I understand from fellow @Last
Software employees that you had relatively little interest
and experience in Apple's Mac OS platform prior to your company's
decision to produce a Mac version of SketchUp.
Is that correct?
Basically, I had never really even used a Mac before I got
a machine to use for porting SketchUp.
Why is that? What were some of the reasons that kept you from
experiencing or having an interest in the Mac platform?
never owned any Macs, and never worked at a company that had
an application that was supported on the Mac, so I had no
reason or opportunity to use one. I learned software development
on a number of other platforms including Windows, various
flavors of Unix, Aegis and VMS, among others.
So you basically had no Mac experience until recently. Wow...
only experience with a Mac I can remember is sitting in front
of one of the real early Macs with my boss trying to figure
out how to make it give us back a diskette that we had put
in it -- we were looking for some button that you could push
to eject it, and there wasn't one.
Yeah....(laughs), the Mac OS wants you to drag the diskette
to the trash can in order to eject it, which we all agree
now is pretty counter intuitive. Nevertheless it has become
a legendary feature of the OS which seems counter intuitive
in the same manner in which locating the ignition key in a
Saab down by the parking brake is counter intuitive. Yet,
just like the Saab it feels natural after using it for awhile.
did you get the diskette out?
think we finally resorted to using a pair of pliers (laughs).
Even after using the Mac as my primary machine for a couple
of years, I still find dragging my data to the trash to eject
it kind of scary.
On to software. What led to @Last Software's decision to produce
a Macintosh version of SketchUp?
debated this for a long time. We thought that it would be
valuable to have a Mac version of SketchUp, but we weren't
sure that it would justify the development work to create
and maintain it. Before the release of OS
X, we thought that it would be far too difficult to port
SketchUp to the Mac OS.
Finally, we decided that since SketchUp
is primarily a design tool and that a
lot of professionals use Macs that it would be worth doing
So did you guys just make a leap of faith or did you research
the market for a Mac version? I ask because at Macworld Expo
some @Last Software folks told me that you guys were surprised
to learn how high the Mac architectural market share was in
some European countries.
didn't do extensive market research. We were aware that the
Mac had a higher market share in Europe. Some of the European
companies that we talked to encouraged us to do a Mac port.
We didn't really have a good idea how well the Mac version
would do though.
I've heard that once you started working on the Mac OS X version
of SketchUp you became very impressed with Apple's OpenGL
implementation. Is that true and can you explain to us what
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