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The MacTech Spotlight: Cortis Clark - Sol Robots L.L.C.

Volume Number: 25 (2009)
Issue Number: 02
Column Tag: MacTech Spotlight

The MacTech Spotlight: Cortis Clark - Sol Robots L.L.C.

What do you do?

I'm the president or chief cook and bottle washer. I do pretty much everything here: product development, website development, product design and art, testing, sales, marketing, technical support, customer service, back office systems development, financial forecasting, mail room clerk, and so on and so forth.

How long have you been doing what you do?

I've been doing it since 2001. Part time at first, while the lead programmer at REAL Software, and then starting full time in January 2005.

Your first computer:

Apple IIe

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

Most of my software runs on a PC as well, but I do all of my development and business operations on the Mac. In 2008, I've spent considerable time working on iPhone apps, and to a smaller degree, apps for Google's Android phone, all of the development for these again is on a Mac.

What attracts you to working on the Mac?

It's fun. I never had as much fun when I worked at jobs with PCs. There is a lot of energy and excitement in the Mac market. I also find, that despite the market advantage of Windows, it's far easier to make money in the Mac market. My Mac sales are easily 3x my Windows sales.

What's the coolest thing about the Mac?

I've a hard time limiting myself just to one "coolest" thing - so I've picked two: Exposé and Time Machine. I tend to have a lot of programs and windows open (I currently have 15 programs running) so Exposé really comes in handy to get to the right one. I find that Time Machine works great for development. When I'm heading down an unproductive path with my source code, I can use Time Machine to go back to an earlier version. Version Control is awesome, and can do even more, but it only works when you remember to use it. Time Machine works even if you don't.

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

Be persistent. You may not have a #1 bestseller the first time out. My first independent venture was available for six months before I had any purchases.

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

The coolest tech I've done for OS X is the debugger I wrote for iota-calc. It allows you to see what is going on in a complicated arithmetic expression. I've never seen anything like it - before or since. It even lets you back-step.


I built an image scanner out of Legos. I put a light/dark sensor on an arm. The arm would move back and forth to scan a line. The scanner was mounted on wheels which drove over the page to get the full picture. It had terrible resolution and was really slow, but it worked! It was loads of fun to make.

Where can we see a sample of your work?

What is the next way you'll impact the Mac universe?

That's all hush-hush. :)

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