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Programming Experience

Programming | Teaching | Interests

The Independent Contractor Years


Commercial Software

Demo and Utility Software

The Apple Years

Between 1979 and 1985, I worked on several interesting projects with the education software division of Apple Computer, Inc.

The Burroughs Years

[Map of Michigan] In 1978 and 1979, I worked for Burroughs in Plymouth, Michigan. Our project team was implementing a language whose goal was to make development of business software on the Burroughs B-80 mini-computer quick and efficient.

Although the project did not become commercially available, it was a valuable experience for me. This was the first time I had left the university computing environment to work on a "real world" project.

The University of Delaware Years

I worked as a system programmer at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, USA. for two years.

Among the things I did were:

The PLATO Years

While attending the University of Illinois at Urbana, I worked on the PLATO computer-assisted instruction system. This system, running on a CDC mainframe, was truly ahead of its time. In the early 1970s it was able to serve 500 users simultaneously with less than a tenth second response to every keypress. Each user had a 512 by 512 pixel-addressable graphic terminal.

I started working on the elementary reading project under the direction of John T. Risken. I moved on to the Modern Hebrew project led by Dr. Roberta Stock. I worked my way up to lead programmer for the Modern Foreign Languages PLATO project, headed by Dr. M. Keith Myers.

The University of Illinois Years

As an undergraduate at the University of Illinois , I took the usual range of computer science courses. I discovered the wonderful world of timesharing on the Burroughs B5500 at the Civil Engineering building. I wrote a program in ALGOL to do gymnastics scorekeeping, and used it to calculate the statistics for a national competition. I used an ASR-33 Teletype in the gym hooked up via acoustic coupler.