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I started working with Java in June of 1995, a mere three months after Sun introduced it to the public and well before most people knew of it's existence. In July I took a job programming Java for Dimension X, a start-up company in San Francisco that specialized in Java. While working for Dimension X my experiences with Java involved:
- Writing the world's first real time IRC chat applet in September 1995 before Java had even hit beta.
- Doing a lot of the Java programming for the early stages of Willisville, a new virtual reality community. I worked on this project with Grammy award winner Allee Willis and two-time Emmy winner Prudence Fenton.
- Creating a Winnie the Pooh Coloring Book applet that was used on the official Disney web site.
- Producing an image processing applet for Parker Brothers' official Monopoly web site.
In February of 1996, I left Dimension X so that I could spend my time consulting. After leaving Dimension X I consulted for the Academy of Applied Science on a project called The Global School District. The Global School district was a 100% Java application which seamlessly integrated various communications protocols such as email, newsgroups, IRC, talk, and zephyr. I was in charge of implementing the software and I personally wrote over 95% of the code in the project. All of the client side and server side software was written from scratch and it was written entirely in Java.
In the winter of 1995 I developed a 3D stereo pair modeler in Java which generates three dimensional models from stereo photographs. This program was developed as part of one of my classes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
I also have experience with technical writing dealing with Java. I have written chapters for the Sams.net books Java Unleashed, Java Unleashed Professional Edition, and Java 1.1 Unleashed.
In the summer of 1997 I wrote a book on search engines and as part of the book I wrote a chapter on how to write your own search engine. For demonstration purposes I wrote a search engine, entirely in Java. My search engine included a spider and a custom web server and it was developed in about half a week. This led to my work with Infoseek where they contracted the development of a pure Java search engine to me.
My experience with Java also led me to find a major security hole in Microsoft Internet Explorer's extensions to Java. This was a well publicized bug that allowed hostile web pages to silently corrupt an user's hard drive.
In the fall of 1997 I wrote a web based adaptation of the popular board game Cosmic Encounter. This project involved the creation of completely original client and server software, all of which was written entirely in Java.
I make very extensive use of Java at my current job at Pharmatrak. I have single-handedly developed the software behind their two flagship services, a compartive website traffic analysis service and an internet monitoring service, largely in Java. These projects at one time or other touched on almost all aspects of the standard Java libraries (and some extensions) including (but not limitted to) RMI, JNI, JDBC, Java Beans, Swing, the AWT, applets, and JSP. I have also used third party Java libraries and applications for these Pharmatrak projects, most notably the Enhydra application server which is quite possibly the most popular Java application server.
A minor spinoff of my work with Pharmatrak is the Babelj library I wrote and which Pharmatrak has graciously agreed to open source. This library allows you to completely control a Java VM from PHP (or from any other language with socket support, for that matter). I designed and wrote the entire Java server and PHP client in one day (with testing taking an additional day). Pharmatrak is planning on open-sourcing more of my work in the future.
I also enjoy writing Java programs in my spare time. To see an up to date list of applets and Java classes that I've written on my own time and released to the public visit my Java homepage at http://www.twmacinta/myjava/ (there are various other completed applets and class libraries which I have been ready to release for awhile but haven't had time to document and publish yet). You may be interested to know that the applet at the top of my Java homepage actually works in the original alpha version of HotJava which disappeared around September 1995.
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