The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

An Inspirational Story

From another blog...

David Buck's Story

I started programming in 1978 on my own home-brewed computer. I evolved from machine language through to assembler, BASIC, and Pascal and C when I started my university degree at Carleton University. I remember the BYTE magazine article in 1981 and the idea of Smalltalk intrigued me.

In 1984, Carleton University received Smalltalk-80 on tape and they installed it on a Sun workstation. Unfortunately, the Sun only had 1 Meg of memory and it needed 2 Megs for Smalltalk, so for the first little while the system was horribly slow.

After the memory upgrade, I decided to do a Smalltalk project in Artificial Intelligence for the AI course taught by Wilf Lalonde. I managed to write a natural language parser that could read sentences and tell where the main verb was, what words were nouns, etc. It worked quite well.

After I finished my bachelor's degree, I obtained the source code for the Smalltalk virtual machine and ported it to the Amiga so I could use it at home. It was quite a blast having Smalltalk on my home computer.

I did a Master's thesis in Smalltalk (again under Wilf Lalonde) writing a 3D graphics renderer for B-Spline surfaces and a physically-based modeling package for it. This work is now evolving into a commercial product called ElastoLab. ElastoLab has a VisualWorks UI and a C++ physics engine.

I've been working full-time in Smalltalk since 1993 consulting to various companies and helping them on their projects. People tell me that Smalltalk is dying, but I'm seeing a resurgence. I'll stick it out. I can't give up on the world's most productive and expressive language. I love Smalltalk and I plan to continue using it.

Yes, I love Smalltalk too and I plan to wholly dedicate myself to this wonderful tool.


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