The Early Days

Skytag Software was originally founded by my dad, Laurence Harris, in 1993. Originally trained as a mathematician, he taught himself to program in C. He produced a number of programs, such as GraphPlay and Alias Director, before creating his most successful product: File Buddy. He grew File Buddy into his primary income source, becoming a self-employed software developer in the mid-90s.

1993 File Buddy Logo

The More Recent Past

Laurence continued to work on File Buddy as his main job for the next several years. As a C developer, he used the Carbon framework to build File Buddy instead of the Objective-C based framework Cocoa. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple, Steve Jobs promised that Carbon developers would remain first class citizens in the macOS ecosystem. My dad took this promise at face value and continued to use the Carbon APIs.

Less than a year after Steve Jobs death in 2011, Apple deprecated the Carbon APIs and encouraged everyone to move to Cocoa. The development tools and APIs stopped being updated and eventually, stopped being supported by the tools all together. Unfortunately, File Buddy was completely built using the Carbon APIs for UI and feature implementation that Laurence wasn’t able to effectively transition to the Cocoa framework.

Laurence passed away in mid-2015, after a short battle with cancer. His health had deteriorated for the last couple years, and updates to File Buddy lagged because of it. His last efforts on File Buddy were to start the process of migrating to Swift and Cocoa for the next major version of File Buddy.

Today

I took over Skytag Software and File Buddy after my dad passed. It blew me away how many emails I got from people explaining how important File Buddy was to them and how much it helped them in their lives. I never really understood how many people my dad had helped until I took over everything.

Moving forward

Unfortunately, when he passed, it was fairly unexpected and he didn’t leave behind a lot of documentation on how File Buddy works, features he intended to add or update, known bugs, etc. While I am a professional full-time software engineer, my expertise is in different languages and environments from C and macOS. I’m doing my best to learn the languages better so that I can build a new version, but it’s a slow process. Between my full-time job and my family responsibilities, I don’t have as much time as I would like for File Buddy.

I am committed to keeping File Buddy alive. My dad spent over 20 years building File Buddy into the awesome utility that it is and I, for one, would hate to see it die. I’m hoping to get a beta release out before too long - just something simple like the Info window - and get some feedback from those who would like to participate.

Thanks for your patience and for supporting File Buddy.

– David