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MacTech Conference 2010 was a tremendous success.

Plans for MacTech Conference 2011 are underway. In the mean time, if you support the home or small business market, see our one-day MacTech Boot Camp event.

If you want to know more about MacTech Conference 2010, you can do a web search, or see the recap article by Rob Griffiths at Macworld.

If you’d like to be on MacTech’s list where we will announce details about MacTech Conference 2011, drop us a note at or follow us at @mactech.

The Conference begins at 10am on Wednesday, Nov 3; Registration opens at 8am. There will be 2.5 days of solid sessions with lunch and breaks provided. Dinner and evening activities will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 3 and 4. The conference will wrap up on Friday by approximately 1pm.

Detailed schedule here.

We start off the conference with an entertaining keynote by Andy Ihnatko. “We’re thrilled to welcome Andy as our keynote speaker. As an internationally beloved tech journalist (not to mention that he’s Chicago Sun Times’ Technology Columnist), Andy is insightful, funny, and a pleasure,” said Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, MacTech Magazine.

“This page contains a list of some of the amazing people that will present and be in attendance at MacTech Conference 2010 (but expect a surprise guest or two). Some of the incredible topics that will be covered are listed below,” said Ed Marczak, Sessions Chair and Executive Editor, MacTech Magazine.

Sessions are held back-to-back, maximizing content and packing in all that we can. No worries, however, there’s plenty of breaks and networking time as well.

Sessions are organized into:

Joint sessions are given to the joint developer/IT audience. Breakout sessions are given in either the developer or IT tracks. To keep things fast-paced and action packed, MacTech Conference uses our QuickTalkTM format — 5 minute sessions that give you all that you need to know. While session start times may not align between tracks, attendees are welcome to attend either track, space permitting.

Joint Sessions

Andy Ihnatko, Internationally-beloved Technology Pundit
60 minutes

As an internationally beloved tech journalist (not to mention that he’s the Chicago Sun Times’ Technology Columnist), Andy is insightful, funny, and a pleasure to listen to. Come hear his latest thoughts about…

And then, there came Lion.

After several iterations of the Mac OS, we have the first glimpse at a real revolution in the desktop OS since ac OS X was released to the world and millions of users thought “Wait, you mean I can’t print with this?” And there’s a difference: it marks the first reconsideration of the OS in a post-iOS world. It also marks the first time Apple has been forced to rework the desktop OS as the leading consumer electronics company in the world, not as a company that targets an OS to people who “Think Different.”

In a nutshell: Apple’s pains are Developers’ pains. A shift in technical processes is easy to figure out. Far worse is a change in basic philosophy.

Rich Kilmer, InfoEther and Co-Founder of Ruby Central
MacRuby, from scripting to full application development
60 minutes

MacRuby is an implementation of Ruby 1.9 directly on top of core Mac OS X technologies. MacRuby is being developed by the Operating System division of Apple. MacRuby executes on the Objective-C runtime and uses its garbage collector. It also uses LLVM compiler to enable the development of high performance applications.

MacRuby can thus be used by application developers to create full-fledged OS X applications in Ruby without sacrificing performance. MacRuby can also be used by systems administrators to build automation scripts that tightly integrate with OS X’s unique frameworks and tools.

This talk with introduce the audience to MacRuby and demonstrate some of its most powerful features.

Misha Leder, Google
Software engineering of the mind
60 minutes

Imagine your mind is a computer and its various functions are programs. During this session we will see how using software engineering concepts can make your mind’s “programs” achieve superior efficiency and ultimately gaining you, the user, far greater satisfaction.

Jason Snell, Macworld VP & Editorial Director
Panel: Trends in Virtualization
60 minutes

Macworld editor VP & Editorial Director Jason Snell will be moderating a panel entitled “Trends in Virtualization” at MacTech Conference 2010. The panel will explore and discuss virtualization trends in the industry for both desktop and server virtualization related to Apple technologies. VMware and Parallels have already agreed to take part, and panel organizers have extended an invitation to the VirtualBox team as well. “As with any major Mac event that serves the community, we’re happy to participate and keep Macworld readers informed,” Snell said. “It’s always enjoyable when members of the Mac community get together to discuss our shared interests, and the MacTech conference is another great opportunity to do that.”

