Well, that's going to have to wait a bit - getting all this stuff down on paper, even if it is digital paper, takes more than a bit of time. Making the whole thing make sense will take even longer, I suppose...
But first, time for something completely different. Here are a couple of minor things I had hanging around that I wanted to get up on my brand-spankin' new web site right off the bat (not in order of any aprticular importance!)
"On two occasions I have been asked, 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems. -- Jamie Zawinski
OK, back the trivia. In brief, I'm a more-or-less native Pittsburgher - born in McKeesport, raised in White Oak, attended St. Angela Merici grade school, Serra Catholic high school, and finally suffered through four years of college at Carnegie Mellon University, where I graduated in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science.
Things being what they are, after college, I immediately had a job waiting for me in the U.S. Navy (you didn't think I paid for that CMU education all by myself, now, did you?) I spent a year in San Diego, bouncing between Navy training schools, before finally ending up on the USS Wabash (AOR-5).
I spent two-and-a-half years on board the Wabash, which - to be honest - I really enjoyed. I got to know many good people, a couple of which I still keep in touch with, even though we're all pretty much scattered across the country now. I visited Japan, Korea, Mexico, Canada, and Australia, and finally learned what the term "sleep deprivation" really means.
I also managed to get married to Shari Miller, the other "S. Robb" that inhabits this site with me :-) On top of that, I saw more water than most human beings can reasonably imagine. All told, though, I had a blast, and learned a lot of leadership skills in the process (they don't lie to you about that part).
Which is why, when I got out of the Navy, I decided to become a computer programmer. After dealing with managing people for 3 years or so, give or take a few months, I was pretty darned happy to have a job where I could at least turn off the source of my frustrations at the end of each day. I worked for the Great Lakes Behavioral Research Institute doing accounting software in FoxPro at first. While I was there, I was fortunate enough to be working with some very nice, and very competent, people who taught me more than a little about what it means to plan to build software, as opposed to just building it.
That came in handy when I left to take the job as head programmer/network administrator/ webmaster/system administrator/janitor at Clinical Tools, Inc. If you didn't guess from the job title, it was a rather small company. I had the chance there to refine my programming skills with C\C++, work on some multimedia development, and learn quite a bit about Windows NT and Windows 95. Being a die-hard Mac fan, I was pleasantly suprised by Windows NT - a Microsoft operating system that I can actually appreciate, both as a user and a programmer.
By agreement, my employment at CTI was only for a few months - I packed as much into that time as I could. When I left, we had produced two prototype CD-ROMs for mental health education (Clinical Depression and Schitzophrenia), built a pretty good web site, and managed to impress someone at the Department of Health enough that they gave CTI a grant\ to continue their multimedia education projects.
When I left, I had the good fortune to hook up with the Empirical Media Corporation - at the time, another small startup, hell-bent on producing new technology for the real- time filtering of digital content from the Internet. We grew a bit, changed our name to WiseWire, grew a bit more, gained the notice of the big boys, and consequently were acquired by Lycos.
So, quite without meaning to, I found myself working for Lycos. I enjoyed working there for about half a year, before deciding it was time to move on. The primary reason was a company called CoManage, which had a bunch of brutally smart people doing interesting things in order to help manage large networks.
Unfortunately for CoManage - and myself - the bottom fell out of CoManage's target marget. In order to cut costs and keep the company alive long enough to shift markets, CoManage ended up laying off about 55 folks, including yours truly. I ended up joining TimeSys, which is - again - a bunch of smart people doing interesting things with embedded systems development environements. I've always wanted to work on an IDE, they needed someone to work on their IDE... so far, it's been a pretty good match.
Well, all good things come to an end - and so it was with my stint at TimeSys. I'm now working at the Pittsburgh office of Network Appliance, where I'm learning more than I ever wanted to know about scalable file systems. Lots of fun - no, really! - but very challenging work, too, and Netapp is really a great company to work for.