About Bill Buckels
- 1 About Bill Buckels
- 2 About Bill Buckels Software Developer
- 3 About Bill Buckels Life and Work
- 4 About What You Can Expect
- 5 About It
- 6 About Bill Buckels' Articles
- 7 About Bill Buckels' External Links
Since being born on September 25 1952, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, William James (Bill) Buckels has led a reasonably long and sometimes notable (sometimes notorious) life spanning several careers, some still active, and some experimental.
Still living in Canada, The True North Strong and Free, Bill currently fishes with his wife commercially on Lake Winnipeg during the Spring and Fall commercial fishing seasons. The other 8 months of the year he develops business software professionally (currently building supply chain management systems for Arctic Communities), and Gardens and travels with his wife and their Basset Hounds.
Sometimes a professional musician and a songwriter, he seldom has time to play guitar anymore, but occasionally plays for an hour or two to make sure his fingers still remember how to play rock or bluegrass. Once a healthcare advocate with a somewhat public profile, he has since passed-on that mantel and is currently pursuing no notable active social crusades.
Notably, Bill is the father of two adult children, a son and a daughter who live and work in Winnipeg. He also has two adult step-daughters (one married) who also live and work in Winnipeg. When not fishing (which is an all consuming activity) Bill and his wife (who cooks and bakes with a passion) make weekly rounds to stay in touch with their children (and to drop-off the baking). Both Bill's and his wife's parents are alive and well and they also receive an occasional drop-off of the latest culinary delight (in the summer it's fresh strawberry and raspberry jam made with freshly picked berries).
About Bill Buckels Software Developer
- Bill Buckels started his career in Software Development in the 1980's while working as a product designer with vector based computer graphics on "mainframe" Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) systems. Heavily influenced by computer magazine articles about graphics programming by other programmers of the day like Steve Rimmer (Computing Now Magazine) and the already well established PC Graphics program market, he moved very quickly to a new career as a professional Graphics Programmer.
- The market for graphics programs was (and is) highly competitive and by the early 1990's it became clear that all but the niche markets for specialized graphics programs were filled with very good products, and not much more than an average living could be made unless one was both an exceptionally lucky or brilliant programmer or both. Being only average in both these areas, and after finding the same held true while trying his hand programming in the already established computer music and educational program markets, Bill moved to programming in the larger market of specialized business systems, which he still does professionally today.
- From that time to this Bill has produced ShareWare and FreeWare in the areas of Graphics, Computer Music, and Children's Educational Programs, which he does as a hobby as time permits. His latest efforts continue to focus in those areas, and in re-writing his older ShareWare and FreeWare for the systems of today. His recent efforts also include documenting the almost forgotten systems of yesterday and providing the latest generation of programmers and users with articles about these old systems some which are posted on WikiPedia and other online forums.
About Bill Buckels Life and Work
1952 to 1968
- In those early years Bill loved his books and had devoured the entire set of Golden Book Children's Encyclopedias between the 2nd and 3rd grade. In the lower grades he was always at the top of his class but quickly lost interest in school as high school approached.
- Growing-up in the '50's and '60's he still remembers the horse-drawn ice wagon that would make regular deliveries for the ice-box in the days before refrigerators. He still remembers the days before his family had television and he went to high-school in the days before pocket calculators when a slide-rule was still the only way to get a passing grade.
- He watched the Beatles debut on the Ed Sullivan show, and learned to play Eric Clapton's songs when the Cream released their first albums. The Lord of the Rings was required reading for most teenagers back then (not a movie, so you needed to use your imagination and fortunately there was plenty of that around). He earned the money for his first 12 string guitar by sweeping the sidewalk in front of the neighborhood bank.
- Nothing special for a boy growing up in those times, as you may remember or may remember hearing about. The baby boomers were already in the work force and the flower children were already graduating from college by the time Bill was able to grow his first whiskers.
1968 to 1975
- In November 1968 after leaving high-school early to work construction at the age of 15, Bill decided to leave Winnipeg, Manitoba for the warmer climate of Canada's West Coast. Arriving in Vancouver, BC, with shoulder-length hair, granny glasses and guitar in hand, Bill returned to Winnipeg the following spring to resume the same construction job. He left to spend the summer, again guitar in hand, at Grand Beach on Lake Winnipeg. A brief return to high school ended with a return to Vancouver, BC when the weather turned cold, again with guitar in hand.
- By the time Bill returned to Winnipeg it was November of 1970 and he was already 18 and high school was a dim memory. He worked at many jobs over the next few years, sometimes holding two or three at once. By 1975 he had worked at everything from Seismic Exploration and drilling in Canada's Frozen arctic to Underground Mining in Manitoba's Northern Mining Communities, still with guitar in hand.
