Episode 299: Vira Tkachenko, CTO at MacPaw

We’ve wanted to have an episode with MacPaw since far before Ukraine was invaded on February 24th, 2022. Then we pushed it back over and over out of respect for everything going on. But we’re super-excited to finally have someone on the podcast  to talk about what it was like to go through an invasion, the technical infrastructure, tooling, emotional toll, and how they still managed to get work done 11 months into a war. We welcome Vira Tkachenko to the pod to take us through her journey.

Hosts:

  • Tom Bridge, Principal Product Manager, JumpCloud – @tbridge777
  • Charles Edge, CTO, Bootstrappers.mn – @cedge318

Guest:

  • Vira Tkachenko, CTO at MacPaw – @iVira

Links:

Click here to read the transcript

Sponsor Read:
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Hello and welcome to the Mac Admins Podcast. I’m your host, Tom Bridge, and it’s great to be back with you, Charles and Marcus. How are you today?

Tom Bridge:
Hello, and welcome to the Mac Admins podcast. I’m your host, Tom Bridge. And Charles, it’s great to see you today, even though you were covered somehow in wallpaper glue. What’s going on, friend

Charles Edge:
? Um, so when we bought the house, there were two rooms with wallpaper, and now there’s one, but really there’s only like an eighth of one. Um, because everyone was out of town this weekend and given the weekend of myself, I either write or, uh, do home repairs. So , which, you know, I’m exhausted because I’ve been scraping wallpaper off of walls and getting covered in glue, but I feel guilty for being exhausted when at least I have a house that hasn’t been shelled. So, I guess mm-hmm. , that’s a segue into our episode,

Tom Bridge:
. You know, we’ve wanted to have an episode with the folks at Macpa, uh, since, you know, far before the Ukrainian conflict started in February of 2022. Uh, we’ve pushed it back, uh, you know, over and over out of respect for everything that’s been going on. But we’re super excited to finally have someone on the podcast to talk about what it was like to go through an invasion, the technical infrastructure, uh, tooling, the emotional toll that goes along with this. And so, you know, we’re really excited to welcome to the podcast, uh, Vera Chenko, uh, and from Mac P, she’s the cto, and we’re thrilled to have you here today. Vera, thank you so much for joining us.

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah. Hello everyone. Yeah, thank, thank you for inviting me.

Tom Bridge:
It’s a great pleasure to have, you know, new people on the podcast every time. Uh, and usually when we welcome new people to the podcast, what we really like to get is a little bit of your origin story and how you came to be the CTO at MacPaw and how you got into technology overall.

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah. I’m from, originally from Ukraine, uh, Kiev, uh, and, uh, I decided I was into like computers and mass from like my childhood. And, uh, I got my first Windows PC at, uh, ninth grade grade. It’s Ukrainian grade at, uh, a bit different story from, uh, United States. And then I decided to enter Kyiv Polytechnic University, the biggest technical university in Ukraine. It was like kind of my dream. And here I met, uh, Alexander Koan, I, our, uh, founder and ceo. So, uh, uh, he was my group mate. And, um, Alexander was into Apple ecosystem. And so she showed me, uh, the first iPhone showed me his MacBook, and then, uh, he told me, Kira, do you want to, I can, uh, you know, find your MacBook and here how I got my first, uh, white plastic MacBooks, and by the way, it’s still working. I look for

Charles Edge:
,

Vira Tkachenko:
What, what I, I can’t say about new, you know, models of, uh, MacBooks. And then, uh, I was, you know, I was using Windows, but, um, I was always interested, uh, of, um, if there something else exists in, in operation system world. And, uh, I tried some Linux and BS and Q Index, some exotic operating system, and, uh, then the, the SmartBook with, um, ques and, uh, I was impressed, uh, that it’s a unique psych system, but very, uh, with a great aesthetics and great design. And I enjoyed this combination of, you know, humanity and engineering, um, advanced system, and then how I enjoyed my bike book. And then Sasha told me, okay, maybe you want to write, uh, mark Haider. It’s like from Macaw Company. I work for, for almost 14 years, as for now. So it’s my mm-hmm. . And, uh, I, from my dorm room, I was trying to build an, uh, that, um, Mac desktop software because, um, I was in the Java development and worked in a outsourcing company.
You know, we had a project with telecommunication system, so completely different, uh, world from, uh, you know, creating, uh, Mac desktop software, but I enjoyed it. And then decided to join, uh, Alexander from the very beginning of Mepo. And, uh, here I created, uh, clean my Mac and Mac Hider and Gemini. And, uh, you know, when you start from a small company at the beginning, you do everything and it, it happened so that I became team lead and then, you know, strategy team and years ago, and now I’m a c of company for almost two and a half years, because we didn’t have, you know, sea level from the very beginning. We have had only ceo and everyone was, you know, equal . Yeah. . And so, and here I’m now with you, .

