I started my computer career at Bell Labs in January, 1970. I was fortunate enough to work in the original UNIX Support and Development Group in Naperville, IL. I spent many enjoyable years (~14) at "the labs". I also worked in various supervisory positions. Here is a link to my work history. Through the years I've been blessed with meeting many wonderful people, many of whom I've had the opportunity to work with. I've also added a list of classmates from Carl Sandburg Class of 1969.
I left "the labs" in January 1984 and travelled around the country doing UNIX training. In 1985 I began concentrating on my wife Eve's floppy disk business (MSS). The company began providing UNIX services and selling AT&T computers in November of 1985. The company grew rapidly to over $40Mil/year in 1989 - the year we sold the business and retired.
I came out of retirement for a short time in June of 1994 and started a new computer related business. I ended up selling this business to a Fortune 500 company in April of 1995.
I've spent a lot of time with the family, fishing and travelling, but I still spend a significant amount of time hacking UNIX code... I still work on a pet project I call "System Sentry". This package allows a single person to administer over 400 heterogenous UNIX machines running a variety of types and versions of UNIX. It is a never ending project and is no longer receiving the attention it deserves - especially since it is almost complete enough to distribute... I stopped working on this project on 11/01/2000 primarily due to the obligations of my more recent endeavor (NGT), but I think I might work on it again if time permits.
With the help of some friends, a new company was formed in August 1998 - NetGain Technologies, LLC. (NGT). We built a battery powered dragster with the hopes of getting battery manufacturers as sponsors. Unfortunately that never seemed to work out. Getting sponsors of any sort is a really difficult thing to do without a "track record".
We were approached by NASA Illinois and began running a series of experiments dealing with hybrid power supply systems (not hybrid drive systems!) with assistance from NASA. Basically, we were to test terrestrial applications of super capacitors that NASA was interested in. We spent two years and a tremendous effort was displayed by most Members. You can check out the description of the dragster we built at: NetGain Motors, Inc. - Dragster.Upon completion of the NASA contract several Members had various visions of where the company should go, so NGT was split-up into a racing endeavor, motor sales and hybrid retrofit development. A patent was filed on the hybrid technology, and in 2007 the motor distribution business was split off into NetGain Motors, Inc. which I now own and run.
I also converted a go-kart to all electric, ( NetGain Motors, Inc. - Gokart Project).
I have four children, Heidi, Hannah, Hollie, and Hunter, and of course my wonderful wife Eve.
Heidi was responsible for European Lease Marketing for Pitney-Bowes and was stationed in London till March, 2001. Heidi was married August 28th, 1998 to Chris Vassalotti! Chris is a civil engineer by trade, and worked for a UK company that produces software that runs on UNIX systems (what a coincidence)! Heidi and Chris returned to the US and she began working at Experian in Schaumburg , IL. managing a credit services sales force. My first grandchild was born December 5th, 2003! His name is Luca Maxwell Vassalotti! Chris worked for Open Text - managing global business development for the construction market vertical. Before returning to the US they did a grand finale tour de world (2 month excursion) which included: India, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand, Fiji. They returned to the US July of 2001. Heidi decided to change her financial endeavors for more artistic endeavors and now sells tile (industrial).
Hannah atteneded Moraine Valley Community College and College of DuPage (which she liked) and worked a full-time job. She is still the socialite of the family. She married her childhood sweatheart - Jason Etzkorn in 2011 and they now have one baby (Amaya Eve) and another on the way. She has always been interested in interior design. She worked for a credit card processing firm in Oakbrook, Illinois. She and her best friend from high school (Mandy) shared a house in Westchester, Illinois. Hannah came to work for NetGain Motors, Inc. in 2010 and has been an incredubly valuable addition to our staff. In addition to her marketing efforts, she is also the queen of our accounting system.
Hollie completed High School at Lemont High School and then our shock, and dismay joined the U.S. Army! Actually we are so proud of her that we could burst! During High School she was active in the drama club. She was outstanding as the White Queen in Lemont High Schools production of "Alice in Wonderland" and also had a lead role in "Ten Little Indians", "Arsenic And Old Lace", "The Odd Couple", and "Cheaper By The Dozen". She was very involved in drama club presentations and was in the Spring musical. Hollie also had a part in the Lewis University production of Romeo and Juliet. After two years in the Army, Hollie returned home safe and sound! Though she was trained as a refueler of vehicles, she was the Network Administrator for the General's staff at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Eve and I made a couple of trips to visit her. She was working with a great group of people. Now she is employed by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in Hoffman Estates. Hollie was married in 2009 to Tony Rossi. They have a baby girl: Abriana.
Hunter is attending Moraine Valley Community College and studying "Mechatronics". He is also working at NetGain Motors, Inc. with Hannah and I and is doing a terrific job. He is now handling more technical questions than I am. He loves spending his summer at the lake (as do the rest of us..)
Eve is the wine expert of the family. When Hollie returned from the Army and applied at Liberty Mutual, Eve was astonished by the benefits they offered and said "I should go to work there!" - which she subsequently did. She is now a Supervisor and loves the job, but hates the commute - car-pooling with Hollie makes it tolerable though...
Me? I bought a new fishing boat, rigged it the way I want it, and fished all summer (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)! I only managed one trip to Canada in 1998. In 1999, 2000, and 2001 I was busy all summer with the Dragster, so my fishing time was severely limited. If you want to go fishing send me an Email!!!!! Beginning in 2004 I worked diligently on the hybrid retrofit system and devoted countless hours to its success. In 2007, the motor business was split off from the hybrid retrofit business, but I continued to work two fulltime jobs (one for motor distribution and one for the hybrid retrofit system (NGT).
