My name is Ben. I did electronic hardware design for many years, video-game machines and other microprocessor-based designs, plus some RF and analog design here and there… and then switched to software. I have been writing image processing software primarily, though I’ve done other things when the circumstances appealed. I’ve been doing this long enough that I have some ability to pick and choose, which is nice. I began my musical career by picking up guitar in the early 1960′s. Since then I’ve basically focused on blues, rock and roll, and metal, with the occasional excursions into folk and classical. I’ve also been involved with martial arts since the 1960′s — I’ve owned and run my own schools and taught hundreds of students over the years. Some of my current passions include software defined radio, photography, working on our home, which was a church before we started building an interior into it, and last, but first, my sweetheart Deb and our family of cats.
We – Deb and I – enjoy a wide cross-section of common interests. We live in northeast Montana, we’ve both been here since the 1980′s, and we’ve been a couple since 1997. We have a great deal in common, philosophically speaking; we’re both freethinkers, both atheist, and both charitable givers. We also share many day to day interests, from video games to cats to the kinds of recreational reading materials we prefer.
As I mentioned above, we bought an old church, basically a big, empty cube, in July of 2006. We’ve been working on it continuously ever since. We’ve built a somewhat eclectic interior that addresses our dreams and interests, at least insofar as we can manage. The building and land were very inexpensive, and as we’re doing almost all the work ourselves, the project as a whole is both (relatively) inexpensive and at the same time, very long-term. It’s been an interesting pursuit, but I don’t think either of us would undertake a job this large again. Even though we love the results, so far as we’ve gotten. It’s just… a big job. Our ages are beginning to be factors as well.
I grew up in a family that was very much writing-centric; my father was an extremely accomplished science fiction author, my mother a top notch literary agent, and one sister a translator. When my mother passed away, I came into the position of running the literary agency, which adds another level of complexity to my daily life. Although I do write – a lot – I’ve not attempted to publish any SF or fantasy thus far; it’s always been technical works like manuals, a book on martial arts, one on reading and writing Korean, basically fact-based works of one kind or another.
On my desk live two Linux machines, a windows box, and an 8-core Macpro, which is my daily driver. Several Raspberry Pi B+’s lurk elsewhere on our LAN. The Linux machines are servers, they present web sites to the net; the windows machine is there for testing my image manipulation software, and the Mac is where I am when anything is to be done, computer-wise. For a portable, I drag around a Macbook pro, which also runs Parallels and VMWARE under which I have again, Linux and windows available to me. This lets me get out of town and still have a full toolbox if I have to work the systems remotely.
Visitors here may notice that some posts are my writings that have been moved or copied from other locations on the net; my intent is to put all my various postings into one stream where people — including myself — can look through them as a single body of work. Everything here is content I wrote or otherwise created (images, recordings, etc.) At times, where a post was originally a response of mine to someone else’s remarks, I’ll rewrite it to integrate the questions or issues being addressed. I may also update the content to some degree if I think that is called for.
So that covers some of the basics; I’m sure all of these areas, and more, will be explored in more depth as the blog develops.