A Little About Myself

[This was written as an assignment for a seminar I took a few years ago; and I'll share it to help you catch a glimpse of the person...]

I’m a computer systems design consultant with almost forty years experience in hardware and software systems design and implementation. I “speak” more than a dozen programming languages; and have hands-on experience with twice that many commercial computer systems. The bulk of my work has been in new product (hardware and software) design and development. Every one of my projects during those forty years have been successful, meaning that for my portion of each project, specifications have been met or exceeded, the project was completed on or ahead of schedule, and that the project was completed within the allocated budget. In the new product development area, every one of the products I developed or helped to develop made it to market. These products include the first floppy disk drives (IBM’s Igar), the first Winchester technology disk drives (IBM’s Gulliver), the first of the low-cost band printers (IBM’s Lynx), the first of the cardless keypunch data entry systems (IBM’s 3741 workstation), and the first 60-second complete body fluid chemical analysis device which required less than 10 microliter samples (Kodak’s Ektachem-400). I'm proud that my major employers/clients have enjoyed a payback ratio on my services in excess of 1000:1 and that my work has contributed to the saving of thousands of lives and millions of dollars.

My strongest points have been my ability to make meaningful progress almost immediately on any new project; my ability to generate, maintain, and share enthusiasm for the work at hand; my ability to operate as a team player; and my willingness to accept responsibility for the outcome of my own and others’ efforts. I equate responsibility with freedom and have enjoyed considerable freedom in the exercise of my abilities.

My greatest strength lies in the area of new paradigm design. I have a knack for combining performance optimization with “belt-and-suspenders” reliability, and seem able to consistantly arrive at satisfying balances in situations where others seem to go overboard in either one direction or the other. I maintain a healthy respect for old paradigms and enjoy the challenge of developing new paradigms which produce better results with fewer resources. As a consultant I have had no “turf” to defend, and have enjoyed working in environments where my primary loyalty was to the quality of the result, rather than to political factions which variously advocated the “old way” or the “new way”.

On the personal level, I'm divorced with two grown sons. I'm an amateur radio operator (WB0YEF) and enjoy experimental radio work and long quiet conversations on the air with old and new friends all around the globe. I enjoy sailing, fencing (foil), hunting, fishing, playing volleyball, reading, architectural design, and photography. I enjoy walking in the woods and having long relaxed conversations with friends. I'm an amateur cabinetmaker and love working with wood to combine beauty and function. I really enjoy teaching situations where I can see “my” learners digest what I teach, and have taken considerable satisfaction in teaching high school math at all levels, computer systems and programming, and fundamentals of radio communications. I enjoy typography and writing both technical articles and poetry for personal satisfaction and for publication. I enjoy sharing.

I'm a capitalist and believe in the golden rule and that everyone should carry their own load; and have attempted to live accordingly by supporting my own family and by giving back to the community what service I could as volunteer fire-fighter, volunteer rescue squad member, candidate for local school board, member of public school committees and task forces, scoutmaster, ham radio storm and tornado spotter, member-supporter of the local art center, active chamber of commerce member, and paratrooper in the regular army. I hope to leave the world a better place for my having been here.

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