Charles Edge:
Well, that’s, that’s a great career arc. Um, I am lucky enough to have had a few times to meet up with Alexander over the years, and he is quite an impressive individual. Um, as are you. Uh, but do you mind, you know, since you were there at the, in the beginning with the Clean My Mac, um, do you mind a super quick story of how Mack P went from an independent software vendor to set? And maybe a little bit real quick about what Setup is?

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah, sure. Uh, set, uh, is, uh, was created in 2017, and Macau was founded in 2009. So it was like, uh, not our really first, uh, product. And it’s, uh, um, we call it as a kind of, if you want to ex explain it quickly, it’s kind of Netflix or apps. So it’s like a alternative to Mac store where you can find like, uh, more than around 300 apps as for today. Uh, but you pay one subscription price. And we have like, uh, our own, um, model of, um, how we distribute payments from users, that one month subscription fee among all the, uh, vendors, creators, creators of those apps. And we pay, um, to vendors only if, uh, user used, uh, an app during the month. So one, at least one use, and we distribute, like we have some formula and we distribute, uh, that money and how we come up with the idea.
Um, when we developing Clean My Mac and like, um, [inaudible] laughter, and it’s not enough just, uh, you know, create Mac application to, uh, sell it. You need to have some distribution platform. You need to have licensing system, uh, updates, um, you know, analytics crash report. And, and we, in 2008, uh, we started creating our own, you know, set of tools to cover those needs. And it was called Dev Made. Uh, we decided to make it public and to offer to other, uh, Microsoft developer because we weren’t the only one with those problems. And, uh, we had them made. And then, uh, all those, uh, revolution with the subscription begun, you know, there was a time that lots of services applications were trying to switch to this, uh, new, uh, ization scheme. And, um, one day Sasha just came and said, okay, let’s, I have an idea.
Let’s do something like this and, uh, let’s create some alternative to App Store, because we were selling software in, um, our website and through App Store. And, um, it was something new and more, maybe some next step step of dev made our platform something for vendors, because we are, we were familiar with working, working with developers. And, uh, those developers become our first, um, vendors at Step platform. So, so, and, uh, we, we had some discussions, but decided to do it because sa uh, Alexandra usually, you know, our, like, uh, the one these ideas, uh, always come, come up with ideas and say, okay, let’s do this. I have an idea, let’s do this. And we, we always, okay, let’s sync it more. And, you know, and then in, in eight months, we like released setup. It was quite a short, uh, development time.

Charles Edge:
Wow. That’s a great story. I, I, it really resonates developing tools and support of products and then seeing an opening in the market for others to be able to use those tools. Um, I, I, I think of companies like Azero or lots of different, um, different organizations that use the, that sell SDKs or, or what have you, but I, not a ton in the go to market side. And I remember the first time I heard about Setapp, I think it was Blake, um, who told, who was talking about it, and I was like, wow, that’s, that’s like the Amazon affiliate program for authors. It’s brilliant, , you know, and that was before Apple released the game, their, their game platform. So there wasn’t really any subscription based, uh, tooling out there. So thanks for telling us about that journey.

Tom Bridge:
When you started out with setup, you know, there really wasn’t a, a great subscription model for combining multiple pieces of software together. Sure. You could always subscribe to like Creative Cloud or, or, you know, office 365, but you know, it combining those across different vendors, uh, it’s gotta provide a lot of different challenges. What are, what were your goals that you set as your hallmarks as you were building the software so that you say it’s gotta be able to do this, that, and the other? And how did you get everybody else to kind of play into that, uh, framework?

