It's well past time to summarize how this blog came to be. That has to begin with some brief bio material.
- Be a child who thinks astronomy is cool.
- Spend a few years in the Navy, first doing ultimately useless things, then learning quite a bit about defensive electronic countermeasures. In short, how to defeat enemy radars, thereby keeping pilots alive. Or at least tell them whether it's an enemy fighter, a surface to air missile, or whatever, and what direction it's coming from.
- Get out and go work for Fluke, a manufacturer of electronic test equipment. Work on some shiny new things, and learn a lot about how we measure things.
- Wander around, doing things with sensors (gas chromatrographs are neat), and other electronics.
- Discover ion implanters: a sort of small* particle accelerator used to make chips. Have fun with computers, discover how far you can get in implanter design with optical thin-lens equations, and other odd things. Hobby stuff begins to meet career stuff.
- Spend a few years with chip makers, and start doing useful things with computers, still mostly revolving around those small particle accelerators. Also statistics. Because making chips is hard, (also expensive) and statistics helps. A lot.
- Find the first GUI Web browser running on a workstation in a corporate research library. Found that CERN (a particle accelerator lab) was where the Web was invented. Decide then and there that a GUI Web would fundamentally change the world. Immediately start writing docs in HTML.
- Start (prematurely, as it turned out) begin creating Web sites, rather completely migrating from hardware to software.
- Become annoyed that Bad Guys were beginning to attack things left and right.
- Sadly, conclude that protecting existing things had become at least as important as building shiny new things, and that the task would never end.
- Even more sadly, discover that the community was, in general, resistant to the notion that the best path forward was to build the new things as securely as possible.
- Carry on, regardless. Because a) the work is more important than ever, and to do otherwise is to fail to accept reality. Also b), it's challenging and fun.
* Ion implanters can be the size of a Winnebago, but that is tiny compared to high energy physics accelerators.