The MacTech Spotlight: Jacob Gorban, Apparent Software
Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 07
Column Tag: MacTech Spotlight
The MacTech Spotlight: Jacob Gorban
What's your company?
It's called Apparent Software. Currently a partnership, after I added a partner in the beginning of 2009.
What do you do?
I'm the founder of Apparent Software and the only developer. But since we're only a two-person team, that means I cover all positions, from actually coding our Mac applications and the web site to business operations and customer support.
How long have you been doing what you do?
I've been programming this way or another since around 1988, when I was still a kid. I've sold my first application to a local electronics repair shop when I was still in high-school. Apparent Software was launched in June 2006 when ImageFramer version 1.0 was ready to be sold but I've been full-time on it since only about a year ago.
What was your first computer?
I doubt there is anybody that still remembers my first computer except my father and its maker. It was called "Sogdiana". It was a 4-bit, text-only, connected to a TV computer made by a local manufacturer in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where I grew up. It was around 1987, I guess. Yet, I learned BASIC on it. Later was another Russian computer, then a ZX-spectrum clone. In 1990 we've got our first PC, an 8-Mhz XT. My first Mac was PowerBook G4 1.67 17", which I've got in 2005.
What is the advice you'd give to someone trying to get into this line of work today?
I'd say go for it. Cocoa development really soared in the last couple of years, mostly because of iPhone. So there's much more literature available now to get you started more easily. The developers are good about helping each other, which results in better software for everyone.
What's the coolest tech thing you've done using Mac OS X?
Being mainly a programmer, I mostly take pride in the cool things that I programmed. My baby project was ImageFramer. It got me started with Mac programming and what made Apparent Software a reality. Today I think the coolest thing is what's already done in ImageFramer 3, which is not yet released. I've got help from a UI designer who mocked its UI and it was both a challenge and a pleasure to convert a Photoshop design into working software.
That's a tough one. As a teenage programmer I was very proud when I wrote high-resolution VESA drivers in 8086 assembler, which I then used in Turbo Pascal and built a simple graphical windowing system on DOS, which was then used to create something as stupid a minesweeper clone on DOS. But the whole achievement of integrating ASM, Pascal and the objective-oriented methodologies at the age of 17-18 made me believe that I was good at programming and possibly laid the foundation of what I am today.
From non-programming aspect, the coolest thing I've done was recording and mixing a progressive rock album for my band, which I had between 1996 and 2001.
Where can we see a sample of your work?
All our Mac software is available as trial downloads on our website, at http://www.apparentsoft.com.
The next way I'm going to impact IT/OS X/the Mac universe is:
Last November we created and ran MacGraPhoto, a graphics application bundle for the Mac, which created great value for graphically oriented users of Mac software. This year we're going to run MacGraPhoto 2 and I believe it'll be a better deal this time. See http://www.macgraphoto.com.
Anything else we should know?
As a goal, I try to build Apparent Software into more than one-person shop. The first achievement was when I added a partner who helps me a lot with software ideas, business development, testing and support. This has really propelled Apparent Software to the next level. We've added 2 applications to our portfolio and by year's end we might have a 4th one released. One day I hope to be successful enough to grow Apparent Software into a fine company where several people would collaborate to produce even better software for Apple products.
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