don't know. :-) I've learned from long experience that the future is unpredictable, and sometimes even when you "know" what you're doing next, life can change so that what you "know" isn't true anymore. :-)

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