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John Lindal

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B.S. Electrical Engineering, Caltech, 1994
M.S. Electrical Engineering, Caltech, 1995
Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Caltech, 2001


Troops of Doom
Button: Con Anti-Harassment Project

As of August 17, 2003 (our wedding), I am very happily married to a wonderful woman, Jiming Sun Lindal.

Our daughter, Heidi, was born on May 25, 2005, weighing 6lb 9oz.

Currently, I am a Staff Architect working at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online. Previously, I was a Principal Software Engineer working on the user experience framework powering Yahoo! APT.

I blog about my life and personal interests. If you're interested in starting a blog, I highly recommend WordPress, though it probably won't scale to 1M users.

My wife is the founder of THE Visual Voice, a non-profit organization that produces educational and documentary films to benefit the community.

I received my Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering while working with Dr. Rodney Goodman at the California Institute of Technology. I started working with him on a graphical programming language for controlling LEGO robots called ICOBotics when I was a sophomore undergrad. For my Ph.D. thesis, I developed a personal assistant for searching the web called Poirot, and also improved ITRule.

I have also worked with Dr. David Middlebrook to extend his Design-Oriented Analysis techniques.

In my spare time, I continue developing the JX Application Framework, a C++ application framework and graphical user interface class library for X. It has already been used to write many programs.

Since I wrote the game editor for the classic 3D combat game, Spectre, I occasionally get questions about it. I have therefore started compiling information about it. If you have any relevant information or links, please let me know.

I created the SYPP License to provide a compromise between the Artistic License and standard commercial licenses.

I also founded the Coalition for User's Rights to try to improve the quality of software in general. One avenue that people are getting excited about is the Bazaar model, but they should be careful not to get too excited because there are reasons why it will probably not work for everything.

While I was in high school and college, I wrote shareware for the Macintosh (pre OS X).

I speak several languages:

[github]

[code guru]

[jflex]

Human

Computer


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Miscellanous information and opinions

I know that Dilbert is intended as a humorous exaggeration, and I enjoy it immensely, but it is often so close to reality that one must be careful to avoid falling into the habit of believing all of it. For example, I disagree with the Introduction in The Dilbert Principle.

Technology can make our lives easier, but we ought to try harder. At least the Webopedia can explain the jargon!

Spam is a horrible nuisance. Until we manage to make it illegal (which may never happen, unfortunately), the best we can do is filter it into the bit bucket:

Do you have the answers to any of these questions?

This koan sums up my opinion of Neural Networks: an over-parametrized, over-advertised solution to the age-old problem of regression (fitting functions to noise). Neural Networks are useful for some problems, but they don't cure cancer.

As for Xlib, it is not a networking solution. It's a typed data socket with minimal error checking. I would never want to write the X server, but I doubt it would be too difficult to replace Xlib with a derived class of ACE_Svc_Handler. Rumor has it that the goal of the original project was only to display images. What were they thinking when they named it X?!

[It makes me want to bang my head!]

But don't get me wrong. Windows is far worse. Far, far worse. They're as bad as the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation. Isys Information Architects Inc. has compiled a list of some of their most egregious screw ups. I suspect that they religiously follow the Unmaintainable Coding Guidelines.

However, with the new iMac and OS X, justice has prevailed:

[MacOS crushes Windows]

American politicians never stop attacking each other. My opinion is that this is the result of political selection operating on human nature. As crazy as it is, it helps to keep the situation in perspective.

Quote me: "Yes, Dustin, I enjoyed being a grad student! I like doing the dirty work myself."