Greetings! I’m Doug, and I am a software engineer and have been for most of my life. I have been programming since I was a pre-teen, and will likely write my last line of code the day I take my last breath. Now, that may not seem like anything special, until you realize that JFK was still alive when I was born. My first program was on a Burroughs B90, coded on paper, assembled by hand into machine language, and then entered instruction by instruction. Thankfully, I managed to have connections so that I soon got limited access to a local mainframe, where I started learning FORTRAN IV, and when I reached high school, the TI-99/4 was released, and I got one, later getting an Amiga 1000 soon after they were released (with a 3 digit serial number, and the signature of the designers on the inside of the top half of the case). As such, I remember having to do strings in FORTRAN using Hollerith constants. And later, in college carrying three full boxes and a partial box of IBM punch cards (a total of just shy of 7000 cards, including my JCL deck) down to the data center to run the program on an IBM 360, and having to hack out jumper wires out of a plugboard to change a computer program. And I remember when what was to become the Internet had only roughly 750 hosts on it.
An even bigger item to be thankful about was gaining access to VAX 11, including a 11/780 running a UNIX distribution from UCB called BSD 4, around 1982. Soon, I was using Emacs and programming in C on that machine, and on 11/750s running VMS, doing all sorts of programming in C, FORTRAN 77, including system programs requiring kernel access, as well as fancy graphics programs displaying on graphics monitors capable of 1024×780 pixels and 16 colors if I remember correctly. By 1986, I was doing modifications in the BSD kernel, writing device drivers to interface with both a 4D hypercube, and then a 8D hypercube (aka a Octeract topology), and within the next decade, I had been responsible for the BSD/OS distribution running on over 1000 machines at CompuServe, and had moved to the Bell Labs Messaging group, where I was responsible for the SVR4 release used on systems such as Audix.
In the years since, I have continued to use *NIX as my main operating system, using either BSD/OS when I was at CompuServe for the iAPX (i386) family, SunOS 4 on Sun 3 systems I had, transitioning to NetBSD on the Sun 3’s, and now using Linux on Pentium or Xeon processors.
As for this site, I plan on doing my technical blogging, talking about everything from general programming for the web (mostly PHP and Python), databases, to common programs used in various environments, including a corporate DevOps environment.
I will also note that there is more to life than programming. This site will be strictly professional topics, and a sister site will handle things like fun, causes, etc. As I work on both of these sites, I will be adding links not only to the sister site, but many others. But in the meantime, grab your favorite beverage, sit back and watch things show up like the stars coming out after sunset.