Dojo (HowTo)







  Easter Eggs




  Martial Arts

About this Macindude:
Who am I, what am I, where am I?

By:David K. Every
©Copyright 1999

I'm a Sr. Software Engineer that specializes in Macintosh™, Human Interface and OOP / Frameworks. I am hanging out in sunny Southern California (used to be in land-of-Disney locale, but now I am living in San Diego).

I have been programming computers since I was 14 years old (1978). I started with Apple]['s and Commodore PET's. I've owned and worked with PC's since their introduction in '81 and Macintoshes since their introduction in '84 - I still own a low serial #'d Mac128K.

I found employment at a computer store at the age of 15, I still remember peddling my bike there way too often -- uphill... both ways (there was a large hill between it and my home). Over time I became their chief technical person which grew into programming/consulting. In 1980 it was not uncommon to have to program the computer (for the client) in order to complete a sale after like the first few contracts (Glendale Schools District, local Biomed, and a local aerospace company) it became easy to get contracting jobs. I also did tech support (Hardware and software) and was and am a computer renaissance person working with many mediums.

I went to college for a few years, but kept up my consulting (was doing mostly aerospace) and couldn't get into the school thing. I was never good at playing 'the game'. The game seems to be to sit in class listening to an out-of-touch professor tell you what its like in the real world, while he hides out in his ivory tower and rules over his little fiefdom and tries to crush any student with initiative or creativity. I preferred to do, instead of learning what it is going to be like to "do" in the future. School slows some people down -- I could buy the book(s) and teach myself in 1/4th the time. Contract programming kept forcing the decision on me of "Career or School - pick one". I kept choosing career.

Don't get me wrong, I have really liked many teachers, and school -- but unfortunately good teachers are rare, like good lawyers. I have met quite a few, but it is their rarity and effort that makes them so special. Sadly you are more likely to find injustice rather than justice, and bad teachers or lawyers rather than good. Most teachers (or lawyers) are not bad intentionally, just taking the easier path. The systems seem to corrupt them -- and it is hard to remain good (for long) in their environment. Those that remain good are truly special, but because of all the rest [those who can't remain good], we need to improve those systems.

After about 6 or so years of Aerospace Consulting, I decided to see what it was like in the rest of the world. Aerospace is amazing for how long it takes to do so little, for so much money. But you do learn discipline, how to write 10 pages of documentation for each line of code, and play politics really well -- or you change jobs often. As a self-righteous teen with the diplomacy skills of Dennis Rodman, I often chose the latter - fortunately my technical skills kept me at most 6 month contracts for 3+ years each but after that my mouth (or intollerance towards the inability to change or grow or improve things) would get me into "new career opportunities".

I got older, wiser, and interested in new venue's and so ventured off into Medical consulting. Before I knew it, I was designing UI's for many of Baxter Critical Care Instruments. Later, I worked as a consultant for a few other companies doing the same. By this time in my life the lessons learned (the hard way) about politics was paying off, and people could actually stand being around me - and the age discrimination was less pressing as I was now in my mid 20's. After about 5 years of doing some Mac but mostly PC programming, and decided to stop whoring myself on PCs, and instead do what I liked (Mac programming). I also went into commercial programming. Had some fun, and did that for about about 5 or 6 years and then went to Jostens doing educational Software programming. This is actually doing the management systems for schools for distributing curriculum and tracking assessment and the like. After a few year run in the educational arena, I went back to consulting briefly, and then to startups. I really feel the need to learn and challenge myself -- and I can learn a lot in 3 or 4 years at a company, but after that I often can't grow "up" in the company, so I seek new challenges.

All during my career I've done consulting on the side, setting up systems for people, recommending hardware, teaching people how to use computers - and have been involved in computer user groups. I recommend user groups as a great way for people to get into understanding computers and finding tools to fit their needs. Macs have a much better "community" feel about them than PC's, and their user groups are the same way.

I'm lucky in that I've been able to do a little of Everything. But I am cursed in this society because I refuse to specialize (well I do specialize, but I refuse to do only one thing). It seems that our society only really values people that are one-dimensional, and society holds less value for generalists (like myself). Unlike specialist, us generalists can bring in many different perspectives to a problem. I have a thorough understanding of many computer systems and languages, a little hardware design - a lot of software, and quite a bit of cross platform development - which is why I love Macs so much. Life is too short to have a career doing something irritating (like programming Windows) - or being painted into a corner (one specialty). Now I look forward to moving on, doing some more web stuff, and programming in OpenStep / WebObjects on the Mac under Rhapsody / Mac OS X. I've also been dabbling in Java and see a lot of potential there. But there are lots of obsticles -- I'm amazed at how many companies and people can ignore 10 or 20 years of experience (and learning curves) just because I don't have experience on something that has a 3 or 4 week learning curve. So they will look for the "perfect" person for 6 months instead. Basically, many companies choose short-term technical experience over long-term personal, life or career history type experience -- a little sad really.

I seem to spend my free time doing this site. I still enjoy doing some consulting, helping people set up machines and the like -- just to see what people are doing, and helping them become more productive (often choosing Macs). Its a good feeling selling someone on a product that I know will save them time and aggravation. About the only frustrating part is knowing that many Mac buyers will never know how lucky they are - because they will never fully know the torment that can be the PC's. PC people on the other hand are comfortable in their abusive relationships with their computer, and don't understand why Mac people are such raging zealots. Windows users also don't understand strange concepts like not being abused by your computer, or using a computer to improve productivity instead of destroying it.

Someone told me that this article sounded bitter. I am not. I am a tad frustrated at intellectual sloth and mind-numbed crowd-following group-thinkers (especially if they use too may hyphenated labels to categorize people). I am really just trying to remind people of their individuality and to challenge conformity.

Life is too short to be bitter -- you just gotta laugh at life's practical jokes, roll with the punches, and give a few shots back every now and again. But don't take life too seriously -- it is all a joke, and the punch line is fatal.

Created: 09/11/97
Updated: 11/09/02

Top of page

Top of Section