TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Sep 95 Viewpoint
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:9
Column Tag:Viewpoint

Viewpoint

By Scott T Boyd, Editor-at-Large

What!? You missed MacHack again? What are we going to do with you? Oh, well, this tenth anniversary of MacHack had much to offer for about 300 Macintosh hackers from all over the map.

Some people go for the sessions. Some people go for the caffeine. Some people go for the amazing things that happen when they deprive their body of sleep for 72 hours. Nobody goes for the food! And this year nobody went for the luxurious accommodations of the Southfield, Michigan, Ramada (who needs air conditioning, anyway?).

Nevertheless, this event ranks among the few unmissable events of the year for those who just can’t get enough of Mac programming. Why? The people, of course. Nowhere else can you find such a favorable ratio of hackers to marketeers. It’s one of the few places where marketing, Windows, and other holy cows come under constant and brutal attack, much to the delight of the crowd.

The Ninth Annual MacHax™ MacHack Best Hack Contest (hosted each year by Greg Marriott and yours truly) attracts a wildly-diverse set of entries, and accounts for the bleary-eyed, caffeine-pumped, sleep-deprived crew of entrants who show their wares to a rabid, merciless crowd of their peers. The show starts at midnight, and follows two days of crazed hacking.

I’m often asked how one goes about winning. Strangely, I get a disapproving look (or small amounts of cash) when I suggest bribing the judges. I’ve never won (I’d just get accused of cheating, anyway), so instead I’ll offer a few tips on how to have a great time at MacHack.

I wandered around the machine room at 2AM, seeing if I could interest anyone in a Web-hack idea I’d been mulling over. I didn’t know whether I’d find someone to work with on this hack, or on another hack, but 2AM is a good time to find the right kind of person. Many people were already working on their hacks, but I met a guy I’d never met before, Grant Neufeld. Strangely, though, I’d been to his web site <http://arpp1.carleton.ca/grant/>. He was working on a CGI shell - it was perfect for hosting my portion of the hack, and he liked my idea.

We started working right away. He prepared the CGI shell, and I hacked out some code to play with QuickTime’s compression manager and the (unpublished) Layer Manager. We changed designs about a thousand times, and finally got something mostly working. At that point, we decided that public relations was the next most important thing to address, so we put together a killer About box, picked a cool name (Whatson?), and Grant made the icon.

Instead of getting our demo rehearsed, we decided to add another feature (the real killer feature), and found ourselves up against the deadline that I myself had imposed. What to do? Ha! I changed the rules, and moved the start of the Hack Show to 12:30! (Everyone accused me of it anyway, and it makes a better story if I just give in and say so, in spite of the fact that the Hack Show equipment really wasn’t ready, honest!)

How did it turn out? We didn’t win (something about running out of the room in the middle of demonstrating the hack at the Hack Show, but that’s a whole ’nuther story). In retrospect, if we’d really wanted to win, we probably should have gone ahead and made t-shirts. That would have made all the difference, no doubt. Nevertheless, we had a blast. In the process of madly throwing together the bits and pieces of this hack, we met and got help from roughly a dozen people, we faked up a fun photo with Photoshop, and we dabbled in several areas of the Macintosh toolbox we hadn’t played with before, all the while relishing the camaraderie, chaos, and caffeine.

Convinced? Want to enjoy the conference, at least vicariously? The list of winners and some of the hacks are at <http://www.machack.com/>. Want to try out Whatson? <http://www.hax.com/whatson.acgi>.

From the “Where’s the Beef?” Department

Microsoft’s reputation for out-marketing Macintosh prevails in the consumer arena. Microsoft holds the title in the developer arenaas well. For example, Microsoft continued their full frontal assault at MacHack, both with their Windows95 preconference, and with ample support and cosponsoring of the machine room and Internet connection. On the other hand, Apple, once famous for insanely-great developer relations, has recently fared poorly in Macintosh developers’ hearts and minds, losing ground as Microsoft presses on with aggressive developer relations efforts. This year’s strong sponsorship of MacHack stands as a clear and welcome exception.

What’s a Macintosh zealot to do? Well, never fear. Hope springs eternal. In what might be Apple’s answer to Microsoft’s challenge, Apple recently brought Guy Kawasaki back on board as an Apple Fellow. His mission? To “represent developer issues and perspectives to Apple”, among other things.

In that vein, he has started up a mailing list designed for the Macintosh faithful. He wants list participants to help him understand what developers need and want.

If you can handle a healthy dose of e-mail, join the list by sending a message to <mailto: semper.fi@thing1.info.apple.com> with the body of the message (not the subject line) containing subscribe YourRealName. Once you’re on the list, you can send mail to the same address. You can also send mail directly to Guy at <mailto: MacWay@aol.com>

Food For Thought

“Can one Guy get ahead of [Microsoft’s] James Plamondon? He’s pretty far out there!”

- Name withheld

“You know you’re really having fun when you find yourself falling asleep at ‘breakfast.’”

