(Most recently updated: October 2007)
Until 9/9/99, I worked as one of the Unix Systems Administrators for the UB Computer Science and Engineering Department.
In mid September 1999, my wife and I moved from Buffalo (Amherst, really) to Tarrytown, which is in Westchester county, in the the NYC area. And where, in 2001 we bought a house. On September 21, 1999, I started working for Juno Online Services in New York City, also as a Unix Systems Administrator. My current title at Juno is: Vice President, Systems. In September 2001, Juno and NetZero merged, and the combined company is now United Online. In October 2006, the NYC United Online office moved to Fort Lee, New Jersey, so I now drive to work daily, instead of taking the train.
I used to read Usenet news quite a lot, and post post occasionally. Also, to make my job in Buffalo easier, I wrote a few Solaris utilities, some of which are available on the net.
On May 7, 1997, I got an Adephia PowerLink cable modem at home. It was great, when I had it. I wrote up some information about it. I no longer have a PowerLink, because I moved out of Adelphia's area. In Tarrytown I had Verizon DSL for a while, but upgraded (yes, moving from stable 768/256kbps to stable 4.5/4.5Mbps is indeed an upgrade) to Optimum Online cable modem service from Cablevision, and then in early 2007 switched back to Verizon, this time to FiOS, at 20/5Mbps.
I like teaching. I had been teaching some sort of computer classes since I was in high school, and continued during my undergrad years, through my grad student career, and while I was doing sysadmin work in Buffalo. I'm told that I'm reasonably good at it. In fact, in 1995 I was a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching award from the Graduate School at UB. Currently, since moving from Buffalo, I am no longer teaching.
When at UB, I used to teach short courses for the CSE department. These were courses that typically run for about 3 weeks, and were open to the general public, and sometimes offered directly to local companies. The one that I taught most often is an introduction to ANSI C programming. Another course that I co-taught in February/March 1997 and again during Summer 1998, is a course on Java programming. I have also taught an Intermediate/Advanced Unix course for some local companies. In November 1998, I taught a short-course titled "Introduction to Object Oriented Concepts."
I also taught various regular Computer Science college courses. Long ago I used to teach for Millard Fillmore College (UB night school), and later I taught regular day courses for the CSE department as a Lecturer. In the Spring 1996 semester I taught CS 351: Software Engineering (now replaced by CSE 442). One course that I have taught often, and used to teach regularly for MFC, is CS 480: Computer Graphics. I taught CS 421: Introduction to Operating Systems as a regular day course during the Spring 1997 semester, and again in the Fall 1997, Spring 1998 and Fall 1998 semesters. I have a CS 421 course web page that's still online (albeit quite outdated by now).
I'm a member of a bunch of societies/groups/clubs, including: Usenix, SAGE, LOPSA, ACM, IEEE Computer Society. I was also a member of the Western New York Aquarium Society until it disbanded in 1998.
Until mid 1995, I was a Ph.D. student, working on my dissertation in Image Processing/Computer Vision/Pattern Recognition. In particular, my research involved Markov Random Fields, and my dissertation is titled "Generating Markov Random Field Image Analysis Systems from Examples." My Ph.D. defense was held on April 28, 1995. It went well, so I have my Doctorate :-). At the graduation ceremony on May 12th 1995, I got hooded by Dr. Deb Walters. The day after the graduation ceremony, a group of us went out to dinner - and I ordered, and conquered a 48oz (1.35kg) porterhouse steak! (And I have greatly reduced my beef consumption since then!!)
I'm part of a group of friends known as csgeeks, for which we registered our own .org domain (back in 1995, because doing so was hugely popular and common). I maintain the csgeeks mailing list, and web site.
On 3/21/1997 I was given the Geek of the Week award.
My hobby is keeping freshwater Tropical Fish. Until the move to NYC, I had a 55 gallon Community/plant tank and a 75 gallon tank, with African Cichlids (including some wild-caught fish, which bred profusely). There are a bunch of aquaria resources on the Web, including a new FAQ, of which I am part of the author/contributor/editor team. I also used to maintain a searchable index of a bunch of aquaria related resources, the Cory Search. But unfortunately, the size of the Net, and the abundance of other search engines, has made it both impractical, and not that necessary, to continue it.
I'm originally from South Africa, from the city of Cape Town. I attended Herzlia School. I graduated with my B.Sc. with distinction (honors) in Computer Science and in Mathematics from the University of Cape Town. I had a really cool group of friends back there, many of whom I am still in contact with (and very few of whom are still in South Africa). Shortly before I left there in 1987, we took this really nice photo of some of us, complete with Table Mountain in the background.
In November 1994 I got engaged to my longtime girlfriend Elyse Podnos. Here is a nice photo of us from around then. My bachelor party was held on Saturday October 21, 1995 - much fun was had by all. And, on November 4th, 1995, we got married! See our wedding page for more details of the wedding, and some photos. In January 1996 we went on honeymoon: 2 weeks in Hawaii (big island and Maui) and then 1 week in San Diego for the Usenix Technical Conference. Great fun was had.
And on April 27, 1999, Elyse defended her Ph.D. dissertation. So we're now a Dr. & Dr. couple! :-)
In mid 2004 we had a kid! Mitch is doing great. He spends his weekday days at daycare, which he loves.
I'm a fan of Asterix. In fact, I even named my workstation in my office at UB "obelix". My workstation at work at Juno was named "asterix" (but is now named for an asset tag, by new policy). My Linux box at home was named "timmain" by Elyse, from the Elfquest comic series.
The best TV show is definitely Babylon 5, created and largely written by JMS (J. Michael Straczynski). The 5th and final season of B5 was picked up by TNT, but is all over now. But there was a spin-off show titled "Crusade" which aired on TNT during the Summer of 1999, it came to an unfortunate end after only 13 episodes. In Fall 2000, the SciFi channel picked up B5, and showed it in widescreen, letter-boxed format. In 2002 there was a new B5 pilot on the SciFi channel: The Legend of the Rangers. Unfortunately, it was not picked up as a series. Fortunately all the B5 episodes were released on DVD. And in late 2006, production started on a new B5 series of TV-movies, called B5: The Lost Tales.
I even picked up the hobby of collecting Babylon 5 trading cards and collectibles, although I've been pretty idle on this front, for a while now.
On February 28, 1995, I finally got rid of my old car (a 1985 Ford Escort Station Wagon), and bought a brand new Saturn. It was a 1995 model, blue-black SL1, with air conditioning, ABS brakes, traction control, stereo cassette and power door locks. In January 2005 we got rid of the Saturn, and bought a Subaru Outback Wagon.
In November 2003, we bought another new car: a 2004 Honda Accord EX V6 Sedan, complete with toys, including a GPS+DVD Navigation unit (which some research leads me to believe is an Alpine unit, but with the Voice control stuff done by IBM and Honda) and XM satelite radio.
We also have become big TiVo fans. We have 4 TiVos in the house! One is the Series 3 HD TiVo, which uses CableCARDs instead of an external cable box. On some of the other ones, I upgraded the internal hard drive to increase storage space.
This was taken in January 1993. I no longer look like this (I grew a beard).
I'm more normal now.