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah, it was, uh, like maybe the biggest challenge, uh, to be attractive platform for both vendors and, uh, customers because we have like a dual job here. And, uh, begun with this huge, uh, like spreadsheet in numbers where, where we had this business model and we were playing and trying to find out this, you know, perfect formula. And, um, there were lots of ch challenges. Let’s say not all software is equal, some cost more and some cost less. And that’s how we come up Cheers idea, because you, you need to, to, um, uh, you can’t pay everyone equal cuz it’s, it’s not in music, music is kind of equal and so is mm-hmm. is not mm-hmm. because they provide different value. So we have, uh, cheers. And, uh, at the end, that model one and some, uh, uh, so simple as it was in the beginning because, um, like, um, you need to cover all this needs.
And then we were talking with vendors and trying to explain our idea, our model, and, um, we’re trying to get them into our platform. Yeah. So it, it’s ongoing process, uh, and we are still doing it, like talking with lots of, especially Indian developers. And for me it was like, you know, um, fun part because, um, I was, when you don’t know what some application you don’t know, uh, who developed it, which in our country, how big is the company who has these people? And this is how we were, like, it was, uh, nice to see that some app was created by a guy from, you know, small, uh, you know, town in Italy, let’s say. And, uh, you know, like different stories behind this application. It was really like my, one of my favorite parts, .

Charles Edge:
That’s one of my favorite parts about doing this podcast, , is hearing all the, all the stories. And I mean, we put it right up front, right, with origin stories typically. But, um, so that’s a excellent setting. So I think you said 12 or 14 years you’re doing this, and then we’ll include links to some well-written stories and assets in the show notes, so we don’t have to cover some of what’s already covered. But, you know, you, you grew and have lots of employees, many based in Kiev. When did you start planning for your office to potentially be taken over by an invasion?

Vira Tkachenko:
We started, uh, two months before 24th of February, because like, um, all those news was all around, uh, media. And we’ve seen, we’ve seen, um, this analysis from, um, intelligence, intelligence agencies from United, uh, states and uk. Uh, and we saw the satellite images of, you know, the troops, uh, that are all around Ukrainian borders in, uh, bill Russia. And we decided to, to do it in two months yet. But, uh, till the day of this full scale invasion, uh, we hoped that it’s impossible. So no one in our company was like, sure that it, uh, war will, you know, start, because, uh, for me it seems impossible that in, in 2022 in European country, it’s like possible to have such a, you know, it’s crazy what’s going on now. So we decided to start emotionally to emotionally, it was very not that easy task to do because you need to analyze all those risks and you, uh, you, uh, it’s, it’s very hard to believe and think about those situations that maybe we need to, you know, relocate or do something else, but it’s our job.
And, uh, it’s actually better to, uh, prepare in advance because it, when it, um, on 24th of February, uh, I was more ready because we analyzed all risks and we, uh, we did, you know, this, um, different, um, um, how to say it, different, um, options of, um, different kinds of situations. So have first one, uh, let’s say if Kyiv is occupied, uh, second one, uh, let’s say Kyiv is not occupied, but only Eastern Ukraine is occupied and different cases. And we, uh, did some, uh, case by case, uh, scenario planning and, um, uh, risks. Uh, we were like, uh, thinking about was, um, uh, like energy outage, internet, um, outage, uh, occupation of, uh, Kiev or office and so on and so forth. And for each risk, uh, we, um, we had like list of instructions we need to do to like mitigate it, uh, somehow. Yeah. So like it was two months in advance. Yeah. And, uh, is this what we were doing as a company, but each employee of, um, our company, uh, like each person was thinking for like, uh, herself, himself, what, uh, should, uh, they do for their own safety, for their own family. And some of them moved, uh, like out of Ukraine before invasion. Like it depends on a person, you know, style, how, um, he or she react to, uh, you know, this, uh, threats. Yeah.

Tom Bridge:
How different was it planning for invasion as it was to send people home during Covid, ? I know that the, you know, the, the root causes are, are so different and the emotional toll for, for the, you know, invasion has to be so much worse. But, you know, uh, structurally, was it different than planning to send people from home from Covid?

