John Walker (programmer)
|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (April 2013)|
John Walker (born ca. 1950) is a computer programmer and a co-founder of the computer-aided design software company Autodesk, and a co-author of early versions of AutoCAD, a product Autodesk originally acquired from programmer Michael Riddle. He makes his home near Lignières, Switzerland.
Early projects 
John Walker moved to Switzerland in 1991, after having lived almost twenty years in California. He now engages in personal projects, including a hardware random number generator called HotBits and his Earth and Moon viewer. He publishes on his personal domain, fourmilab.ch (after his nickname for his personal workshop, Fourmilab; fourmi is the French word for ant and, located near CERN, "Fourmilab" is a pun on "Fermilab"). John is also known for his efforts in the 196 Palindrome Quest, by taking it to 1,000,000 digits.
John Walker's interest for artificial life prompted him to hire Rudy Rucker, a mathematician and science fiction author, for work on cellular automata software. Rudy later drew from his experience at Autodesk in Silicon Valley for his novel The Hacker and the Ants, in which one of the characters is loosely based on John Walker. Part of the book takes place in Switzerland in a very Fourmilab-like setting.
Besides programming, John Walker is a social advocate who has written many articles, including a well-known one about Internet censorship called The Digital Imprimatur. He is also known for his book The Hacker's Diet, a guide to approaching weight loss "as both an engineering and a management problem." He gained notoriety during the fall of the Soviet Union for creating a bumper sticker that announced, "Evil Empires: One down, one to go" with a United States flag next to a crossed out Soviet Union flag.
- Walker, John. ANIMAL Source Code. fourmilab.ch
- Walker, John. "HotBits: Genuine random numbers, generated by radioactive decay". fourmilab.ch. Retrieved 2006-03-30.
- Walker, John. "Earth and Moon Viewer". fourmilab.ch. Retrieved 2006-03-30.
- Walker, John. "Fourmilab ~80min from CERN". fourmilab.ch.
- Walker, John. "Fourmilab FAQ". fourmilab.ch.
- Walker, John. "Evil Empires Bumper Sticker". fourmilab.ch. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- John Walker's home page
- John Walker's blog
- John Walker's essay "The Digital Imprimatur" about the threats of the internet
- Three Years of Computing — Reaching 1,000,000 digits in the 196 Palindrome Quest