- Brad Kollmyer, bradk@vitalsoft.com

“It wasn’t broken air conditioning at the MacHack Windows preconference - it was the Mac programmers burning in Hell ”

- Anonymous

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Hopper Disassembler 4.3.10- - Binary dis...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 4.3.10- - Binary dis...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32- and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about its... Read more
Paparazzi! 1.0b7 - Make user-defined siz...
Paparazzi! is a small utility for OS X that makes screenshots of webpages. This very simple tool takes screenshots of websites which do not fit on one screen. You specify the desired width, minimal... Read more
Amadeus Pro 2.4.4 - Multitrack sound rec...
Amadeus Pro lets you use your Mac for any audio-related task, such as live audio recording, digitizing tapes and records, converting between a variety of sound formats, etc. Thanks to its outstanding... Read more
Google Chrome 63.0.3239.108 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
Apple Configurator 2.6 - Configure and d...
Apple Configurator makes it easy to deploy iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple TV devices in your school or business. Use Apple Configurator to quickly configure large numbers of devices connected to... Read more
WhatRoute 2.0.26 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the router... Read more
Remotix 5.0.4 - Access all your computer...
Remotix is a fast and powerful application to easily access multiple Macs (and PCs) from your own Mac. Features Complete Apple Screen Sharing support - including Mac OS X login, clipboard... Read more
WhatRoute 2.0.26 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the router... Read more
Google Chrome 63.0.3239.108 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

WWE Mayhem guide - beginner tips and tri...
WWE Mayhem brings all of the familiar faces from your favorite wrestling league to mobile in this exciting new fighting game. Build up a team of your favorite WWE superstars and fight your way to the championship title, or battle against your... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week -...
We've made it through another week, so let's treat ourselves to some of the best new games to launch in the past few days. It was another exciting week with some long-awaited indie games making their debut, and some big console titles making the... | Read more »
Match blocks to pull off dance moves in...
Ferdinand: Unstoppabull is a brand new match three puzzler based on the animated movie of (almost) the same name. As you can expect, you have to match blocks together to complete a bunch of puzzling levels and earn a high score. [Read more] | Read more »
Lineage 2: Revolution’s end of year upda...
Now available in 54 countries worldwide, Lineage 2: Revolution is continuing its global quest to be the most popular mobile MMORPG by launching a jam-packed end of year update. Complete with many subtle tweaks to help improve users’ online... | Read more »
The 5 best Star Wars games on iOS
The time has almost come.Star Wars: The Last Jedifinally hits theaters in the cinematic event that might be bigger than Christmas. To celebrate, we're taking a look at the best--and only the best--Star Warsmobile games to date. [Read more] | Read more »
Life Is Strange (Games)
Life Is Strange 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Life Is Strange is a five part episodic game that sets out to revolutionize story-based choice and consequence games by... | Read more »
Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty (Game...
Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** PLEASE NOTE: Requires 3.6GB free space to install. Runs at variable resolutions based on device capabilities.... | Read more »
Gorogoa (Games)
Gorogoa 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Gorogoa is an elegant evolution of the puzzle genre, told through a beautifully hand-drawn story designed and illustrated by Jason... | Read more »
Why Guns of Boom will be big for mobile...
Earlier this week, Game Insight, the minds that brought you Guns of Boom, revealed plans for an esports mode in the popular FPS title, with big implications for the game's future. Guns of Boom has been quite popular for some time now, so it's... | Read more »
The best mobile games to play on lazy ho...
With the holidays in full swing, there's hopefully going to be a lot of time off work lazing around the house. With all of that free time, it's a perfect opportunity to catch up on some mobile games that you might have missed out on earlier this... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

The lowest prices on Apple 13″ MacBook Pros t...
Save $300-$300 on the purchase of a 2017 13″ MacBook Pro this weekend with Certified Refurbished models at Apple. In many cases, Apple’s refurbished prices are the lowest available for each model... Read more
Lowest prices of the Holiday season: 15″ Appl...
Save $360-$420 on the purchase of a 2017 15″ MacBook Pro with Certified Refurbished models at Apple. In many cases, Apple’s refurbished prices are the lowest available for each model from any... Read more
Apple discounts Beats products by up to 30% t...
Apple has Beats by Dr. Dre (BeatsX, Powerbeats3 Wireless, and Beats Solo3 Wireless) on sale for up to 30% off their retail price from now until December 26th: – BeatsX: Was $149.95, now $99 –... Read more
Updated Price Trackers: Macs, iPads, iPhones,...
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: – 15″... Read more
How to preorder a new iMac Pro and pay zero s...
B&H Photo and Adorama are accepting preorders on multiple configurations of the new Apple iMac Pro. Both resellers charge sales tax for residents of NY & NJ only, and shipping is free.... Read more
Apple Macs back in stock at Amazon with model...
Amazon has MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, MacBooks, and iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP as part of their Holiday/Christmas sale. Shipping is free. Note that stock of some Macs may come and go (and... Read more
Apple offering free overnight delivery on all...
Apple is now offering free overnight delivery on all in stock products until 3pm local time on December 22nd. This includes new as well as refurbished computers. Click here for more information. Read more
Beats Holiday sale at B&H, headphones and...
B&H Photo has Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, earphones, and speakers on sale for up to $80 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale. Expedited shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax to NY... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple resellers offer 2017 15″...
MacMall has 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for $220-$300 off MSRP, each including free shipping: – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MPTR2LL/A): $2179, $220 off MSRP – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Silver (... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple resellers offer 13″ MacBo...
B&H Photo has 13″ MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.