I grew up in Casper, Wyoming, and the Rocky Mountain West is my home. I graduated from Kelly Walsh High School in Casper. I received my BSE from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) in computer engineering in 1975. I got a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Utah in 1979.
I met my wife, Trina, while attending the University of Utah. We both got a job in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where we lived for over 15 years. But Glenwood Springs was always in our lives, and when our two kids, Van and Risa, reached school age, we felt it would be best for them to grow up in a place like Glenwood where Trina’s parents, Bernie and Georgia Haines, live. This has been a great decision. Van and Risa both really like living in a small town with their grandparents around.
I’ve been working in the PC industry since its earliest days (that’s the late 1970’s). After graduating from the University of Utah, I worked for a couple of years at the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, NM. I found the early PCs too exciting to stay at Sandia, so I left and developed the first spelling and style hecking software available for personal computers. I founded my first software company, Aspen Software, in 1980. I sold that company in 1982. I then taught Computer Science at the University of New Mexico. I taught full time until 1985, and continued as an adjunct professor until 1997.
But, I just couldn’t keep out of the PC business, and in 1985 I co-founded Reference Software International. There I led software development, and was the principal author of the widely known grammar checker, Grammatik. Trina joined the Reference Software team in 1990 and played a critical role in the development of Grammatik. By 1992, Reference Software was one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States. That year Reference Software was acquired by WordPerfect.
Since that time, I’ve been following other interests. I was active for a time in developing free Open Source software, and I started a new company, Object Central, to promote Object-Oriented programming. I wrote a book, The Essence of Object-Oriented Programming. I served on the Roaring Fork School District for five years from 2002 until 2007.
Most recently, I’ve been doing various web-based projects. I’m also spending a lot of time promoting Van’s band – Ivory Drive.