About

My name is John Dhabolt and I’ve been a software developer and architect for over 30 years. I was also President/CEO of an early Java products company in the late 1990s with the award-winning Roaster Java IDE. In my spare time I’m a runner, commercial art enthusiast (also worked with a past Director of the Society of Illustrators on a side project), pop culturalist (have a tiny IMDb listing and a pop culture website currently in deep sleep), metal guitar playerist, and geek learning Greek (κόσμος χαίρειν).

About the Blog

Periodic ramblings about software development topics that interest me.

Some of the areas covered include:

  • Daily Dose:  Covers daily book/video deals (some free); new books and videos; short topics of interest and related links.
  • Blog Posts: You know, those articles normally associated with a tech blog.
  • Books/Videos: Will be as simple as a new book announcement or an actual full review of a book, video or related item.

The site is currently statically generated using Jekyll and the hydejack theme by qwtel. The Jekyll application is run either under the Windows Subsystem for Linux or in a Docker container (depending on which of my computers I happen to be using at the time).

Warning: A Long Rambling About Me

My programming journey began in Oregon in 1985 when my wife and I attended a vacation timeshare presentation, where the free prize for staying through the entire presentation was an Atari 600XL computer (with a whopping 16k of RAM). We got the computer, and no, we didn’t buy the timeshare.

Since the internet was a few years away, learning to program meant either going back to school or visiting libraries. At the time, going back to school wasn’t an option, so it was off to the library to see what it had to say about computers.

I’ve always found libraries to be magical places (you can become almost anything with enough time at a library), and we were fortunate enough to live near one of the finest libraries on the planet: The Salem Public Library (in the Oregon capital). For the Atari and similar small home computers, COMPUTE! magazine was the go-to resource, and the library had a great selection of it and other related computing titles. Through the resources at the library I learned to program in BASIC and assembly (primarily games and animated sequences).

The following year I traded up to an Atari 800XL (64k of RAM) and added a cassette recorder for storage. While game programming was fun, I had some business ideas that just weren’t being met with the type of software available on the Atari. After a trip to a local computer store in 1987, I walked out with a brand new Apple Macintosh and 4th Dimension, a little known database application development framework (still available today at 4D.com). The choice of databases available on the Macintosh at that time were between Filemaker and 4th Dimension. While Filemaker was the most popular and easiest to learn, 4th Dimension was said to be the most powerful (with a corresponding premium cost), but with a steep learning curve. For me, the choice was a no brainer.

Shortly afterward I started a small sole proprietarship (JCD III Systems) that used 4th Dimension to create data-driven applications for clients. As one of my first paid jobs I took over the database programming tasks for an Oregon premium wine distributor (Henny-Hinsdale Wines). While this was a great programming experience, the free wine tasting on Friday afternoons was probably the highlight. After several years of part time and full time consulting jobs through the sole propriertorship, I decided to join another consulting company that was also using 4th Dimension, Touch Media (later renamed to Vector Technologies).

(To be continued…)

John Dhabolt, 2017.08.17


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