Don’t wait. Register today by clicking here.

Developer Track

Wil Shipley, Delicious Monster
Writing a Test Harness for your Application
60 minutes

Wil is somewhat famously known for disliking unit tests. So how does he test his code? Wil talks about his methods for testing, including his test harness methodology.

Richard Gaskin, Fourth World
Panel: Cross-Platform Development
60 minutes

This panel will feature developers familiar with cross-platform development tools talking about the pros and cons to each approach. Best practices and Q&A.

Matt Neuburg
Replacing AppleScript with Ruby
20 Minutes

Many important Mac applications are scriptable through AppleScript; but AppleScript is a quirky, crusty language. Fortunately, the messaging system that scriptable Mac applications are really responding to, Apple events, can be created and sent using other languages. In this session we’ll see that it’s easy to write AppleScript using Ruby, a modern language that provides all the advantages of full string and file handling, modern data storage mechanisms, object-oriented dynamism, and a vast library of utility classes. This is possible thanks to rb-appscript, a free open-source module.

Dave DeLong
The Power of Predicates
60 minutes

NSPredicate is an under-exploited gem of the Foundation framework. Using its powerful parsing engine and clean abstract syntax tree, developers can build applications with dynamic searching and filtering capabilities. In this session we’ll look at some of the nuances of NSPredicate: comparison vs compound predicates, internal structure, variable substitutions, NSExpressions, and using categories to add more power and flexibility to the predicate system. We’ll also learn how to use NSPredicateEditor, the AppKit component for visually building NSPredicates. NSPredicateEditor is notoriously under-documented, and this leaves many developers struggling to understand NSPredicateEditorRowTemplate behavior and customizability. We will demystify both.

Mark Dalrymple, Borkware
Thoughts on Debugging
60 minutes

Oftentimes, what separates an average developer from a great developer is the ability to debug. When faced with software that Just Doesn’t Work, how do you go about finding the problem quickly and fixing it? In this session we’ll cover some tools and techniques that can improve your debugging chops.

Boisy G. Pitre
Beyond the Desktop: The Mac and Data Acquisition/Analysis
30 minutes

With its strong user-interface, the Mac has been traditionally relegated to desktop tasks. This session will challenge developers to look at the opportunities for the Mac in data acquisition, automation and analysis applications in a variety of industries, and how the Mac stacks up against the PC in such a role.

Ross Boucher
Objective-J and Cappuccino
30 Minutes

This session will cover the basic ideas behind Cappuccino, including some background information on how and why it came to be, when you should consider using it, and how to get started.

Louis Gerbarg
Rethinking Object Graph Persistence
45 Minutes

CoreData provides a mechanism for saving and restoring simple object graphs, but its deep layering and underlying structure can lead to significant performance issues, and place inconvenient limits on the design of a developer’s object graph. In this talk we will discuss the limits of what can and can’t be done within the design of CoreData, and look at how relayering the underlying technologies used in CoreData we can create a new graph persistence framework that supports additional features such as ordered sets, dictionaries, scalars, and synchronization.

Daniel Jalkut, Red Sweater Software
Unit Testing on the Mac
60 minutes

This sessions starts with reviewing the basics of what unit tests are, the benefits of employing them, and how to take advantage of unit testing on the Mac, using Apple’s developer tools. Then, Daniel will discuss several of the challenges he has encountered in applying unit tests to his projects, and share some of the solutions he has come up with to make the job easier and more effective.

Jim Rea, ProVue
Maintaining a Code Base
30 minutes

Most programs come and go over the course of a few years. Our flagship product, Panorama, has been in continuous development since 1986. During the intervening years it has gone thru 11 significant upgrades, five different platforms and seven development environments. In spite of this, the code has never been rewritten from scratch and almost all of the original 1.0 code is still in the program. I’ll discuss the lessons learned and techniques for smoothly moving a large base of code across big transitions as well as tips on what NOT to do.

