MacHack

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This article is about the Macintosh software developers conference. For the computer chess program, see Mac Hack.

MacHack was a Macintosh software developers conference first held in 1986 in Ann Arbor, Michigan in partnership with the University of Michigan. The conference was organized and operated by Expotech, Inc. The final (18th) MacHack conference took place on June 19–21, 2003. In 2004 the conference was renamed ADHOC (The Advanced Developers Hands On Conference). 2005 was the last year of the ADHOC conference.

The conference was atypical of computer conferences in many ways. Keynotes were generally delivered at midnight. The focus of the conference was less on attending sessions and more on developing "hacks": displays of programming, scripting, configuration, or other techie prowess. Hacks were presented in a raucous Friday night show and recognized at a Saturday banquet. The best-received hacks were those developed on-site during the three day conference, and those that embodied both remarkable technical skill and utter impracticality.

Rather than being held in a vibrant or popular location, the first MacHacks were held in the Holidome in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After a few years, the conference tried one year at what has become known as the MacHack from Hell. Subsequent MacHacks were held in an indistinct Holiday Inn along the Southfield Freeway in Dearborn, Michigan, adjacent to a CompUSA, a Wendy's, a Chili's, and not much else.

One of the key events each year was Bash Apple,[1][2][3] typically involving one or more brave souls from Apple taking feedback from the angry mob, sometimes for hours on end. Jordan Mattson was one such Apple representative, engaging so regularly and earnestly that the phrase "It's all Jordan's fault" became a mantra of MacHack.

The MacHax Group held the First Annual MacHax Group Best Hack Contest at the second MacHack in 1987.[4] The Hack Show generally started at midnight, and ran as late as 5AM. Prizes were awarded to many of the contestants, generally inexpensive and tangentially related to the name or nature of the hack. Unbeknownst to most of the attendees, a key goal of prize selection was to see just how outrageous items could be and still have contestants being willing to take them home. During the Dearborn years, the official and beloved hardware store and key purveyor to the contest organizers was Duke's Hardware. Winners were selected by ballot at lunch later that same day, and awards awarded at dinner. The top prize was the coveted Victor-brand rat trap modified to say "A-trap". A-trap is a reference to the Motorola 68000 A-trap exception mechanism which Apple used to great effect in the creation of Macintosh and provided the foundation for much of the hacking enjoyed by attendees.

MacHack's small, informal ethic and on-site coding challenges have been carried on by a number of conferences; for example, the C4 conference was explicitly created as an attempt to fill the void left by the end of MacHack.[5]

Conference mantras[edit]

  • Sleep is for the weak and sickly
  • Kill Dean's INITs
  • It's all Jordan's fault
  • Who makes the rules?
  • MARKETING!!!

Keynote Notables[edit]

Incomplete list of 1987 hacks[edit]

  • HeapInit by Fritz Anderson
  • SetPaths by Paul Snively
  • The Best Hack Implemented in a Nonexistent Product by Darin Adler, Mitch Adler, Leonard Rosenthal, and Paul Snively. It was written using HyperCard, at the time an unreleased product codenamed WildCard.
  • Best Power Hack by Mother Nature and NASA. A lightning strike unexpectedly launched three missiles.


1994 Best Hack[edit]

  • 5th place: Metwowerks New & Improved, an addition to Metrtwerks Code Warrior development environment.
  • 4th place: Stargate arcade game emulation.
  • 3rd place: NewTablet, which turns a Newton into a mouse replacement for a Macintosh.
  • 2nd place: POArk, Pong Open Architecture; supports any number of players on different operating systems.
  • 1st place and winner of the coveted A-Trap award: Fez by Doug McKenna, demonstrates an advanced set of ZoomRect techniques.

1998 Best Hack[edit]

  • 6th place: Switcher 98
  • 5th place: Spotlight
  • 4th place: Phaseshift
  • 3rd place: 180 Years of Hack
  • 2nd place: OFPong
  • 1st place and winner of the coveted A-Trap award: asciiMac by Alexandra Ellwood and Miro Jurisic[1][2]

TidBITS coverage of 1998 MacHack: https://tidbits.com/article/4972

1999 Best Hack[edit]

  • 5th place: PatchMaker by Paul Baxter.
  • 4th place: MacJive by Ned Holbrook and Jorg Brown.
  • 3rd place: Desktop Doubler by Ed Wynne.
  • 2nd place: Out of Context Menus by Eric Traut
  • 1st place and winner of the coveted A-Trap award: Unfinder by Lisa Lippincott

Complete list of 1999's hacks and a conference report.[6]

Incomplete list of 2000 hacks[edit]

  • Doggie-Style Windows (best yoot hack)
  • L33t like Jeff K (best OS X hack)
  • EtherPEG
  • Los Alamos Security
  • Monitor Doubler
  • Vertigo
  • Dock Strip

Complete list of 2001 hacks[edit]

