Chapter 1: My Career Gone
Footnote: Unemployed 1991-2007
By the end of March 1991, my 15-year old software development and technical writing business could not continue. The recession of the early 1990s turned many customers into
persistent slow and non-payers. Also I was unable to compete with the high-powered marketing of the new large highly-capitalised companies that were muscling into the arena.
At the start of April 1991, I therefore 'signed on' in order to get some form of income (if that is the right word for it). I searched diligently for paying work of any kind - a permanent job, contract or freelance. I searched right up until my 65th birthday (19 September 2007). However, this proved to be an utterly futile chore.
Personal Projects while Unemployed
During this time, in parallel with my job searching, I embarked on an intense upgrade to my technical knowledge. This took the form of small software projects. I did these in parallel with writing this book. Details of all this software are given below. These, plus fully working demonstrations of my applets, are posted on my web site.
- EBS Nexus - a personal communications system
- personal link - its successor (a Java applet)
- a generic Systems Flow-Model of a business
- my own financial and accounting models
- way-point radial capture function (a Java applet)
- moving map display for global aircraft navigation (a Java applet)
- EBS Nomad - an in-flight passenger information system
- a collection of air navigation functions (written in C)
- navigation system for nodes of a mobile communications network
My fascination with chaos theory was sparked of by an article in the Scientific American in the 1980's. This interest was intensified in 1991 when I read James Gleick's book Chaos. My interest in chaos theory is rooted in my eternal quest to understand nature. I feel that this is the key to understanding how individuals and businesses must change to survive and prosper in the future global society.
To bring myself up to date in 1996 I changed to programming in Java. The following applets illustrate some of the application areas which I have delved into using Java.
- Client-side Keyword Search Engine applet
- A simple non-caching, non-proxy Web server (not an applet).
- A bar graph applet which displays web site hits statistics.
- Moving Map Navigator - automatic guidance for aircraft
- Way-point Encounter navigational system development
- Personal Link contacts management database
- Difference Equation Iterater (Chaos Theory)
- Bifurcation Map Generator (Chaos Theory)
- Mandelbrot Set Generator (Chaos Theory)
- Hénon's Strange Attractor - a mathematical mind bender
- Sigmoid Function generator (re neural networks)
- Lissajous Figures demonstration
- Radio Receiver Pass-band Simulator
- An HTML word counter and vocabulary compiler
Some of these applets were developed using Sun Microsystems' Java Developer's Kit 1.0.1 running on IBM OS/2 Warp4. Others were developed after I upgraded to Versions 1.1.4. and 1.1.6 which I installed on both OS/2 Warp 4 and Windows 95. These applets are posted in full working order on my web site.
- A neural network multi-layer perceptron
- various air navigation functions
- various HTML browser functions
- elements of a message driven operating system
- learning HTML and using it to write my book and build my web site
- writing my opinions on Web site design
- keeping up with MS Windows 95 and taking on OS/2 Warp 4
- keenly following the development of Open Source Linux
- Robos an operating system for message-driven finite-state machine applications (written in C)
- HTML tag filter and interpretation functions (written in C)
- Neural Networks: a multi-layer perceptron (written in C) with some suggested applications
- activity analysis applied to the family and home
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©April 1994 Robert John Morton