Peter Hosey
Recognizing Bugs in Cocoa Applications
90 minutes

When a Cocoa (or Cocoa Touch) program goes wrong, the arcane messages and even complete lack of behavior that occur often leave new Cocoa and Cocoa Touch programmers mystified. I’ll show you how to recognize each type of bug, and how to hunt it down and fix it.

Mike Lee
Making Apps that Don’t Suck
60 minutes

So you’ve written an app. Congratulations! There’s no feeling like the feeling of seeing the results of so much hard work and sacrifice appear, eternally bright and shining, on virtual shelves. There is no satisfaction like the satisfaction of having people invest their time and money to become a user of your product. There is no praise like the praise of a stranger who thanks you and your product for making their life better. But it only follows then that there is no despair like the despair of having someone shout out in the great assembled crowd that is the Internet, "this app sucks." Legendary product engineer Mike Lee‚ drawing from 8 years of experience working on such hits as Delicious Library, Tap Tap Revenge, Obama ’08, and Apple’s Mobile Store will show you how to squeeze the suck from your app. You’ll explore common types of suck and their remedies, then dive deep on the underlying causes of suck to help you become the type of developer who makes apps that don’t suck.

Rich Warren
Options for Displaying Formatted Text in iOS
30 minutes

With the arrival of the iPad and iOS 4.0, we suddenly have a large number of options for displaying formatted text. Do you format you text using HTML, and send it to a UIWebView? Do you build your own text view using Core Text or NSString extensions? What role can labels, text fields, Core Graphics or Core Animation play? We will do a brief overview of all these technologies, with a particular emphasis on comparing and contrasting using the built-in web-view framework with custom-built approaches.

Melissa Ortiz, Digital Stratosphere
Bridging the Gap Between Development & Marketing: the Power Behind Marketing Your Website Effectively.
QuickTalkTM (5 minutes)

Developers will learn the importance and fundamentals of incorporating SEO and Digital Strategies via Social Media and Analytics. This will help market their websites more effectively to increase visibility on the Search Engines.

Don’t wait. Register today by clicking here.

IT Track

Joe Block, Ooyala
Packaging OS X Software with The Luggage
30 minutes

The Luggage is an open source project that makes it possible to create OS X pkg files without a GUI. This session will show you the advantages of this approach, and demonstrate several packaging scenarios.

Karl Kuehn
Imaging Best Practices
45 minutes

Setting up new machines is a part of the job for all System Administrators. This session will cover best practices for creating and deploying images which can speed the task of setting up machines and make your job easier and more predictable.

Justin Esgar
Appitilize on your Idea!
QuickTalkTM (5 minutes)

Bring your idea’s to life. Take your IT knowledge to the next level developing applications and even iPad/iPhone apps to help you, your clients and your wallet. In 5 minutes you’ll learn how to take an idea from concept to production, and how to do it easily and efficiently and without knowing how to program.

Gary Larizza
Screw the Golden Master – Configuration Management with Puppet
45 minutes

The days of the Golden Master Image are over. With modular images being the new hotness you’re still susceptible to configuration drift. This session will show you how, using Puppet, you can continuously deploy updates to your machines and keep their state consistent across your entire organization.

Nathan Toups, rojoroboto
Clarity: Successfully communicate to clients and staff
40 minutes

As we become experts in our field, it becomes harder and harder to imagine what it was like not to know what we know. Thus, it is harder to communicate with those who are not at our level of understanding. This is the Curse of Knowledge, as outlined in the book Made to Stick by the Heath brothers. My talk will cover techniques through an IT-centric problem/solution framework for clearly communicating with clients and staff.

