Employment History Notes
Apple killed their innovative "aging" 17-year-old MacOS, the only commercially
viable WYSIWYG operating system that ever existed,
and replaced it with a creaky "modern" 35-year-old system from the Dark
Ages, adding a thick layer of makeup to cover the wrinkles, and called
it "OSX" (Oh-Ess-Ex, also known as "the former OS" :-) I want my Mac back.
This is an on-going (unfunded) project to rebuild what was unique and superlative
about the MacOS from publicly available parts. I'm also using it to keep
my Windows and Linux skills up to date.
These are notes to the specific employment lines in my
This (unfunded) project idea came out of my dissertation research. I tried
to get Wycliffe interested in it,
but as the world's acknowledged experts in linguistics they know
that machine translation (MT) cannot work. And they
are right! Except BibleTrans doesn't do it that way. The part that makes
so hard, BibleTrans does by manual effort. When people (including individual
Wycliffe linguists) take the time to see what BibleTrans does, they are
favorably impressed, so I thought being able to show a working program
their language would be a door-opener. The American church
and its extensions (like Wycliffe) are not as interested in Bible translation
as their documents let on. I'm still pushing this idea, but not as hard.
I ran out of savings in 2002 and had to go back on a salary to recover.
In 2014 I stopped because the software is working. I seem unable to market
it: other people need to get involved, and I lack the skills to sell them
on it. I'm an inventor and a teacher, but not a salesman.
I went to grad school and got a PhD in computer science specifically so
that if my consulting business went south, I could teach. I like teaching,
and I can do it. I may not be as good at it as some professionals, but
I'm certainly better than most of my own college teachers. Unfortunately
there were misunderstandings at SBU. I mistook their public posturing for
corporate policy, and they mistook my
loyalty and integrity for hostility. I have subsequently clarified
teaching philosophy to prevent possible future misunderstandings. Before
I accepted employment at SBU I insisted on seeing their procedures for
problem resolution. The procedures were good. The established procedures
were not followed in my case. What can I say?
I was not looking for it, but they came recruiting at the university as
I was finishing up my PhD. I decided it was a good opportunity. Unfortunately,
they were looking for "research" (by which they mean the ability to obtain
Federal grant money), not teaching. I'm a lousy salesman. Tenure being
a lost cause, when a former industry client came looking, I went back to
Industry Consulting (1970-1985, 1989-1995, 2009+)
My early experience in programming was at a government laboratory, about
which by law I can say very little. When they closed the lab, I struck
out on my own doing contract programming in (then new) microprocessors.
Most of that work was under Non-Disclosure Agreements, so again I cannot
say much, except that it involved embedded systems and operating systems
and compilers and communications and security. I continued this work through
grad school, but stopped briefly to take an appointment at Kansas State.
I subsequently became an expert in Macintosh software, and made a good
living selling products into that market. That came to an end in 2002 when
Apple killed the system. Unix (OSX) is an entirely different system, requiring
entirely different skills. There is already a large body of Unix experts
coming out of the universities, and a huge learning curve. My plan for
teaching was to learn C/C++ in the first year, Windows and Linux the second
year, and networking the third. The first two years went as planned, but
the third year didn't happen. I am picking up networking skills on my own,
but there's a lot there, much more than most people who claim to be expert
I'm back into doing some contract programming, but the hurdles are high.
Maybe I can get back into teaching, if I can find an institution with
a high priority on teaching students to think.
I can still code circles around most programmers I know, if the employers
can handle it, but high productivity tends to threaten the status quo.
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