About Me

I’m a professional software developer living in the Orlando, Florida area. My background is in application and web development, in financial services, games, and education. I’ve worked on a lot of different platforms, languages, and environments. I’ve worked at big companies and small. I’ve been among the first employees at companies that have grown and (once) I’ve been the last employee to turn the lights out.

Technology can be unpredictable.

I have in the past been a fractal artist. Fractals are mathematical shapes that repeat themselves at different sizes, and are a common pattern in nature (both organic and inorganic). With today’s tools, one does not need to understand math or programming in order to create fractal art, but knowing some of both allows me more freedom to explore and create. I’ve also been able to help with some exhibitions of fractal art. But since 2010 I’ve not been doing much with fractals and I’m not current on what the various fractal art communities are doing, as I’ve been involved with other projects.

I play video games. I phrase it that way rather than say “I’m a gamer” because I don’t match up to the stereotypical gamer nor do I particularly enjoy “gamer culture.” I’m choosy about the games I play and I’d rather play a few games well than play a lot of games poorly. My last game console was a Playstation 2; most of my gaming today is either PC or Android. I’ve been around games for a long time.1 It’s changed a lot over the past few decades.

I cook. Not professionally, mind you, and rarely for a group larger than eight, but it’s nice to have at least one skill that makes a tangible thing that can be enjoyed by everyone. I do make pies and puddings and cakes, but most of what I cook is day-to-day food that keeps my family fed without being bland.

…and yes, that means I have a family, although they won’t get much mention on this site as it’s not why this site is here. (There are other sites for that.)

I take photos. The traditional word for this is “photographer” but I don’t do that professionally, either. Occasionally someone asks me to take pictures for them but the added stress of capturing their special event perfectly takes a lot of the fun out of it, so I don’t think I’d want to do that all the time. And there are plenty of people better at it than me. But I like capturing what I see and knowing I was there is pretty cool. Most of the images on this site are derived from photos I took. I’m not a purist opposed to digitally altering photos but I certainly try to make the original snap as good as possible.

I read, mostly (but not exclusively) science fiction and fantasy. I started on SF before elementary school; when I was younger it was all about imagining what the world would be like with gadgets galore. Now it’s more about how changes in technology can help us talk about the experience of being human, showing flaws and strengths in ordinary people.

I grow hot peppers on my front porch. Of all the things I do for fun, this is one I’m really bad at. I don’t even get to eat many of them (they’re too hot for ordinary people to eat).

I spent plenty of time with an Atari 2600. A 2012 premium smartphone is about six thousand times faster, has about eight million times as much memory, four million times as much storage (and can write to that storage), and basically just looks like magic compared to the Atari 2600. No, I’m not exaggerating on those numbers, either; they’re the real deal. Technology advances at ridiculous rates.

Update: in the fall of 2012 the pepper bush got ravaged by some particular hairy caterpillars. It did not recover. I’ve thrown in the towel on this particular pepper bush and I may (or may not) try again at some point in the future. I did say I wasn’t good at it.

After ripping the dead pepper bush out of its pot and discarding it, I carelessly left the soil-filled but plantless pot in a place near the porch where it would catch some rain. In the spring of 2013, several new pepper plants sprouted up and are now thriving, inspired by my complete and utter neglect. To celebrate I am leaving them alone and attempting to grow basil and oregano instead.

Photo Credits: self-portrait: Damien Jones