Upclose & Personal with Mike Blaguszewski.

Posted Feb 21 2006, 12:00 AM


The Ambrosia HQ continues to expand as the number of games and utilities in our catalog rises. With this increase, so does the number of crew members here at Ambrosia Software. One of the most recent additions to the Ambrosia Crew is Mike Blaguszewski, a talented programmer who had taken on the role of making sure that Easy Envelopes works properly and has been busily working away on some new (yet unannounced) utilities. Pledging to continue helping us create some of the handiest utilities and most addictive games out there for the Mac! 
Ambrosia Software: Joining me in the Ambrosia lounge today is Mike, the resident Ambrosia Cocoa Hacker. I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join me here on the comfy leather couches of Ambrosia. 
Ambrosia Software: So, you have been at Ambrosia since September, how do you like it so far? 
Mike B: It's a cool place to work. The people here are funny, genuine, have good taste in beer… And I'm working on the kind of software that I would want to use myself. The standards are higher for consumer software than other areas in the industry, but I'd rather have the challenge. 
AS: You seem rather gifted in your understanding of computers and their programs, can you tell us a little bit about you background? 
MB: Well, I've been using Apple hardware literally for as long as I can remember. Started off with a souped-up Apple ][e, that had a 1200 baud modem, and two floppy drives. And I've had a bunch of Macs, including a Plus and a Mac clone. I did go to school for computer science (Penn State '04), but a lot of what I know comes from messing around on my own. Before Ambrosia, I worked on speech synthesis, including doing a Mac port. 
AS: So what was your first impressions of the office when you came in here? ...Aside from the squawking parrot, and a 120 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback trying to sniff your groin... 
MB: Yeah it goes without saying that none of us will ever be able to forget Hector. It's also the only office that I've had to take off my shoes in. But the slippers sure are swanky. 
AS: You seem to be settling in rather well here at Ambrosia HQ, especially considering you had gotten the PR guy John's old office, not that he's bitter or anything, but you know how he really loved that desk, and the shelves... but, I'm getting off-track. Has there been any difficulties for you to overcome so far? 
MB: Well, there was the 45-minute commute on the bus until recently. That kinda sucked. And I hadn't really intended to become an expert on Chinese and Japanese envelope layout, but now that I am I'm sure I'll find some use for it. 
AS: You have a most unusual last name. It is a little secret amongst the other Ambrosia employees, that almost everyone here still has difficulties pronouncing your last name. Are there any tips or tricks you would like to share with us, and the readers, on how to pronounce it? 
MB: My family says it BLAG-uh-ZEUS-key. If you know Polish you'd pronounce it differently, and every once in a while someone gives me that one, but I'll take either. I'm lucky if I can even spell it to someone without them getting it wrong. 
AS: Are you intimidated by the fame and prestige that comes with working for Ambrosia Software? 
MB: Well, having been a fan myself back in the '90s, I thought I knew what to expect. But I actually met a guy on a train recently who was blown away that I was an actual Ambrosia employee. So maybe I should be intimidated.  
AS: You are the Cocoa Hacker? By this title is it safe to assume that you are a professional warm chocolate milk drinker with a chronic lung infection? 
MB: Cocoa is how all the cool kids write software for OS X. And that's supposed to be hacker-in-the-good-sense, so it's just a cutesy way of saying I'm a Mac programmer. I write code, fix bugs, create bugs, pretty much what you'd expect. 
AS: You recently got back from California did you not? Rumor has it you went there to kill a man just to watch him die... Is this true, or is it possibly a plot to defame you put into motion by your enemies? 
MB: Actually, it turned out the guy just owed Hibbs money. Go figure.  
AS: You "Lost" me with that answer.. heh 
MB: Eh... whatever. If people don't get it, it just makes me that much more l33t, right? 
AS: Exactly!!  
[editors note: "Lost" humor! This is because most of the Ambrosia Crew is addicted to ABC's castaway program. Now back to the questions.] 
AS: Aside from wowing everyone with your mad programming skills, what other things do you enjoy doing? Do you have any hobbies, skills, talents that you would like to share with our readers? 
MB: The two that come to mind are cooking Italian food (I make a mean risotto) and playing charades. So apparently my true calling is to host classy dinner parties, or something. 
AS: You come from a literary family, I have been told. Does you mother consider your writing of computer code similar to her writing books? 
MB: I don't know if she would. But I think there's some similarity in just being an author of something, and taking in pride in having created it. Also, I did once write software to help her manage her writing projects, which was a kind of cross-over. 
AS: If you could have one Super Mutant Power, what would it be and Why? 
MB: Retractable Wolverine claws would be cool. But I think I'm more the Batman type. Those mutants have it too easy. 
AS: What is your favorite Ambrosia title and why? You can cheat and say Easy Envelopes Widget to help boost your own ego if you really want to. But, the judges might consider that cheating. 
MB: Definitely the original Escape Velocity. I can't count the amount of time I spent playing that in high school. It just felt there was such an expansive universe to explore there. Harry the Handsome Executive was also pretty fun. I loved the concept. Oh, and our utilities are great too. Go utilities! 
AS: So, what sort of products do we have you working on now? 
MB: Well, I'm unsure if it's been declassified from top-secret or not. So, it might not be safe to disclose everything. All I can say is: File Transfer! 
AS: It seems as though our time here is up, and I would hate to take too much away from your busy day. I would like to thank you for joining me in the Ambrosia Lounge and letting the world know more about the Man, the Myth, the Legend, Mike Blaguszewski.


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