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah. First of all, uh, COVID, uh, like we didn’t have plan for Covid. Uh, like, you know, it just like, uh, it’s completely different preparation and, uh, COVID was also scary, uh, but it was only one, um, like a sh threat, uh, yeah, from virus. And here we have war is more complicated, complicated situation be because you have, you got, uh, like first of safety, safety, like physical safety, you can be killed than, uh, like problems with energy, problems with internet, business risks, because like a Sina company from some, you know, gray zone, uh, and, and so on. And we need to ensure that we are still operational and we can like, uh, we are doing great and our products are safe, and like lots of, uh, like more challenges. So it’s more complicated situation and it’s changing. It’s not, um, you know, the same because, uh, as for now, we almost one year, um, in the state of war, and, uh, like each week, uh, we still, uh, like have new problems to solve, so it’s not stable and still we don’t know how it’ll evolve and how it’ll land.
So it’s still, maybe we will have some new problems to, to solve. So it’s not the covid. Uh, and it’s, um, we actually were comparing it to Covid because, um, now our offices, it’s like back to, uh, like kind of normal state before Covid because, uh, as for now our office is, uh, um, like our, you know, uh, point of re resilience because here we have like, um, generators and, uh, two lines of, uh, internet and, uh, it was also blackouts. People are working from office because this is here, you can work. So, and, uh, our office is all quite alive, and here we have, uh, shelters and, you know, all we need, uh, to, to operate. Yeah,

Tom Bridge:
So, so Johnny Evans, uh, from Computer World, uh, you know, had a great article out on, uh, MACPA not too long ago. Uh, we’ll have that in the show notes for everybody watching at home. I strongly encourage people to go read it. They mentioned that, you know, you, uh, you used Champ as an MDM for the devices in your organization. As devices flowed into homes from offices, were there gaps that either required new software to be purchased or new software written to prepare for cyber attacks in homes and, you know, potentially across state-owned infrastructure by state actors? Uh, and were you able to fill, uh, you know, a any of those kind of things while, you know, while every, what everything else was going on?

Vira Tkachenko:
Hmm. Yeah. Um, it, it actually started like during the first weeks of war because, uh, we as a company, we share our opinion, uh, very publicly, so we are not like hiding. And we had some, uh, you know, um, some banners in our application, uh, that were targeted on, uh, for Russians. And, uh, we have a special blog post telling the truth about in Russian, the truth about what’s going on, because we want to, to fight, uh, Russian propaganda and to, uh, show them. So we, like quite, we were quite visible, and that’s why, um, we, uh, saw some cyber attacks, um, uh, on our infrastructure. And that’s why, uh, like it happened in the first months of war, we, uh, moved to CloudFlare as a protection because, um, we were thinking about moving to CloudFlare for dose protection and, um, other stuff. But, um, the situation of, uh, like make it more fast.
And, uh, they supported us and, uh, make it even free for like, just, you know, several months. And they had dedicated teams that helps Ukrainian businesses and government to protect from, uh, those, uh, cyber attacks. So CloudFlare was the first one, and then we created, um, uh, some more software in house, uh, for us and for other companies. Uh, and it’s called Spy Buster. It’s a small tool, uh, you can use on your MacBook or iPhone, and it just analyze, uh, it has static, uh, statical analysis and dynamic and analyze each application you have on your MacBooks or iPhone. And not only application, but it analyzes, uh, network connections and, uh, shows suspicious application. Let’s say if some app for some reason connects to some, you know, Russian, uh, , it’s a, it’s a good question. Why, why? Maybe it sends some data and, uh, sometime it’s not clear the real origin of application, uh, who created it, and maybe it could be connected with like a Russian, uh, you know, FS b, like those special military forces. Yeah. And it was cause quite popular applications and integrated, even even integrated in it inter as like module audio analyze and help user decide, um, and better protect their data, not, not to send it to Russia.

Charles Edge:
That’s awesome. Thank you for, for those contributions. And to put that in perspective, according to the JK talk you gave, which we’ll also link to in the show notes, setapp claims, um, to have one in five Mac that has software written or distributed via macpa, when we think of potential supply chain calamities, that is a large potential number of systems that could get impacted. Um, what kind of red or blue teaming do you do to find potential vulnerabilities and or I guess, protect those endpoints?

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah, first of all, it’s, uh, one, uh, in the five max, it was not about setup, it’s about all of our applications. So at least one piece of our software is installed, so it’s like setup has, uh, less, but still it’s, uh, futurist that it, it, uh, can be used to distribute, um, like any malware. So we, uh, like tried to, uh, very seriously. And, um, uh, that’s why we have internal information security team. And, uh, last year we, uh, obtained the SOC two certification for setup and improved our security processes. And for me, it was a huge project because like I was kind of responsible for it, and like it, we did lots of, uh, changes and improve our processes and so on. And, uh, we do like pen testing to check if everything is okay and, you know, like, cause security to be secure, you need to do like lots of, uh, things. And, uh, it’s, uh, it’s all about monitoring and quick reaction to any incident. And, uh, periodic internal audits and, uh, like external tests and, uh, you know, some security checks are integrated in our pipelines and like lots of stuff, uh, needs to be done to, uh, make sure it’s more secure. Yeah.

