Captain FTP has been sailing the seas of Mac OS X for five years now since it set sail from the port of Hamburg on the Elbe. During this time it has grown and matured into the majestically sturdy craft that swiftly parades the high seas.
As part of our birthday celebrations we would like to share with everyone the story and the motivations behind the birth of Captain FTP. What better place to start than the beginning in the port itself.
For many centuries Hamburg has been connected with the sea as one of Europe's largest trading ports. For centuries it protected the trading routes on the Elbe and Alster rivers allowing for trade between Europe and the rest of the world, fighting off invading Vikings and even the occasional denizen of the sea, the pirate. Hamburg today is still a thriving city heavily connected with the sea, maintaining its position as a 'Gateway to the World'.
Against this backdrop on a warm summer evening a couple of friends were enjoying some 'Hefeweizen', a locally brewed beer, discussing the days events and enjoying the cold soothing effects of the amber nectar after a hot mid summers day. Both friends were avid Mac enthusiasts and with the help of the Hefeweizen it wasn't long before the conversation turned to their shared passion, the Mac.
In these days Mac OS X was still an emerging shining light and not many developers were making applications for Mac. A lot of the applications that existed were poor copies from the dark side and didn't really capture the imagination of these two particular Mac lovers. Grumblings could be heard emanating from their table interrupted by the occasional trumpeting of the horns from merchant ships navigating the nearby river.
The conversation flowed for a while, complaints about the performance of the new OS, instability of the few applications running on this latest offering, Apple's great hope to give sanctuary and hope to its' enthusiastic followers marooned in Windows infested seas.
Another round of Hefeweizen arrived at the table not only bringing more refreshment but a pause to the conversation. The silence didn't last long however and was broken by the sound of Mariusz's fist thumping on the table "Lets make our own application" he exclaimed. Laughter was the response from the other side of the table accompanied by suggestions that they must be putting something in the beer.
"No seriously we could do it, we could make something ourselves for OS X, after all we (Xnet) do have plenty of experience providing solutions to customers on multiple OS, why not Mac too?".
Perhaps it was the beer or maybe their sheer enthusiasm for Mac but they started seriously discussing how they would go about developing an application for Mac from scratch. The conversation went on and it really seemed plausible, Wolfgang likened their plan to that of the pirates who daringly boarded the merchant ships centuries earlier. They would be renegades or pirates with a mission to provide not plunder, it wouldn't be easy but they would give it a go (this might have been the beer talking). This romantic idea proved very popular with the others.
OK the idea was there to make something, there was enthusiasm to be daring and embark on an exciting project but what to make. It had to be something small to begin with but it couldn't be a gimic, it had to be something that they could find use for themselves.
Over the coming days and weeks they would relax after work, amusing themselves with talk of achieving this dream. Many problems were shared, Mac loving friends were invited to share their experiences (and a few beers) and they discussed until a way forward seemed apparent. They all agreed that they should play to their strengths and this was/is in providing data/communication solutions. They decided that the movement of data the most was critical for Mac users and FTP the best way to do it.
They would build an FTP application for Mac.
Four months later the dream was realized when the first version of Captain FTP was launched onto the high seas, the dream had been achieved.
Note: we do point out that these are not the exact words that were used but reflect the sentiments and intentions at the time, and we tried to shorten it to make it more enjoyable to read.
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