I grew up in Palos Park, IL., a GREAT place to be a kid! I guess I liked it so much that most people say I still haven't grown up - and I won't argue the point! I attended SD 118 and attended high school at Carl Sandburg SD230. (My Mom, Dad and Grandfather(96) ("the chief") moved from Palos to Lockport in 2003, my Dad and Grandfather have since passed away, as has my younger sister - Jackie.)
I have primarily lived in this area my entire life, with the exception of the U.S. Army that relocated me to Washington State, Texas ( San Antonio and Killeen - wonderful Ft. Hood ), and Korea ( Taegu ) for a year.
Eve and I met at "the labs" around 1973 and started dating on August 25th, 1975. We lived in Naperville after we were married in September 1978. Since 1989 we've been living in Lemont, IL. It's a GREAT little town! I was elected to the school board in November 1997 and served 8 1/2 years on the Board. Lemont is the kind of town where everyone knows your name, and when you walk down the street people smile and say "hello". Actually, the area we live in is not within the city limits. It is an area known as Equestrian Estates. We have LOTS of nice neighbors and people in the community. Our family is quite happy here.
During the summer (beginning in May, ending in September) we spend a lot
of time at a cottage in Wisconsin - just outside
West Bend. The cottage is
right on the lake and I have a fishing boat, and
Eve has a ski boat (usually commandeeered by teh kids when they visit). I used to manage a trip or two to Canada every year,
as well as 1-2 weeks in Minnesota on a dear friends
island. (their island
is the middle left one...) Life has become more complicated as the business has expanded, and I no longer have much free time.
During the winter I used to try to get away to the Keys,
Florida or Hawaii. Eve and I will be taking an Alaska cruise in
Eve tells me I fish so much that I should turn pro. I counter by saying "If
I was good at it I wouldn't have to do it so much...." Most of my fishing
friends probably agree with me. Gee, I'll bet with all this talk of fishing
that you'd really like to see some of my trophy fish, so here they are:
Wake me when we get there....
Computers are my second love, after Eve and the kids, though to hear her tell it the order is reversed...... When the weather cooperates, I fish! Salt-water, fresh-water, trolling, casting, fly-fishing, drifting, or even walking a river. It takes my mind off everything. I guess this is my third love.
Eve and I like to read ALOT! She was in a book club with some friends, and I just try to keep up with her. There were times when she went through 3-4 books a week! Books I like are usually science, and/or fiction, although one of the BEST books I have ever read is Ray Kurzweil's "THE AGE OF SPIRITUAL MACHINES". You have got to read this book!
"Neanderthal" was alright, I just like "Virus", and "Subterranean". I enjoyed "The Killer Angels" and "The Coming Plague". After reading "Outbreak" and "The Hot Zone" I've also been listening to audio books as I travel. Of course no book list would be complete without "The daVinci Code".
The best book I 've read in a long, long time was "Chaos" by James Gleick. I suppose this is because of my still intense interest in artificial intelligence. If you enjoyed that link you will appreciate the fact that I have FINALLY solved the inference generation problem that has plagued me for the past 15 years. The AI project consumed a good portion of the last 30 years of my life.....
I still have a couple of quad-processor 3B2/1000-80's, as well as some 3B2/600's, 3B2/700 and a 3B2/400. I also have a couple of old Pentium Pros ( NT, 95, 98, ME, Xp, 2000, 3.1, Linux ), a SUN IPX, and some even older "classic" systems (Billings, Apple, etc.). The "old-standby" UNIX/PC's are still chugging away, and I have numerous Intel platforms for playing with various O/S's ( Inferno, Plan9, SCO, SVR4's, Linux, IN/ix, (I still keep in contact with Heinz Lycklama...) Beos, OASIS, etc. etc. ). Plus I maintain that area Eve hates and calls "my "museum" in the basement". (yes Mark - I still have a Billings Z80! ) I have machines running virtually every version of Windoze (simply becuase you have to have Windows machines...)! At last count, I think the number of machines is around 120 - the crawl space is filled, the garage is also hosuing a few.
Over the years I slowly started connecting things to an X10 network. The lights going on and off at all hours of the day and night are a testimony to my hardware ineptness!
I was President of the Lemont -Bromberek Combined School District 113A's Board, as well as being a founding member of the Lemont Sertoma. I still like an occasional movie, as long as it's a sci-fi flick. I cheer for the Bears, but my favorite current quarterback is Tom Brady.
I also like to play with obscure science (i.e. Tesla Turbine), here is an example of recycling at its best....
The Dragster Project
Ebay - lots of neat stuff - been buying stuff here since 1994)
UNIX Source Archives
The National Electric Drag Racing Association
Brad Starcevich - The Cosmic Adventurer (and my bud)!
This page was created by George F. Hamstra.
Send hostage some mail!
Music by the Moody Blues (who else?) (disabled), On this Page "Gemini Dream", on History Page "Story", on MSS Page "Wildest Dream", on Friends Page "Lovely To See You", on the UNIX Page "I Know Your Out There Somewhere" on Carl Sandburg Class of '69 "The Voice" - Enjoy!
Long time no see,
First night, so long,
Make it work out.
State fright, candle light,
There's a place, a Gemini dream,
Turned round to see
There's a place, a Gemini dream,
Long time, no see.
Make it work.
Long time, no see.