Charles Edge:
Yeah. I can’t, I can’t even imagine. I mean, with all the different types of apps and the way that they communicate with endpoints, I mean, putting some of those endpoints behind CloudFlare that yeah. Solves some of those issues. Um, and then making Spy Boss and other tools readily available. I, I guess that’s just more of you guys making tools that you develop to help develop tools available as tools themselves, I guess , which I love.

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

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Charles Edge:
You know, I, I would say I’ve grown to dislike the term resilience because it’s overused to tell people that they need to, what they need to be rather than what they are kind of. And I think this is something I learned from our co-host, Emily, um, to be honest. So it’s not an original me thing. She’s the smart high EQ person. I’m not, I’m an engineer, but at the risk of overusing the term, your team has been truly resilient, like a microcosm of the whole country. And we see it in updates to your apps, which aren’t covered by cnn, like grain shipments coming outta Ukraine might be, but are important to those of us who are customers. So do you mind telling us how, how those have gone and, and maybe what kind of, I don’t know, roadmap challenges. Tom’s a product manager, he’ll be happy to to talk about that all day long, but, um, but do you mind telling us how those have gone?

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah, it’s actually, it’s, they’re doing great, as for today, and, uh, like we released, uh, new software, we released several updates to climax and set up, and, uh, war changed even the future of one of our products. And I’m talking about clear p n as we have our on vpn. And so it was because, uh, before war we were kind of thinking about even sun setting this, this product because it’s actually wasn’t doing great. But with the war, we saw that Ukrainians needs Caribbean and, uh, like, like we saw this new, you know, opportunity and, and it’s more actually like a social product because we give it for free for Ukrainians. And, um, but now, like Clear European is growing and we are investing more and more in making more stable and accessible because of this, you know, uh, like to make it, um, useful for Ukrainians and, uh, especially on occupied territories because, uh, when the, the territories occupied and, uh, Russia tries to, you know, block, um, you know, free media and, uh, Ukrainian use media, and that’s why, uh, they need, uh, VPN to, to use.
Uh, and, uh, it’s about roadmap changes. Um, uh, speaking about like work process, we back to normal, uh, in, uh, March in, in the middle of March, um, because for the first three weeks, uh, we were emotionally, uh, like totally, I can even, it was crazy times. And, uh, we were not, um, like operational at all. So all we were doing is making sure our products are stable, and that’s it because, um, everyone is in our team. Uh, were focused on personal, uh, safety. Uh, some of people were trying to like relocate to Western Ukraine and like, because at the beginning of work, uh, Kyiv was like a, like, it was front frontline, so it wasn’t, it’s still not safe to be in Kyiv, but it, uh, it was more, more and more dangerous. But af in the middle of March, we decided to get, try to get back to normal work and, and we like opened all our plans, roadmaps and, uh, like just adopted them to the new reality.
Yeah. So actually we decided to continue all our strategies and we understood, uh, that, uh, it won’t be so fast as we used to because, uh, like you, especially in days of, you know, this massive shellings, uh, we, we actually don’t work because we, you know, we are thinking about completely different stuff, and you can plan, you know, like, uh, even talking about like usual sprint, let’s say, you can be sure that, uh, your team, you know, will be doing great during this period, and it affects our, our work a lot. Yeah. So, but, so we actually don’t change a lot, only clear repair and some new products and, um, we f we like, uh, made more focus on cybersecurity because of this new threats we saw, uh, and invested more like Bonnie and time. Um, and I think, um, like that’s it, but it’s, it changed all the time because this quite recent story, uh, with blackouts, it’s actually affects our BU business, uh, even more, uh, than like actual war because as engineers, all we need to do our job is like electricity and internet. And without it, this, it won’t be possible.

Tom Bridge:
So, you know, speaking about blackouts, you know, I can’t imagine having to plan for ballistic missiles as part of my, you know, project plan or product or org. You know, how have you managed to keep going considering how important the movement of electrons is to the whole computer thing that we do?