  • 99 Bottles Hack
  • Airport Radar(tm)
  • AntiLib
  • APLocation
  • Apple Turnover
  • AquaShade
  • AquaWriter
  • asciishopsource
  • Beeper
  • BOFH
  • Buzzy
  • Carol Goodell's Hack 2001
  • Cat Juggler
  • CDaemon
  • Chia Windows X
  • Chris Page's Hacks
  • Crrrhaack
  • Crypt-Oh
  • CSFinalHack Module
  • D-Trash
  • DarkWaver ƒ
  • DFA Doubler
  • Dr. Cheshire's PPPoE Server
  • DSPanic
  • Eudora Stat Server
  • F1Hack
  • FWMacsBug
  • GeniusBar ƒ
  • GhostFinder
  • GrowBoxDock
  • Hackable AirPort Network Seeker
  • Heep Peeker ƒ
  • HelloTree
  • HFS-
  • Hunter's Hacks
  • iBook turbo switch
  • ImageToHtml
  • iTunes (HACKED)
  • iTunes Dock Dance Plugin
  • iTunes Remote
  • iWake
  • Juggler
  • Kilroy
  • King of Swing
  • Light Sleeper
  • Mac OS X Patching Docs
  • MacCleo
  • Max's MADLIB from Hell
  • Mentat
  • More Prefs 1.0 ƒ
  • MrMacintosh
  • musicPrompter
  • Network Alias
  • NotEnoughSecrets
  • NQCYA
  • OurHack
  • PageFido
  • Palm Finder 2
  • PalmDock
  • PaperMaker
  • PhaseShiftX
  • Pied Piper ƒ
  • PigLatin Folder
  • pixelZone
  • Polyhedra
  • Pro Mousing
  • pseudoDoc
  • Saton Vs. Little Red RidingHood
  • Silly String
  • Spear Britney
  • SpellCompositor
  • Talking Steve
  • TECalc ƒ
  • TEPeste ƒ
  • TheWeakestLink
  • Throbber
  • TiVo(tm) for QuickTime TV(tm)
  • Tricycle (Lego Mindstorm(tm))
  • Unprotected Memory
  • Useful Hack
  • X-Menu 2.0

Complete list of 2002 hacks[edit]

  • HaikuReporter
  • DockDockGoose
  • newstracker
  • LCD Degauss
  • ClassicEdge
  • ACursor
  • Carol Goodell Hack 2002
  • Xydra 0.1
  • TuXin
  • Starbanger
  • BreakoutLevelEditor
  • SlowDown
  • Clarus all over
  • WatchCow
  • Lightnin'
  • Dude,You're Getting a DogCow
  • VIMim
  • iBacklight
  • Mr Lo
  • Dock&Roll
  • Load Minimizer
  • Billy Carnage 1.0
  • OpenGirL
  • Project Mayhem
  • Alarm Clock
  • The Cat's Meow
  • somersault
  • Oh What A Hack
  • The Iron Hack
  • penguin gear (pres)
  • Dock Invaders
  • AniMac
  • MOOF through the ROOF
  • Airport Security 2002
  • Shard
  • aurport extender blender
  • lcdSTAT!
  • Ye Olde Movie
  • Metadata
  • airmoof
  • Utility Scoring Stye (pres)
  • Little Brother
  • Mike's Moof
  • 3DogCow
  • VideoFinder (not on CD)
  • Jini Network Technology
  • iMovie Hack
  • Mac Enforcer
  • JITObjectiveC
  • InformedChoiceChooserFacelft
  • nocat
  • mosaiHack
  • JNib
  • iMenu
  • APPLE VIDEO SAVER
  • SleepItemsX
  • DogcowMenu
  • IconHunter IV ƒ
  • Depth Perception
  • Claris Coaster
  • RCX Remote Control
  • FireStarter
  • dukeshardware.com
  • HandMatrix
  • OldSchoolEdit

Complete list of 2003 hacks[edit]

  • Editable SPOD
  • Jet Lag
  • Haunter
  • Sparkie
  • Unstoppable Progress: Causes a progress bar to be filled with water.
  • Desktop Control Panel Extension
  • Secret Life of Apple Logo
  • Stinkin Badges
  • SPOD was here
  • EdgeWarp
  • DADEL
  • GUI Kablooie
  • AirPong
  • ClickAndAHalf
  • warphack
  • underthedesktop
  • DecryptErrorMessage
  • FishEyeMenus
  • Antiqualc
  • SetiMonitor
  • X-MENu 2 Unexpected End of File
  • WTA Death Watch
  • wait
  • CyberCat
  • Interface UnBuilder
  • QTJGrab
  • Script Adventure
  • MagicLocalizer
  • GLCheat
  • iPod Adventure
  • Spinning Clock of Death
  • Cocoa DocTour
  • Desktop Control Panel Extension
  • Size Doesn't Matter
  • The Boot
  • mountxml
  • iTunes Control
  • iTunes Location Launcher
  • Gnomes
  • SEV
  • iAnalyseThis
  • MoodRing
  • Packetplay
  • Packet the Magic Dragon
  • spuds
  • alCrashda
  • iPodRip was built at MacHack but not demonstrated as a hack

Mostly Complete list of 2004 hacks[edit]

  • BadBadThing
  • EtherPEGCocoa
  • EtherPEGSaver
  • EULB Extension Program
  • ExposéHopper
  • FrodoFinder
  • Magic 8 Ball
  • MailToOnCrash
  • MegaManEffect
  • Neko Returns
  • NotTheSameOldTrash
  • Rumor Mill
  • Scroll Plate
  • SmartMouth
  • SpellingB
  • Stupid Shell Tricks 2004
  • Talkicity
  • Temporary Items
  • Unsummarize

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dave Winer MacHack conference report
  2. ^ TidBITS Talking Back to Apple at MacHack, 13 Sep 1999
  3. ^ Dave Feldt MacHack conference report, 1987
  4. ^ 1987 MacHack conference report
  5. ^ Jonathan Rentzsch, C4: Chicago Mac Developer Conference, September 08, 2006
  6. ^ 1999 hacks and conference report
  • MacAddict magazines
  • Stump the Experts
  • The Institute (IEEE, Piscataway, New Jersey); Volume 18 number 6, September 1994; page 16, "After 5" column

External links[edit]