Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Halcyon Days

The Good Sex Network is the crowning achievement of my life. Second to that would be my IT career. I've had a long and successful career, working on some of the most exciting projects I could imagine...

Early in my career, I had the privilege of working on the world's first commercially available fault-tolerant mainframe, Tandem NonStop, in a first-of-its-kind trading system at the Toronto Stock Exchange. The development language, TAL, was a hybrid of C and Pascal (with a decidedly Pascal-like syntax). I had a blast during those days.

I also worked on the world's first attempt at a Unix-based office automation suite called Emerald One, including a word processor, spreadsheet, and remote dial-up facility. This was my first exposure to the C language which later became the mainstay of my career.

I helped to develop a remarkable "application generator" called Intellisys from a small start-up in Hamilton. This, too, was exciting because we were working with state-of-the-art hardware such as MicroVAX and large-screen GUI workstations.

Writing a TIFF fax decoder at Image Software Solutions, a very small start-up, was also a proud achievement. I was the only programmer in the company, so I was on my own with no help from anyone. If you've ever tried to decode TIFF (not the Toronto International Film Festival), you know it's a complex protocol.

My 7 years at ATI Technologies were the longest tenure of my career, a significant achievement in its own right. It was there that I finally learned how to drive (sort of). And working on Windows NT video drivers was exciting, too. I actually rewrote one from scratch! I also had a blast liaising with Microsoft in Redmond.

Alas, all of these software systems have been relegated to the dustbins of history, tossed onto the scrapheap of eternity. Such achievements have no lasting value, not like a successful book, song, movie, or historical recognition. Such achievements are like performance art, to be enjoyed in the moment, and afterwards forgotten.

Those were the halcyon days of my career. I sure miss them.

1 comment:

  1. At ATI, I went on my very first out-of-town business trip. This trip required me to rent a car and drive in Seattle. So I had to get my driver's license.

    I took a quick crash course on driving. Weeks later, I was in Seattle driving *solo*. It was nerve-wracking, but I managed to survive. A notable achievement if ever there was one.

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