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah. Yeah. As I said, it’s like impossible to work without, uh, internet and electricity. And, uh, before, uh, those blackouts, I was like sometimes likely to say, is that all I need to do? My job is just notebook and internet. I can do it from, uh, wherever I am in any place of the world. Uh, but now it’s quite a challenge and to, to, to make it possible. Uh, we have our office, uh, as a main like destination where we have, uh, like generators and we have water. Because the problem is if you, when you have blackout,

Tom Bridge:
Can’t treat the

Vira Tkachenko:
Water, it’s not only about yeah, because this, uh, like pumps, they stop working. We have problems with canalization and, uh, you know, we have like, this problem is so, um, restrooms in our office because actually they, they’re not operational and it’s, it’s a problem when you have a huge office. Um, like we are all people. Yeah. But we like, um, it’s still doable. And, uh, we have, uh, two internet lines and we have starlings as a, a search channel of internet, um, and we cover, um, cowork, uh, coworking for our employees, uh, because, uh, not everyone can, uh, can be in the office because not everyone is in Kyiv as for now. And we cover those expenses and the power, um, uh, if, uh, someone wants to buy, um, uh, it’s, um, power, not, it’s not a power bank, it’s like, um, you know, battery, uh, EcoFlow and other companies provide like great, uh, you know, huge, uh, batteries. You, you can, uh, plug your router, MacBook and, uh, work, uh, and for critical, um, roles. So we have this, um, um, formed critical team. It’s, uh, people who support critical business functions. It’s, uh, people from finance team and infrastructure and, um, like other, um, duty engineers and, um, other people. And we provided them with starlink, uh, to make it possible to work. But, uh, part of our team, it’s around 30%, uh, um, um, are out of Ukraine. So it’s all also our plan of, uh, resilience. They can support our, uh, business. Yeah.

Charles Edge:
Wow. I, again, we as a former product manager myself, , I cannot imagine product manager. I, I cannot imagine, um, trying to plan for rolling blackouts due to ballistic missiles being heaved my direction. That’s, um, yeah,

Vira Tkachenko:
It’s great.

Charles Edge:
Good on you. But,

Vira Tkachenko:
But, but, but it can, uh, if you like, see a positive side, if it’s possible, you, uh, this blackouts, uh, if it’s, we have planned blackouts, uh, because we have not enough, uh, you know, generation capacity of, of our grid, and if you have, so it’s, it is a schedule and you know mm-hmm. , so you have four hours of electricity and then four hours of blackout, and it depends on where you live. Yeah. So you have, you have your own schedule, and it actually, it’s a great sync for, for your, um, you know, productivity because you have only four time, four hours of work. And so you have no time to, you know, just chill in , you know, YouTube or do whatever else because you have only four, four hours. And then you plan, you plan your, uh, work, um, like with this schedule and free hours of, um, blackout you plan, uh, like offline activities, let’s say with your family and something else. Yeah. So it can actually,

Tom Bridge:
I mean, I think about

Vira Tkachenko:
A positive thing. Yeah.

Tom Bridge:
It’s really focusing. There is no room for meetings that don’t matter. There is no room for engineering that isn’t important. There is no room for the things that, you know, can take up somebody’s daytime when it’s just like, no, I can’t afford that today. I have work that needs to be done. I have code that needs to be shipped. I have features that need to be built, and I’ve gotta spend the time to really kind of target my activities to meet those, you know, available windows. Yes. Yes. And so I, I admire immensely the amount of focus that has to take the amount of, uh, triage that has to take, and, you know, just the amount of resilience to borrow, Charles’s least favorite word that, that has to build into your product plan.

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah. Yeah. Thank you so much. And by the way, uh, I am, um, you know, this offline mode, you can personally, I download some, you know, we, we just, I want to watch some articles and I, uh, like, uh, respect those applications who has great offline modes, capability, let’s say Slack. It’s not a tool for you because you can, you can’t even search in it if you’re inline offline mode. It’s terrible. And, um, I, I enjoy this not cloud services because you can do some work, so you can open, let’s say pages and work on some document even in more focused mode, but it’s better not to use use, you know, cloud, uh, services.

Charles Edge:
Yeah,

Vira Tkachenko:
It’s new.

