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Midnight Beach - History

I have made a living writing software for about a quarter of a century, since I graduated Yale in 1981. I started writing software nearly ten years before that, on my high school's PDP-8.

My first job out of college was in Oakland, California, writing APL that ran on a mainframe in Maryland. After I got promoted to the internal consulting group in LA, I decided to quit to move back North and make a fortune by writing a software besteller in Turbo Pascal. That was satisfying and educational - nearly half of my published articles date from that period - but not particularly successful. For about a dozen years now, I have done a mixture of software consulting, contract programming, writing, and avocational programming.

I finished writing my popular Kylix book in the fall of 2001, and have since alternated between paying work, web work, and my 2006 .NET 2.0 book for Delphi programmers. In January 2007, I started a new chapter in my work history, taking a full-time job for the first time in 23 years.

Over the years, I've done a fair amount of avocational programming in addition to the projects that paid bills, or were supposed to. I used to be fairly interested in self organizing systems, and did a few 'pretty picture' simulations, but lately I've been more interested in the class of lexical programs which ranges from Google on the high end to humble form letter programs on the low end. (For example, I've done some experiments with "filter by example" Bayesian email sorting, hoping to escape constant fiddling with mail sorting rules.)

I have a large pro bono web presence and a large part of my lexical work has been driven in one way or another by the demands of keeping a large web site visually consistent while evolving the structure and layout over time. You may be interested in reading more about Ethiopia, my website templating and scripting toolkit.

Created on October 15, 1995, last updated January 16, 2007 • Contact jon@midnightbeach.com