02 April, 2007

Some Coders that Stand Out in My Mind

   No, no, no..  Unlike in the movie “Antitrust", I never was fortunate(?) enough to work in an environment like “The Egg”.  I’ve never worked for a huge computer company or internet startup during their heyday such as Google, Netscape (back in the day) or Apple though after reading of some of the stories of those of have, I feel like it must’ve been a blast (albeit tiring).  I can however say that I’ve met a multitude of interesting people over the years and would like to mention just a few of them here, with the hope of eventually getting in contact with one or more of them in the future.

    I will try to keep everyone in a quasi-chronological order for the sake of clarity when discussing the environment in which I interacted with said individuals.


    Joseph ‘Joey’ Springer III:    Joey was my neighbour as a child who happened to live right around the corner.  We both had obsessions with computers from the earliest days of our youth.  His father was Joseph Springer, Jr., an engineer at RCA and ultimate provider of an early teletype machine along with a seemingly endless supply of punch cards with which we would goof around for countless hours.  While we never coded together, he was a close friend whose intelligence shone through at all times, not to mention he was a keen player of ‘Dark Castle’ on his sister Kathy’s Macintosh which she was required to have since she was attending Drexel University at the time.  I haven’t see Joey since the late 1980’s but know that he’s out there somewhere.  Last I heard he was achieving his degree in Mathematics somewhere in New Jersey, USA.



    Walter ‘Walt’ Thesing & Michael ‘Mike’ Simons (a.k.a. Jesus):  Back in the 10th grade at the high school I attended after my stint at an Engineering and Science magnet school in Philadelphia, I took a class in Pascal.  I’d been programming for many years at this point, but never took any formal classes on the topic.   I’d known BASIC for quite some time but never had any experience in in other languages at any kind of serious level.   Well, it was in this class that I met Walt.  He was quite adept at coding the older Apple ][‘s our school utilised and spent much of his free time coding and playing his version of Tetris.  We ended up befriending one another in class along with my coding partner (at the time) Michael ‘Mike’ Simons (a.k.a. Jesus) and through the process learned that we shared a certain fondness for coding whilst listening to the B52’s.  It was through coding whilst listening to the aforementioned musical ensemble that the idea for this post as well as the memory of Walt popped into my head.  I don’t know if Walt went into computers professional, or another science/mathematics field, but it woud be a sad loss for those fields if this were how it played out.  Mike Simons went on to work with the Slackware Linux distribution and I last saw him at Linux World Expo, New York in 2001.  I’d like to hear from either of them if they’re out there.



    Daniel ‘Dan’ Ervine:  During my seven year stint at Alliance Remanufacturing in Philadelphia, PA, USA at the turn of the past millennium I worked with a fledgling Network Engineer fresh out of a Marist College (a.k.a. Mattress College) named Dan.   


    When Dan and I first started working together he was still very much a Microsoft tool, but after exposing him to the real world of Unix and Unix knock offs like the various Linux distributions out there, I deemed him cured of his previous MS affliction.  We only got the opportunity to work with one another for a couple of years due to a restructuring which saw him lose his position right around the same time as his birthday and wedding.  


    We’d worked together on several projects (primarily me assisting in his Networking world) since it was something I wanted to at least learn and partake in once since I never work in the administrative capacity these days.  We grew to become friends and had the joy of travelling several times on business together (including two Linux World Expos in New York) and CAMM in Connecticut. 

    He’d changed dramatically over the years, all for the better and while it has only been a few years since I’ve been able to see and/or talk with him, I’d like to as I’m curious as to what he and his wife are up to, and where he is in his career, though I’m sure it’s a good place.


    So as I said earlier, there are many individuals with whom I’ve had interactions in the computing field which I’d like to speak to again given the opportunity.  I have many others whom I’d like to make mention but being that it is 00:45 in the morning as I type this  whilst watching “Ghost in the Shell : Standalone Complex” on the tele, I need to end it here.  I will continue this list in a later thread when time avails itself.