I was born in 1955 to two American parents, Ward and Marian Smith, who were in Thailand at the time. We didn't stay there long. All I really remember is my pet gibbon, Sammy. My parents were very fond of relating how much smarter than I Sammy was. Smart or not, he got left behind when we moved to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong was where my sister Deborah was born in 1958. I don't remember much of it either, but I've been back there a few times since then, and it's a remarkable city. After Hong Kong, we lived in Okinawa, Tokyo, Taipei and other Asian cities before moving to Honolulu.
We didn't stay in Honolulu long either, my Dad got a job in San Francisco and later Palo Alto, so we moved to Menlo Park. I'd say I grew up there, if I could truthfully say I ever grew up.
I've been blessed with having two careers, one in Music and the other in Computer Science. I graduated from the University of California with a Music degree, and promptly moved to New York where I wound up working on the road for roughly ten years for a variety of "oldies" bands. Playing saxophone primarily, the most demand was with 50's bands, which was before the guitar became the primary melodic instrument.
I first went on the road with Gary "U.S." Bonds, but there soon followed a stream of 50's acts, mostly from broken groups. I played with Martha Reeves (Martha and the Vandellas) without the Vandellas, the Juniors without Danny, you get the idea. Usually they were suing each other.
My last road act was a tribute to Bill Haley (the Comets minus Bill Haley, he had just died). The tour featured people who had played with Bill and I did once while he was alive. His regular sax player had emphysema. When the tour was over I elected to stay in Malaysia. I stayed there until my father's death in 1984.
In 1984 I moved back to the Bay Area, starting a second career as a computer programmer. Actually, having grown up in Silicon Valley, I already had a lot of training. I worked summer jobs at the Stanford University computer center so I knew my ASCII from an EBCDIC in the ground :) My high school had an HP 1000 (complete with teletype machines and paper tape). We learned BASIC, and how to make the disk drive walk across the room.
Also, a friend of mine, Dave Openheim (OpCode) showed me C on a MacIntosh, and that began a lifelong love affair (with the Mac, not Dave) which only got stronger when Apple switched their OS to a BSD. I started as a programmer coding in Pascal, which was the lingua franca of the Mac at the time. Later most of my coding was in C on unix (System V mostly) and eventually C++ and currently Objective-C. Along the way I've also used Cobol, Fortran and Java.
Lately I've been designing web sites, and I'm very excited about the new technologies available with html5. I hope you enjoy this web site. I still play music, jazz mostly, which is what I enjoy the most. But I also love playing the ukelele. Mahalo!