«What is past is prologue; study the past.»
«Things that are fun are intrinsically worth doing; you don't have to justify doing them.»
-Alan Kay

It should become readily apparent, as you journey through this document, that I have more than a curious interest in the past. If nostalgia can be defined as "a fantasy that never takes place; one that maintains itself by not being fulfilled" then I am not the nostalgic sort; I prefer to do more than reminisce.

What is past does, by no means mitigate my interest in the future. I enjoy reading SF novels (I have a preference for hard-core sci-fi over esoteric fantasy-fiction), I did enjoy watching Star Trek re-runs (I've stopped waching watching television altogether, now) and make the claim that the greatest motion-picture to date is Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

«No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.»
-Oscar Wilde
«The real artist has no pride.»

I like to claim that I'm really an artist (but not a real artist), and that my interest in hacking is just a hobby (no one's paid me for my art, though); I do enjoy both equally. My approach in designing and coding software tends to be rather more artistic than scientific (Knuth Titled his lessons of wisdom The Art of Computer Programming not The Science of Computer Programming).

People have always had rather favourable comments about my art and until recently, not much comment on my hacks. Things have changed. Not only did an engineer at Sun comment favourably on my abacus applet, but it also won an honourable mention in the first Java programming contest. The applet has also been featured in Hooked On Java and is soon to be featured in 3 more books.

I have also been receiving favourable comments on my latest free app, xmotd, so perhaps, I'm improving with age.

« Zen mind is not Zen mind. That is, if you are attached to Zen mind, then you have a problem, and your way is very narrow. Throwing away Zen mind is correct Zen mind. Only keep the question, "What is the best way of helping other people?"»
-A very wise Zen master
«Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that gave to mortals, a means to mighty ends»
«People make a mistake who think that my art has come easily to me...There is not a famous master whose music I have not studied over and over. »
-Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

I'm currently working on the Axon Project. Sorry, but I can't say any more because I signed enough NDAs to choke a small mammal, which is why I write free software as a form of redemption...

...Given that the road to redemption is long and arduous, I still have a ways to go 'til complete redemption; this is a list of some my software that will accompany me on my journey:

o xabacus (simulation of a Chinese abacus including a "teach-me" mode). I can claim that xabacus was the first-ever application posted to Usenet (comp.sources.x) from Ryerson (this was a big deal, at the time; our connection to the Internet was a tenuous UUCP link). xabacus was to have been the first of many programs preserving ancient computing machinery.

o xep (a 2-hour hack that can be used to monitor ethernet-packet traffic load)

o xsecure (a transparent screen-locker which I ported from X10 to X11R4 to work with xfishtank (written by Eric Bina, one of the developers of xmosiac))

o xmotd a message-of-the-day browser for X (the very first release was a half-hour coding hack done just before the start of the school year so the department could make announcements to students); this is my most recently (Aug. 1994) posted (to comp.sources.x) client; the latest version is 1.13 beta.

o javacus (simulation of a Chinese abacus) implemented as a Java applet.

My plan was to write and release one new, free application every year, but xmotd has now been evolving for two years, and I have received several good ideas for extending it, so it's going to be some time before I can undertake a new project (I'm aiming for something whimsical and frivolous; I've written far too much serious software).

Books recently read...
...and recommended:

«I have seen the future/And brother let me tell you, it is murder»
-Leonard Cohen
Something I look forward to doing, is writing and illustrating children's books; the economy of words, and the simple beauty of the illustrations, is what I find appealing about wanting to try it.

«So maybe I will never reach that wonderful time of wisdom and maturity when I know the answers to all the questions that continue to worry me. But maybe just to go on asking them is enough.»
-Frederik Pohl, _The Annals of the Heechee_
«O was an oyster
who lived in his shell
When people left him alone
he felt perfectly well.»
-Edward Lear

Last modified: Sat Feb 24 12:25:50 EST 1996