Charles Edge:
I, I guess I always just think about that in terms of when I’m on an airplane, if I don’t feel like getting on the internet Yeah. Because I want the time away. But a tool like Miro as an example, which lets me still work offline perfectly, you know, um mm-hmm. , yeah. I guess going through the entire tool set and being like, okay, well, what’s good offline? Um, yeah. You know, with all of that though, there have been contributions to the community, um, that, that have continued on. And by community, I mean Apple community. Um, and I can imagine it’s hard to think about the Apple community when there’s, um, a lack of sleep due to air raid sirens. But we’ve loved your open source contributions, and I, I think as Apple has maintained a breakneck pace with privacy controls, we saw the permissions kit GitHub project show up. How disruptive to the roadmap is just keeping pace with Apple, with or without the invasion. And what led to releasing Permissions kit as an open source project.

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah. Permissions kit was a, was an, an idea of one of our engineers, uh, you know, uh, to, to have some, um, open source and some contributions. It’s, in my experience, it almost always, you have some very, um, you know, enthusiastic individual can who, who just do this. And this was an idea of one of our engineers, uh, three. And, um, he wasn’t satisfied with all those, you know, APIs, apple provide to work with permission. Permission because there was an update of Tokos. I don’t remember exactly what, what was the version, uh, when they introduced lot, lots of new, uh, permissions, scholars and APIs for accessing like, let’s say your calendar. Um, like lots of, lots of stuff. And, um, and he decided to make it easier for, um, um, for community and for our, for engineers in our company, because we don’t have only one product.
Like we have lots of them. And, uh, we use permission, permission kit, kit inside our company. Uh, so it’s just a like, idea of permission kit, kit was to make it easier to use, uh, those APIs correctly. Uh, and, and that’s it. And about Apple, um, personally, I, I don’t support this, um, like even strategy to, um, to work with privacy, uh, with those alerts, uh, because from, in my opinion, doesn’t solve the problem, it just distract, um, user, and the user just used to those alerts. And actually it, uh, just, uh, it, it’s not the solution, but still, uh, we have it. And, uh, the biggest problem we see, uh, it’s like usual problem, uh, being Apple developer, uh, is that Apple, uh, doesn’t introduce those, um, changes in advance. You just, uh, like, uh, see or visit wwc. Okay, apple says, you okay, now we are doing this, and you can change it like very quickly.
You are trying to do it by like, uh, like discussing those changes and like, let’s say tech tos or labs or filing rather, but you can change it actually. And, um, like for me, this is the biggest problem. You just need to adapt just to try to solve, um, problems your application is solving with this new, uh, restrictions. Even like, I, I like, even if you disagree with the strategy of solvent privacy issues, but you working in the ecosystem to just change it. Yeah. And for us it’s like, um, because we have mostly system utilities, uh, like it’s a big, big challenge because like we, for to do our job, we need to have access to like, you know, lots of, um, uh, files and, uh, you need, we need lots of permissions, uh, to do this. Yes. That’s for us, it’s quite a challenge. Yeah.

Charles Edge:
All the files, .

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah. All the files. Yeah. . Oh yeah, . But it’s .

Tom Bridge:
Yep.

Sponsor:
Here at the Mac Admins podcast, we wanna say a special thank you to all of our Patreon backers. The following people are to be recognized for their incredible generosity. S Stu Bakka. Thank you. Adam sbe. Thank you. Nate Walk. Thank you. Michael Sai, thank you Rick Goodie. Thank you. Mike Boylan. You know it. Thank you. Uh, Melvin Vive. Thank you. Bill Steitz. Thank you. Aus Storyville. Thank you. Jeffrey Compton, M Marsh, Stu McDonald, Hamlin Cruin, Adam Berg. Thank you. AJ Petrek. Thank you. James. Tracy, Tim Pert of two canoes. Thank you. Nate Sinal, will O’Neill, Seb Nash, the folks at Command Control Power, Steven Weinstein, Che Swarth out, Daniel McLoughlin, Justin Holt, bill Smith, and Weldon. Dod, thank you all so much and remember that you can back us if you just saw head out, out to patreon.com/mac ADM podcast. Thanks everybody.

Tom Bridge:
So, you know, this week’s bonus question, it’s just for you, Vera, we, we usually ask the, the, the, the whole group, but I think in this case, we want to hear from, just from you on this one. Um, you know, h how do you think our listeners can support MacPaw and the war effort in, in Ukraine just in general?

