Archive for August, 2006

Mac shareware

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

Lots of good stuff here: OmniGroup’s list of their favourite Mac shareware.

What’s in a name?

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

I really wanted to find a name for this blog that wasn’t just “Macrobug Blog”, as I don’t want it to be too closely related to what I’m working on.

For a while I was going to call it “Ade on a Train”. Why? There are two reasons.

Firstly, I’ve been meaning to get around to starting a blog for about a month now. I only finally did it because I happened to be on a train and had nothing better to do. The few articles I’m posting now will kick-start the blog and cause me to spew forth all sorts of snippets about things. So, the fact that I was on a train is what finally got this blog started.

The second, more important, reason, is that it sounds a bit like “Joel on Software”. This is in homage to a similar blog ( written by Joel Spolsky which describes the activities of a larger (50 person?) software start up in the US.

Joel’s blog, as you can tell from the name, talks quite a lot about software development. Not really the software itself – but more about techniques for software development. Mine, however, will look more at the business side of things.

I’m also not quite sure when Joel’s blog actually begun, but mine is starting from the very embryo of the company. So you get to see the very earliest beginnings.

Why did I not call it Ade on a Train? Because it was a very rubbish name.

Subversion on Mac OS X

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Obviously, starting a software company you need to have a Source Code Management system. I chose subversion, because I know it, and it’s well regarded, and open-source.

Installing it on MacOS X turned out to be quite easy, once I’d found this Apple article (everything else I could find referred to older versions of MacOS X).

I used the latest versions of Apache (2.2.3), SVN (1.3.2) and PHP (5.1.6), and the walk-through still worked!

Everything worked fine, except:

  • I forgot to edit my WebSVN file. Schoolboy error.
  • I didn’t know that I had to use –enable-zlib when building PHP.

What is Macrobug?

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

And why have I linked to blogs on stuff related to Symbian OS and tools?

The idea is that Macrobug will be a software tools company – initially, at least, producing tools to help phone manufacturers produce bug-free phones running Symbian OS. I’ll be plugging into the good stuff produced by the Carbide.C++ team in Nokia, plus Symbian’s own tools. My tools will look at solving some of the big problems encountered by phone developers, which require extra OS awareness and analysis over and above that provided by Nokia and Symbian.

In case the Carbide team were wondering, that’s why I’ve linked to your blog. And why I say I’ll be having a chat at the Smartphone Show :-)

So where am I now?

I’ve said before that I’ve started a small software company. Specifically, the company exists, and I’m going through all the admin stuff and decisions required to get it up and running. I haven’t yet written a line of code, but I have begun technical investigations.

It’s quite likely that this sort of business won’t be possible. There are all sorts of reasons for this which I’ll go into later. So, for a few months, I’m testing the water to decide if this sort of business really is viable.

But, before I start describing where I am now, I’m going to describe how I got to this place. Upcoming posts, which I’ll try to write over the next couple of weeks, include:

  • What makes you do something so daft?
  • How to decide what to do?
  • Do you feel lucky? Taking risks
  • How to resign!
  • How to start a company (the tedious paperworky bit)
  • What other tedious gubbins are needed (mobile phones, bank accounts etc.)
  • How do I feel? Is it all worth it?
  • Getting things done
  • Marketing, blogging, etc.

There will be other things too. Probably all the random stuff that people post on blogs.

Changing locks

Friday, August 25th, 2006

My wife managed to leave her keys in the door last night (we think) and they have since got pinched (we think). So, we’ve spent all evening running around changing locks.

Normally, she’d shoot me for posting this in public. But she seems to be very excited by all this blogging lark, and wanted me to tell everybody that when changing a lock, they should take the old lock with them to the DIY store, to make sure they get the right sort of replacement.


I’m sure I’m going to get into trouble for posting this anyway.

What am I doing here?

Friday, August 25th, 2006

OK, so I’ve got a blog. I wonder what will happen next?

Welcome to the Macrobug blog. I’m starting this because it’s quite hard to find good information about how to start a small software company. Or, for that matter, why. I don’t have the answers – but I’m just in the middle of doing it, so you can learn from my mistakes!

Just be aware, I’m posting about my decisions and activities in real-time (more or less) so I probably won’t find out about my mistakes until later. In other words, don’t do what I do – I’m probably wrong :-)