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The greatest labor in creating the File Watcher was finding the JNIWrapper class library. Truth be told, Stephen Suess, my manager here at the LA Weekly IT department, found the tool. Neither of us had the time to spend learning the low-level ins and outs of the OS X file system architecture; the JNIWrapper library was the right tool at the right time. (Stephen is a wiz when it comes to finding tools.)

The people at JNIWrapper were very easy to work with. They were attentive to our needs, answering technical inquiries quickly and comprehensively. The library sells for $120, which is a bargain given how many man-hours of coding it saved us.

There is little question that the Internet is changing the way all of us work and play. But who would have thought that you could use HTTP—the fundamental building block of the Internet—to solve the low-level problem of having a machine running the Windows operating system know about the file system state of a machine running OS X? Go figure.

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