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From the Editor, March 2010

Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 03
Column Tag: Editorial

From the Editor, March 2010

"May you live in interesting times," goes a popular saying. Often referred to as the Chinese Curse, I struggle with its projection. We do live in interesting times. Look around; this is all pretty amazing. The field we've all chosen is one of the most interesting. Hardware is constantly changing and gaining in capability. This enables software to offer additional features. Of course, some may consider this part the curse: the constantly changing specs and desire to upgrade to the latest shiny piece of equipment, which fuels the cycle.

Of course, there are places that use 'frozen' technology: many Government and military organizations pick a spec and stick with it for years beyond a time where consumers would consider it acceptable. Banks are often pretty far behind the curve on technology upgrades (although, their web divisions are starting to do interesting things-finally).

Add everything here together, and you'll see that there's a place for everyone in this crazy game we call the technology sector. That also means that there's an incredible need for a broad range of knowledge. More than ever, you're a little less sure what bit of knowledge you'll need to draw upon. I think this month fits that theme: a lot of interesting topics that span a number of different disciplines.

One of the first interesting things we have is the (yet another) shift in computing. This time, the shift comes in the form of the iPad. This move to a device that's simple on the outside, but complex on the inside, reveals a little bit of the future to us. What that future means has been written on extensively. Michael Swaine tops all of the iPad pundits this month with, "iPonder iPad."

Speaking of the iPad, who is going to write all of the great new apps for this device? Well, Rich Warren hopes you have a hand in it. Rich is back with the core of how to use cocos2d and the Chipmunk Framework to build 2D games and environments for iPhone OS.

Another interesting thing in our lives is the promise of always-on connectivity. "Always-on" used to refer to wired network access that was 'nailed-up.' Currently, though, thanks to mobile devices, the always-on connectivity follows us and hangs out in our pocket. One of the ways this connectivity can be used is to sync with the "cloud." Dropbox is one of the coolest ways to store files in the cloud and sync/access them on all of your computers, via the web and on your mobile device (iPhone and Android). This month's Mac in the Shell column talks about ways to integrate Dropbox and your shell environment.

The fact that video on computers is so prevalent (personal video shot on a Flip, or accessing YouTube, for example) and only getting more prevalent is, well, interesting. Apple's Podcast Producer is about much more than "podcasts." Video is a huge part of what can be processed and distributed-near and far-with the system. Mike Hjörleifsson has another installment that details how to get the most out of this powerful package.

When Apple dropped NetInfo and moved to having a local directory, most people found that... interesting. Interestingly, this local directory is still untapped. Greg Neagle brings an interesting way to use the local directory node for management.

One thing I found incredibly interesting this month was Adam Engst's 25th Anniversary story. There are few people that have the goods like Adam, and can write about the birth-time of the Mac in such a compelling way. I hope you find it just as fascinating.

Last, but not least, there are the interesting people found in our cover story: The Mac Tech 25. These are the people that are setting the pace by taking risks and generally pushing the bounds of the framework laid before us.

There are many ways in this industry to get involved. When you do, though, be interesting.Let us know what you'd like to see at letters@mactech.com. See you next month.

Ed Marczak,

Executive Editor

 
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