Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

TMO Background Mode Interview with GraphicConverter Creator Thorsten Lemke

· · The Mac Observer's Background Mode Podcast

Thorsten Lemke on Background Mode.

Thorsten Lemke is the founder of Lemke Software and the creator of the Mac app called GraphicConverter. This app is now used by over 1.5 million customers worldwide. I asked Thorsten about his early years when he was learning Pascal and BASIC on his Commodore C64 and later Atari ST. Thorsten wasn’t sure what he wanted to pursue in high school, but he knew it would be technical. Then, around 1992, with his new Mac, he had a need to convert photos and clipart between file formats. After a lot of file format research, the simple GraphicConverter app on Mac OS 7 was born as shareware. Little did Thorsten know at the time how this Mac app would grow into a major application today. Thorsten tells the amazing story of his career as an Apple developer.

TMO Background Mode Interview with Mystery Writer Elizabeth Craig

· · The Mac Observer's Background Mode Podcast

Elizabeth Craig is an accomplished mystery writer and novelist. Her works include the Southern Quilting Mysteries, Memphis Barbeque Mysteries, and Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries. Elizabeth grew up fascinated by the Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden mysteries as well as the works of Agatha Christie, especially Hercule Poirot. Later, she majored in English in college and just knew she would become a writer, but lamented that there weren’t any courses that actually taught one how to write fiction. She learned on her own. We chatted about how she came to write, the art and craft of writing, and some of our favorite TV mystery shows. Elizabeth’s career is inspiring, and today she teaches other fiction writers the basics at her blog. Even if you’ve never aspired to mystery writing, you’ll want to hear her story.

TMO Background Mode Encore Interview with TMO Contributor Kelly Guimont

· · The Mac Observer's Background Mode Podcast

Kelly Guimont on Background Mode.

Kelly Guimont does TextExpander technical support for Smile Software. She’s also a podcaster and a TMO Contributor. And she joins the TMO Daily Observations (TDO) Podcast with me on most Wednesdays. On a recent TDO episode, Kelly revealed that she holds her iPhone in a very special way with one hand. Just how she operates the iPhone in that mode and how she manages her apps created a very interesting follow-up discussion in this podcast. Kelly also shared her thoughts on the latest iTunes, version 12.7., that eliminated app support. (Apple has since mildly reversed course.) Kelly and I really let loose here, so don’t miss the fun!

TMO Background Mode Encore Interview with Science Journalist Maryn McKenna

· · The Mac Observer's Background Mode Podcast

Maryn McKenna on Background Mode.

Maryn McKenna is a science journalist and author. In her previous appearance here, she described how she launched her career in investigative journalism and, eventually, she landed with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution covering the CDC. In time, Maryn became an expert in the over-use of antibiotics with animals and humans, and that has led to her latest book, Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats. Maryn told me about how antibiotics fed to farm animals seemed like a really good idea in the 1950s. Later, bacteria became resistant to these antibiotics—with disastrous consequence for humans. Early on, Europe understood the scope of the problem, but the U.S. did not. This is a great (and scary) work of science investigative journalism.