About the World Wide Walrus
I'm a programmer at heart, a software engineer by day, and an idealist for life.
Computers are both my hobby and my livelihood, but being a perfectionist I refuse to rely on insecure and unstable bloatware. Instead I rely on GNU/Linux as my primary business and development platform. I am also drawn, however, to the fringes of computing where cool computers lurk and never die.
When I'm not designing and writing software, I race virtual Formula 1 (GPL), brew my own beer (or drink it), read Gene Wolfe's works or Lord of The Rings (among many others), ride my bike, listen to music, play guitar, race rats, fill the attic with cash, or play with my daughter Veronika.
I was one of the very first that partook in the 1997 founding of one of the hottest technology companies in the Washington D.C. area: Blackboard Inc., where I was working until mid-2001 with Java and Perl to help Bring Education Online. If you are in any way involved with distance learning (as a student, instructor, faculty, or administrator) or you simply need a structured and securable way of putting learning materials online then you owe it to yourself to know about Blackboard. You can even create a course for free at the URL above!
Before that I worked for one of the ``big six'' (five, four,…) accounting and consulting firms in Washington D.C., where my long hair and permanently casual dress made more than one ``suit'' uncomfortable (though my boss (Greg Baroni) was a very cool guy!) The suits, they make me sad. But it was highly educational, this exposure to the corporate world. Dilbert is dead-on!
For a long time before that I worked at the University of Maryland, College Park, where I developed powerful ``Online Application Processor'' software (capable of building, verifying, and processing an arbitrary number and style of online admissions forms), built an alternate PC-based application program, webmastered the home page of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and wrote and maintained over 150,000 lines of custom code to maintain, integrate, and streamline a large number of operations. My old boss made me aware of the fact that they've long moved on to a different online application system, which is hugely successful. Nice to know that I was there to help get the ball rolling, even though it's no longer my software that's behind it.
And if you've read this far and you've been actually asking yourself all this time ``Why Walrus?'' then you should know that the story behind the handle is far less exciting than you might think. It has nothing at all to do with that Beatles tune. In fact, it involves an Alan Parsons song. It involves a small alabaster walrus that served as a mascot on a six-week trip in 1987. It involves strange tales of strange lands and an even stranger dance. But let that be all the insight you shall gain.
Be still now, be calm.
Would this web page be complete without me throwing at you all the computer-y things I know? Hardly. Useless or not, here's machine-gun fire of buzzwords to get you all excited. Ready? Here goes:
Java, CORBA, RMI, JDBC, JNDI, JCE, JSSE, LDAP, XML, Amiga, C, Unix, Linux, HTTP, Beer (wait a minute!…), Graphics, 3D, computer science, databases, clever algorithms, stupendous hacks, beer (another one? why not!), Perl, AWK, grep, sed, Bovine RC5-64, Java Java Java.
There, was it as good for you as it was for me?
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