The view from the stage at Stump the Experts, at WWDC 2008

Every year, one of the sessions I’m involved with at Apple’s World-wide Developer’s Conference is called Stump the Experts. Ostensibly, it’s a “game” show, where the developers are suppose to ask trivia questions about (mostly) the Macintosh, and we answer them, because we’re all experts and know pretty much everything. I’ve been on the panel since 2000, when I was the lead engineer on Mac OS 9 and maybe did know a lot about the system, but since the scope of the Mac expands every year by this last year I’m certainly not an expert on most areas of the operating system. But, I’m still up there because things never change. Personally, I’ve wondered why developers like the session so much — each...

April Fool’s Day at Apple

Although Apple was founded on April Fool’s day, there isn’t a big emphasis on it within the company. Folks don’t really plan much in the way of jokes, and it’s reasonably safe to believe what you read in emails and conversations much of the time. That said, I did pull an April Fool’s Day prank many years back, and it caused one idiot at Apple to spend much of the rest of the day trying to get me fired. Back in 1994, I was working in Apple’s information systems division on the application which everyone used to look up phone numbers and email addresses ( and Applelink IDs! ), etc for everyone else. It was the Apple Directory, and it had been around since 1988 as a desk accessory. I was working on a rewrite of the entire thing,...

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT: My latest business venture…

I know there’s been a lot of excitement in the Macintosh developer community lately, as long time Apple employees have left the company to go into business for themselves as independent Macintosh developers. Daniel Jalkut, who I worked with at Apple many years back, has blogging for much of the last year about his experiences and thoughts on being a small Macintosh developer. Jens Alfke, whose office at Apple was down the hall and around the corner from mine recently announced he was “going indie”, and in the process prompted much discussion about the future of Apple and independent development. And, most recently, Peter Bierman, who also recently had moved his office at Apple into the same building as I’m in, announced that he was leaving...

I’m one of those 300+ Features!

Now that Leopard has shipped, I suppose I can finally point to one thing that I had something to do with in Leopard. If you go to the Leopard Features Page and scroll down to the Safari section, you’ll see that it has 13 features. This one was based on some work I did about two years ago in Safari, because I wanted to be able to re-find stuff I’d seen on the web recently so I could show it to folks, but I’d forgotten exactly where I saw it. I could remember what it was, just not where. Here’s an example. Last week I read a recommendation for Bananas Foster that I wanted to try to make sometime at home. Now, a week or so later, I’m at home, and want to do it, but I don’t remember where I found this particular recipe. I could go...

How I find out I’ve been awarded a patent

I’ve applied for a couple patents, and two of them have actually been granted. For the one a couple days ago, a friend of mine at a conference told me that I’d been awarded a patent the same day it was granted, because he’d read an analysis-type article about it on someone’s blog: Next Wave: Apple granted a patent for an Apple NC system For the earlier patent, and also for this one, I got a USPS notification of my patent two days later. No, not from the Patent Office; not from Apple either. In fact, I don’t think I heard from Apple that my patent had been granted for about four months, when I got a notification that the $500 patent bonus would be on my next paycheck. No, I got a piece of mail offering to sell me a plaque...

Now I get to put “Inventor” after my name again

Granted today; someone told me about it here at WWDC. US Patent #7,089,300