Lenny Sachs
Fun with Portable home directories in a formerly all windows environment.
45 minutes

This seminar will look at the many of the issues of dealing with an enterprise not used to macs: from users issues to political issues including budgets, dealing with legacy software issues, user expectations, recuperating from user crashes, to whether the organization will commit beyond the initial pilot.

Roy Nielsen
Configuration Management and Inventory of 3k-5k Mac systems
30 minutes

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has three to five thousand Macs that needed configuration management and software inventory. We had a goal to centrally manage the anti-virus, security settings, software and hardware inventory and centrally image systems. We chose a combination of open-source and home-grown tools to accomplish our central management. This talk will discuss why we chose what we chose and how we implemented it, and some lessons we learned along the way.

Phil Goodman, Ben Levy and Steve Leebove
Reach Out and Touch Your Clients
60 minutes

Supporting your clients and end-users remotely has become more critical as Mac users become more mobile. With notebooks, iPhones and iPads becoming more common, it’s important that you know what tools are available and how to set yourself up to support your clients from a variety of situations. For example, they may be half-way around the world or they might be within the corporate firewall but you may not be. You might be only on your iPad or on a someone else’s computer and will need to take control of their screen or support them some other way. In this session, we’ll present real-world scenarios and review some great tools and techniques for setting yourself up to successfully supporting your clients.

Ben Levy, Phil Goodman and Steve Leebove
Real World Collaboration
90 minutes

This session will encourage input, feedback and participation from all who attend. In this unusual and dynamic experience, you’ll work as a member of a team of professionals solving a challenging real-world IT problem for an equally challenging client. After an initial presentation of the RFP we’ll divide into teams and get to work, quickly building a solution as a team using the skills of the team-members. Finally, solutions will be presented and evaluated.

Randy Saeks, Northbrook / Glenview School District 30
Using Google Applications with Open Directory
60 minutes

This session will highlight technologies that can be utilized to leverage existing Open Directory credentials with Google Applications. An open source web-based authentication application based on SAML, simpleSAMLphp will be shown and the method to configure it with Google Applications shared. Finally, lessons learned from a deployment will be shared so you can learn from them and avoid the pitfalls.

James Reynolds
The Power of radmind and Xhooks
50 Minutes

Radmind was the first set of tools that were used to mass distribute Mac OS X. A lot has changed since those times. Is Radmind still relevant? What is the future of Radmind? Why do some say it is too difficult to use? Come hear how we have leveraged the Radmind tools to manage well over 100 different configurations from kiosks, locked down workstations, and laptops running 10.4, 10.5, and 10.6. See how we have overcome some of the main difficulties of Radmind, including new user training, how we got around wholesale filesystem management allowing us to use Radmind to simulate package-like installs, how we can make overloads in a matter of seconds, how we are able to use Radmind on our own computers and laptops, how we manage files that many different applications want to configure, and how we have found and fixed problems that would go completely unnoticed with other tools.

Ben Greisler, Kadimac Corp
Surviving DNS
45 minutes

DNS can be a 4 letter word, and we will be discussing ways to make it less stressful. Bad DNS is a disaster, but here are ways to succeed where others have failed. Learn to work around the Windows NT DNS service you have been saddled with. Learn why not to stress completely if you have a .local domain. Find out why those free DNS services are the devil in disguise. Learn how to evaluate the DNS services on your network. After this session you will feel more comfortable with DNS, and less like you have survived a bar fight.

Greg Neagle
Pushing Packages with Munki
60 minutes

Greg Neagle will give an introduction to Munki, an open-source software management system for Mac OS X. Munki handles the installation and removal of software on Leopard and Snow Leopard systems. Designed originally to handle software delivered in Apple’s package format, Munki has been extended to handle "drag-n-drop" disk images and Adobe CS3, CS4, and CS5 installs and updates. Session attendees will learn how to set up a proof-of-concept Munki installation and use it to install, update and remove software on a Mac OS X client machine. More information about Munki is available at

Don’t wait. Register today by clicking here.

Note: All times are approximate. All sessions, speakers and descriptions are subject to change at any time without notice.