Bill Bailey has had an interest in computing machines since the mid-1980's. This evolved from an early interest in "the mind," as in "consciousness", once again his current academic/research interest. Many years ago he got an AB from Dartmouth, a B.Eng from Thayer School at Dartmouth, and an MSEE from Stanford University. Now he's an old guy (i.e >30 years of age). To give you a hint how old -- he knocks on wood a fair amount, doesn't want to put his mouth on this sort of thing -- he knows how to use a slide rule (oh my god! Speaking of wood it was a bamboo Post, and he still has it). And, he once sat in a seminar when these guys from Intel came by to show off their little 4004 4-bit processor (or was it the 8008? He seems to remember the 4004 was actually on the market. Yikes! Now that's OLD.) Mr. B. worked for a really long time (or so it seemed at the time, now it seems like just a flash) at a company that made equipment for the welding industry. There, early on, sometimes he got to do a lot of assembly-language programming. But usually he was just wire-wrapping and soldering and doing EE-stuff. And then when he got kinda old he got to spend (waste?) a lot of time working on international standards. And now he's out to pasture, building things and mulling over "consciousness" [and better laptop cases, not so much any more]. And so it goes...
Some of wvbailey's professional accomplishments:
- He continues to breathe (usually), and he hopes to continue to do so
- As an undergrad, while working at the Bureau of Mines, he co-authored a paper concerning stress-strain inside mining tunnels. This work was using a new-fangled concept called "finite-element analysis", on a honking Control Data computer that probably had ... maybe a meg of core (Yikes! Can you imagine!).
- He designed two Dartmouth Winter Carnival posters: 1969 and 1970
- He actually has seen a Teletype printer, and actually knows how they work
- As an undergrad he built a datalogger to hook to said Teletype
- Then he built a digital taperecorder to hook to the datalogger
- While at Stanford he worked on ultrasonic imaging hardware
- He has a patent concerning vibrating wire instrumentation that uses phase-locked loops in an adaptive circuit. This was paid for by the Bureau of Mines.
- He is co-patenter of some patents re plasma-arc metal cutting
- He built a little Post-Turing machine from real stuff, and ran a couple baby busy beasty beavers on it.
- He wrote the "Universal instructions" for the aformentioned beasty.
- He's built Post-Turing machine models in C, assembly language, and in Excel. (He likes making models in Excel.)
- He contributed to the design of a shit-load of plasma cutting equipment, as both contributor and team leader
- He ran for and was elected to the local school board, diligently served his sentence for three years (and came to truly understand the wisdom of that old chestnut: "No good deed goes unpunished") and actually stayed on for a fourth year during contract negotiations with the teacher's union.
- For ten years he worked on a consensual industry-committee re-writing ISO/IEC974-1, the umbrella safety and performance standard for the welding industry.
- He wrote a novel called Circle Nine, which languishes in a box on a shelf. (It's actually pretty good: about a kid's first love and his resulting descent, all the way down to Circle Nine, the coldest reaches of the darkest bottom of Hell.)
- He designed and patented "a doll with adaptive behaviors". (If anybody wants to buy the patent, let him know.)
- In recent summers past he worked as a field slave for his son who was doing research on anabrus simplex (katydids: Mormon crickets). Mr. B. did the sound recording (years 1 and 2). Mrs. B. (unlike Mr. B. who blasted away his upper-range hearing while firing M14 and M16 rifles) has acute hearing and can find them in the pucker-brush, but won't touch them, whereas Mr. B. thinks they are cute and he enjoys capturing them (we're now approaching year 7 or 8. Not so many years ago Mr. and Mrs. B took an excursion up the Poudre Canyon (outside Fort Collins). Mrs B. located some and so did Mr. B. Then Mr B captured them and held then and gave them a big hug and then let them go. Year 9 or so the collecting of the beasts occurred in the land of Oz from which Mr. B did return relatively all in one piece (at least the useful parts of him returned).
- He was one of the first adopters of the "One Laptop Per Child" (OLPC) laptop (you had to buy two, one for you and one for a kid). He subsequently designed an "front-end" amplifier for the Measure activity, so that users won't blow up their laptops and/or electrocute themselves when they foolishly plug measurement-probes into a 120VAC or 240VAC wall outlet. This can be found at the OLPC site (somewhere or other on the site).
- He has been working on "garden lights on steroids", year 1. These make use of Blocking oscillators. While mistakes were made, progress was made too.