Vira Tkachenko:
Okay. Uh, first of all, uh, thanks for all the support we have already, because without, uh, support from, you know, western countries, democratic countries, it, it won’t be possible, uh, um, that we will, uh, like, um, that we will be able to fight. Yeah. So actually it’s like huge support. So, uh, we even have a campaign and we call it [inaudible] because OU is, uh, saint you in Ukrainian, uh, and it has like, it’s a, a world play because at the end of OU there is you, so it’s you in Ukraine, in in English. So it’s like directed to your, first of all, uh, thanks a lot for, for all the great support, uh, we have. And, um, um, our company actually has, uh, our own, uh, foundation, um, uh, initiative. And, uh, we, uh, like have a team and, um, that, um, helps our military, um, uh, military guys.
And, uh, we cover tactical medicine needs and communication needs. And not mostly we’re focusing on medicine. And, uh, uh, we contributed around five, five and a half millions of, uh, dollars, uh, those needs our company. And we, uh, it’s an open donation, uh, foundation and we gather it around, um, 800,000, um, from our customers and from our partners, like anyone who want to contribute to our goals. So if you want to support, you can donate to Foundation and, uh, uh, we will, uh, focus those money to what, uh, we and our army and our people need, uh, for now. Because, you know, needs are always changing. Like it’s, for now it’s, uh, generators and let’s say starlink, and because of cold, uh, we need something to, uh, hit, uh, uh, our soldiers. So it’s always changing. Yeah. So support Foundation,

Tom Bridge:
I, I had the pleasure of watching President Zelensky. Uh, I addressed the Congress here in the, in in, yeah, I live in Washington DC it’s my home. And so a lot of big events become, you know, a lot of big national events become local events to us mm-hmm. , uh, and it was a great pleasure to watch him address the Congress. I thought felt that his speech, um, very clearly understood the mission. Uh, and, uh, I, I particularly enjoyed the part where he is like, well, figure out how to drive your tanks. Just send them, yeah. , uh, . And I was pleased to see news this morning that, uh, that, that the United Kingdom has started that process of sending over some, some additional armor. Uh, so, you know, our, our, our hope is that this podcast finds your people at peace and that it finds your people safe.
And we strongly encourage the top link in this week’s show notes is the Macpa Foundation. Um, and I’m just gonna come out and say it, you know, if you donate to the Macpa Foundation and send me a copy of the receipt either on Mastodon or on the Mac admin Slack, I’ll match it up to a thousand dollars. So, you know, it is important that we support the people who support our community, and these are people who are building incredible software for Mac admins and for Mac users all over the world. And, you know, having that, that, that, that vibrant community means having that vibrant community no matter where they are and no matter if they’re at risk or not. And so let’s do some good out there, Mac admins, you know how to do that. And then I’m easy to find on the Mac admin Slack, cuz I use my real name and I’m t bridge@theinternet.social on Masteron. So send me a post there and we’ll match up to a thousand dollars.

Vira Tkachenko:
Okay. Thank you so much, Tom. Thank you,

Tom Bridge:
Vera, thank you so much for joining us this week. If folks, while I follow, follow the work that Macpa is doing, I mean, I know that there’s macpa.com, um, are, are you guys planning to be any place anytime soon to have big announcements or where can folks find out more about macpa?

Vira Tkachenko:
It’s actually a macpa.com and we have, um, like very like live, um, Instagram page and Twitter page so you can check out and too.

Tom Bridge:
Awesome. I, I also follow your, your director of marketing arena beg on uh, LinkedIn and I always love her posts cuz I think that she’s got a really unique take. So, uh, I’ll make sure to throw her LinkedIn into the, uh, profile as well. So, uh, she’s great. Follow. Um, and of course, uh, thank you so much for joining us this week. Uh, thank you so much to our wonderful sponsors, Kanji and Collide. Thanks to everybody who’s backing us on Paton and, uh, thanks everybody. We’ll see you next time. See you next time.

Vira Tkachenko:
Yeah, thank you. Stay safe.

Outro:
The Mac Admins Podcast is a production of Mac Admins Podcast LLC. Our producer is Tom Bridge. Our sound editor and mixing engineer is James Smith. Our theme music was produced by Adam Codega the first time he opened GarageBand. Sponsorship for the Mac Admins Podcast is provided by the MacAdmins.org Slack, where you can join thousands of Mac admins in a free Slack instance. Visit macadmins.org. And also by Technolutionary LLC: technically, we can help. For more information about this podcast and other broadcasts like it, please visit podcast.macadmins.org. Since we’ve converted this podcast to APFS, the funny metadata joke is at the end.

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