Spotlight: Mark Allan

Who are the people behind the technology that we love so much? We know the products, the websites, the online personalities but we want to learn more! 

Every week here at, we will spotlight a company, developer or person that supports Apple users by creating solutions or entertainment for the Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and other platforms we all use and love by asking them to answer seven questions.

This week, we turn our attention to Mark Allan of Canimaan Software Ltd

1 – How did you get your start in technology?

Ever since I was very young we always had computers in the house – I remember starting with a ZX Spectrum and then one year Santa brought an Amstrad CPC 464….with strict instructions that it had to be shared with my two older sisters.  They never really showed any interest in it, so to all intents and purposes, I was the only one using it.

I remember seeing a program in BASIC written in one of the Boy Scouts annuals I had at the time, and spending an entire day one summer copying it out to see what it did.  I’ve been hooked ever since.

2 – What is your favorite computer of all time?

I know this is going to be controversial, but I’d have to say the Performa 630. It was my first Apple Mac, and I still have very fond memories of it.

3 – Tell us about your latest product

That would be ClamXav. It’s antivirus software for OS X, and has been my baby for about 12 years. I recently turned it from a hobby into a commercial product and am now working on it full time.

Part of the attraction of ClamXav is it’s speed and small footprint on your computer – it does its job effectively and doesn’t slow down your computer or get in the way of you using your computer for whatever it is you’re trying to do.

We’re getting ready to release a big update to ClamXav v2.9 (a free update to all registered users) and we’re very excited about some of the new features it will bring.

4 – What was your first job?

When I was about 16 years old, I worked in an Italian delicatessen in my home town of Edinburgh – stacking shelves and cleaning trays in the kitchen/bakery. I think my official job title was something like Gofer/General Dogsbody!

After that, I got speaking to an independent wedding photographer who wanted a website and to move away from doing all orders/billing on paper, and to “computerise” his business.  In the mid-late 1990s this was actually quite forward thinking.  I jumped at the chance and got my first taste of doing an IT-based job, working on my own terms, and I liked it!

5 – What advice would you give to younger people just getting into technology?

Don’t be afraid to try something. If it works out, great. If not, then it’s better to try and fail – at least then you’ll know. Also, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re not capable of doing something. If you want to do it, just do it!

6 – Who was your inspiration?

That’s actually a really tough question to answer. There are a couple of people from my past who would qualify, but one stands out for a curious reason. He was a teacher in my school who told my dad at a parents’ evening that it was unlikely I’d pass my Physics exam and that he had no intention of appealing if I didn’t pass.  It annoyed me so much that I worked my socks off to prove him wrong and I ended up getting an A in the exam!

I think that’s when I realized that anything is possible if you want it enough and put your mind to it.  In fact, that probably explains my answer to your previous question.

7 – Where can people follow you online, and what is your website?

Our website is and we’re currently putting together a Facebook page for news, updates and helpful hints.


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