Apostles of the Mac platform


Thank god Macworld is almost over. The furor over the new iPhone (or whatever it is going to be called) is ending, and hopefully we will all be rational soon. The best part of Macworld, apart from a fantastic theatrical performance by the Count of Cupertino, is a chance to meet some of the developers who write applications we often use.

For someone who believes in the cult of lone coders (we even started a blog), Macworld is a reminder that it is these unsung heroes, not Steve Jobs, who make OS X an experience to remember. Macworld, the show, is about these apostles of the Mac platform. A little while ago, I wrote this piece, Platforms and Technology Cottage Industries; today I saw the phenomenon, first hand.

Many of the independent Mac developers gathered at Chaat Café in San Francisco for Niall Kennedy’s Mac Small Business Dinner. (See Flickr Slide Show.)

I briefly chatted with Brent Simmons of Ranchero Software, who develops the fabulous NetNewsWire RSS reader, and has been busy finishing up a new version of the software (version 3.0), slated for release later in 2007 “with big UI enhancements” and other major upgrades.

There were many who I did not get to talk to, but their products enhance my work (and play life) on a daily basis. Gus Mueller of Flying Meat (VoodooPad), and someone who works on Fetch software — damn shame, I did not get to meet him.

Mac Small Business Dinner, originally uploaded by niallkennedy.

However, the best part was talking to 20-year-old Colin Barrett, one of the developers for the open source Adium IM client, the best Mac IM client. He just moved to Mountain View to work for Mozilla. He said that with a job, he would now be able to focus on two things: Mozilla and Adium. We got talking about how Adium needs to add more support for voice, and he agreed.

Apparently, I am not the only one who is looking for that functionality, and Adium guys get a lot of requests to add VoIP features to their awesome IM client. There is a Gizmo Project plug-in that allows you to chat with your Gizmo buddies, but that’s about it. So if you are a VoIP hacker and want to help out Adium guys, then volunteer, for Colin and his mates are looking for folks with VoIP skills.

If there was Colin, bubbling with enthusiasm, there were also grizzly veterans of PC wars, gray haired and full of wisdom – swapping war stories, talking about apps, Jobs, and life in the lone coders’ trenches. It was a Lion King moment…. a circle of Mac life.



Yes, the Beatles catalogue is coming on iTunes. Its settled between them. And yes, i may not change carriers, but may still get a cingular iPhone, sacrifice the connection and insert my favourite carriers sim card, if need be. If required i will PAY cinguler to get rid of them. If i want an iPhone, I will get myself an iPhone. And i spend more time with my phone than my mac. So my phone better be as good.


Now that the shock and awe have subsided somewhat, one thing keeps bugging me that no one seems to have addressed anywhere . . .

What were The Beatles doing on the iPhone?

Did Steve “bury the lead”? And where would he have gotten their digital music files from? LimeWire?

Was the first hint the change from Apple Computer to Apple Inc. in the wake of the UK court decision in Apple vs. Apple?

Is the Count of Cupertino toying with the media and throwing a hint that The Beatles catalogue IS coming to iTunes? Or has it already arrived?

Anyway anyone can track this one down? Enquiring minds want to know.


I personally now want to help development for some cool widgets for the iPhone. Focusing on integrating business functions in the office so they follow me on my iPhone. I just came back to the Mac after a long hiatus using XP and Fedora Core 3-5. The Macbook in Black is what brought me back.

I might have to go on “Fanboy” status soon. All my friend are skype video conferencing and now with the integrated camera they all want one too. It’s real nice to be able to bring your co-workers up on the screen to have actual human interaction in this dis-connected world.

And to Don: Yes I am getting one and yes I believe as long as Cingular has the lock on the iPhone then people will switch. .02



iPhone? iF##KnPhone? Who cares? I won’t be switching to Cingular because of it, and I doubt anyone else will switch from a carrier with whom he/she is satisfied. A phone is a phone is a phone. Some of the ‘features’ are NOT what phone users really want in a PHONE. I remember watching a 5-inch TV screen with a fresnel lens screen in front of it to magnify the image in the ’40s. Video on i-whatever is no different – it’s too small to view comfortably. If keeping up with a TV program is what is important, SOMEbody needs to get a life! Carrying a phone that also has my iTunes is a nice feature – so I don’t have to carry TWO devices, but I do NOT need to listen to music ALL the time. Driving or crossing a busy street while hearing-impaired is dangerous!

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