Interests and Hobbies


Naturally enough, I am very interested in all branches of physics. This extends to the other hard sciences, where I try to stay sufficiently current that I can follow SciAm articles easily.


I'm also an avid programmer, going back to 1981 and my uncle's Apple ][+. My language of preference is C, but I have expertise in 6502 and 65816 assembly language as well, and am quite capable in C++, PERL, Pascal, ForTran, 80386 assembly, and, of course, BASIC (I know this is not a good thing). I've also been known to write programs in Forth, Musimp (a variant of Lisp), PILS (a CERN language), and LOGO.

My home computer is still an Apple ][GS. With a commercial UNIX-like shell and C compiler I can satisfy my programming urges when they strike. I don't expect to use it for number crunching, but I do like to have a machine which doesn't run Microsoft operating systems. I've written and released a few programs for that computer, including the commonly used version of fgrep , a 2-up document printer for the HP DeskJet 500, and a progammable scientific calculator written as a Classic Desk Accessory.

I have re-written the HP-67 scientific calculator emulator for ncurses and UNIX. The project now has its own page.

 I am an occasional net.reader, subscribing to over 70 newsgroups. When I have time, I post on occasion, usually to , alt.folklore.urban, sci.physics, or rec.arts.sf.written , but sometimes to any of the others. I usually archive my own postings, and a dozen or so back-postings might be found here . I also collect humourous stuff I see on the Net. Occasionally I see something on the Net which I think is sufficiently interesting to merit saving as reference information . I periodically download all of these to my hard disk, so the contents and sizes of these files change at times.

I have written a HOWTO on setting up a new domain.

I've become interested again in Lisp, something I was exposed to in high school in the form of Musimp, a lisp-like language running on the Apple ][ platform. My lisp page is here

 My Netscape bookmarks.



I try to follow developments in manned space exploration as much as possible. When I released my calculator program I included a pitch and information sheets on the experimental McDonnell Douglas Delta Clipper single-stage to orbit vehicle. With the destruction of the DC-X in a landing accident in July of 1996, my interest has been captured by the Roton project under the capable direction of Gary Hudson.

I was a team member on the now defunct Canadian Solar Sail Project, an initiative of the Candian Space Society. I worked on the sensors and actuation team. The original, ambitious design is shown here. Paul Fjeld, an engineer and artist working for the Canadian Space Agency, painted a representation of the later, less ambitious design which we worked on up to the stage of preliminary design review, when the project stalled for lack of funds. I have written a brief article on the physics of solar sailing for the online science fiction magazine, Quanta .

Science Fiction

I am an avid reader of science fiction, and generally read an hour a day on the bus. My favorite author is Timothy Zahn, in part because he was a physics graduate student himself, once, and so he tends not to include "technical" details which make physicists cringe (such as the ever popular "The villains activated their hyperdrive and shot off at the square of the speed of light. 'I wish I knew how they did that!', exclaimed Captain Units Analysis.").

I seem to have become the unofficial keeper of the post-apocolyptic fiction list, despite the fact that such books aren't my favorites.


I no longer have as much time to watch old television shows and movies. Now that Babylon 5 is finished, there isn't much left to see. I get a canadian movie channel, TMN, so I can watch the movies I don't have time to see in the theatres.


I'm no longer able to attend karate classes in Toronto. While I was there, I advanced up to green belt (sixth kyu). If only I had a bit more flexibility in my hips, I might be able to make a decent roundhouse kick!

If you think my interests seem similar to yours, you'll probably be interested in visiting my bookmarks page.

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