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Path Finder is an advanced file browser and management application for Mac OS X. If you’ve ever wished that Apple’s Finder had just feature X or feature Y, Path Finder may be what you’ve been looking for.
Path Finder is a standalone application that leverages what you already know about working with your files. It takes the Finder’s familiar interface and adds numerous powerful features and interface innnovations to help anyone be more productive on Mac OS X.
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Here’s a mini-interview with Steve Gehrman – Creator of Path Finder.
So – Tell us about yourself in third person Steve.
Steve has been programming on Mac OS since 1989. His first job out of school was at Alsoft, makers of Diskwarrior. Next he moved to Los Angeles and wrote the popular screenwriting software “Final Draft”. After a brief stint at a dot com he was soon laid off and decided to go on his own and founded Cocoatech in 2000. He’s now living in San Francisco with his wife and two kids, and working on Path Finder full time. Steve has never used Windows in his life and is very happy about this.
Now -What’s the most unique, useful feature of your product?
The drop stack has been a favorite of mine and many of my customers. It allows you to drag items in, navigate to a new location and drag them off. It makes it so much easier to drag and drop files around using a single window. There’s also the dual browser and tabs which are very useful and popular.
Why did you create this app? or What need were you trying to satisfy?
It started off as a “learn Cocoa” project and just kept growing. I started it when the first Mac OS X Server (Rhapsody) was released back in I think 2000. I kind of figured that Apple would keep the Finder simple for novice users, so there was an opportunity to create a more full featured file browser. Back in 2000 no one except Apple was hiring Cocoa engineers and I didn’t want to get another mac programming job using the old mac toolbox APIs.
What is most interesting to you about developing SW for the Mac platform.
I really like Objective C which is only used on Macs. The language is simple and clean and it’s like C++ but with out all the complexity. Previously mac development was mostly C++ using Codewarrior and Powerplant frameworks. I had gotten to a point where I was sick of C++ and Powerplant and it was perfect timing when OS X was released.
What features should a prospective buyer look into during a trial of your product?
There’s lots of features to see. The tabs are cool. The Path navigator bar is very useful. Much of the UI has contextual menus that most people probably don’t notice right away. Dual pane is a newer feature that’s also very useful.
What are some interesting experiences you’ve had creating new versions of your software when OS is upgraded?
It’s always great when there’s a new OS update. Lots of new features and I am usually able to delete a bunch of code and hacks added to get around limitations of the previous OS. New OS upgrades also usually contain new bugs which isn’t so fun, but for the most part it’s great. It’s fun to update my code to use the latest features.
What’s your favorite Mac app out there from another developer? Why?
To tell you the truth, I don’t use much third party software. I probably should and I’ve seen lots of cool apps. I did use ScreenFlow recently for my screencast and it was very nice. I live in XCode and spend most of the day in that. I also obviously use Mail, iChat, Safari and other standard Apple apps.
What are the answers to some common questions people have about your app before they buy?
Some people wonder if they should quit the Finder or remove the Finder or some how replace the Finder. There’s no reason to worry about the Finder. My application is separate but similar to the Finder and they both run side by side just fine.
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