1975 to 1986
- Back in Winnipeg again, he turned his hand first to Custom Sheet Metal work, and always a quick study, mastered and left that field after a year to pursue his first real career spanning 8 years as an Industrial Sales Rep. No guitar in hand this go-around, and nobody asked about his lack of formal education, so no obstacles either. The first 7 years were good years but Manufacturing had slowly "folded its tents" and left Canada's Prairies, and by 1984 after the birth of his first child (his daughter) Bill was changing careers but didn't know to quite what yet.
- A brief stint in the Aircraft Industry forging aluminum aircraft parts coupled with Bill's lack of formal education and the changing world led him back to school to complete his high school and to earn a fast-track certification as an Engineering Technician.
1986 to 1989
- By 1986 and until 1989 Bill worked as a Draftsman, Product Developer and CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) trainer. His lifelong love of reading combined with his extensive familiarity with manufacturing in general allowed him to be quite successful at this new career. But the wages were not so good, and with Manufacturing leaving the Prairies, there was little room for advancement.
- Bill had discovered computers over the years, and many a sleepless night had been spent learning to program. Faced with a choice of leaving Winnipeg to pursue a career in CAD, or to stay where he had his young family already established, he startled everyone around him by abruptly quitting his Drafting job and immediately finding a job as a Software Developer which paid considerably more money, and it should be noted, required considerably more literacy.
1989 to 2007
- Bill's talents and multidisciplinary experience has served him well in Software Development. He has served as Manager of Product Development for couple of companies, and worked on many very interesting products for those and others. Always staying current, Bill has had the opportunity to work in an unbelievably rich environment, developing in Linux, other Unises, DOS and Windows, not to mention his work along the way on the Apple II and other old systems.
- His latest programming work includes development of e-commerce systems in ASP.NET and Wireless Database and Data Aquisition systems using Windows Mobile Technology running on Handheld Devices. His latest Linux work is in C++ using Qt, and runs in both Linux and Windows.
- He is fluent in many computer languages including Assembly Language, BASIC, C, C++, Java and is comfortable moving from low to high level systems. He has advanced Project Management Skills and has worked extensively using tools like Microsoft Project and The Rational Suite and various methodologies such as UML, and has served as an ISO 9000 Team Lead on many projects spanning several years.
Along the Way
- Along the way, he has developed much software for other markets as well, beginning with educational programs for both MS-DOS and the Apple II which have been in use in Classrooms across Canada. His work with the MacIntosh was very brief and he didn't like the snooty attitudes of the Macophiles of the day so didn't pursue it.
- Along the way as well he was into True Color graphics back in the DOS days when seeing a photo on a PC was a rarity. He professionally wrote talking Kiosk Systems and developed speech board functionality for the largest color standard company in the world back in the days when you needed to design and build your own (1989 to 1992).
- But in those years (1994), programming aside, Bill was also playing guitar professionally and his band did well. He didn't because he wasn't getting enough sleep, etc. so after a couple of years he dropped the music in favor of the better money that his dayjob as a Software Developer offered.
2007 and Beyond
- With his increased involvement in the Commercial Fishing Industry in recent years, he has wound-down his Software Career to that of the average Software Developer, preferring to leave the real neat stuff for the young 'uns, and to take his vitamins and try to keep-up with the 20 year old Fishermen when the wind is blowing 100 miles an hour and the waves are 8 feet high on beautiful Lake Winnipeg. It's all about living to be 100 years old now, and enjoying life along the way.
- Bill and his wife saw England together a couple of years back and are planning a trip to Italy next year. A typical weekend will find them gardening together with the same dedication to the flowers and the veggies that used to go into Bill's artistic efforts. That sort of thing is what's most important now, not staying-up all night to play guitar or write computer programs.
- Or for that matter Wiki articles. Not that Wiki articles shouldn't be written when one is the mood and has ones other chores done and has considered the other people around that matter. But indulging in a writing orgy is no longer on Bill's agenda.
About What You Can Expect
- If you ask me about a subject that I know about and I have the time to give you a decent answer I will. It might even be considered citable by some and excitable by others. Regardless of the subject by now I've probably got an opinion which might not count for much but if you have read this page you probably have some idea about what you can expect.
- That's about it!
- --Bill Buckels 01:57, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
About Bill Buckels' Articles
- BSAVE (graphics image format)
- PCPaint (co-authored)
- Pictor Paint
- PICtor PIC image format
- Example Pictor Encoder
- Example Pictor Decoder
- GRASP (co-authored)
- GRASP GL Library Format