Roy Brander's Home Page
When this page was first posted in 1993:
Home : (403) 288-0436
Work : (403) 268-2176
FAX : (403) 268-5709 :
Pursuant to a good suggestion from Slashdot, I'm removing it.
How's this: if you're human and not a bot, notice my name, take the
hint that I patronize a large search corporation for my communications
needs, and GUESS MY E-MAIL!
Now there's a Turing Test...
B.Sc. Civil Engineering,
University of Calgary, 1980
B.Sc. Computer Science, University of Calgary,
Structural Design (concrete and
steel) - Fluor Engineers and Constructors, 1980-1982
Management, Programming - RE/SPEC Consultants 1985-1986
Support - City of Calgary Data Processing Dept 1986-1989
Coordinator - Calgary Waterworks 1989-1997
Sr. Infrastructure Engineer -
Calgary Waterworks 1997-2005
Sr. Infrastructure Engineer -- Calgary Water Resources 2005-
I'm kind of the "engineering technical head" (read: guy that's been doing it longest)
for the small group of engineers and and finance experts called the "Asset Management"
group for "Infrastructure Planning". We plan the
strategy for replacing and rehabilitating Calgary's Water and Sewers underground
infrastructure. We manage projects to determine the actual state of our mains
through non-destructive testing, do forensic analyses of pieces of mains and
valves removed for replacement, and comb through the databases we develop to
decide where to best spend the millions of dollars budgeted each year to keep
the water system in good shape. With the amalgamation of Engineering groups from Waterworks and Sewer into "Water Resources" in 2005, it's now our job to do this for all three pipe systems, and eventually help the "AM" strategy for the plants, as well...a total infrastructure with a replacement value of $30B.
Besides hiking the mountains, and
skiing whenever we can afford it, my main hobbies can all be summarized as
"collecting a library", not just books, but comics, pictures, CD's, videotapes,
CD-ROMs, and now computer files of text, sound, and pictures.
I live in Calgary in a house with a wonderful view of the Bow River Valley.
- Not of much interest outside my workplace, but some nice pix I got with my keen new "Canon G11" camera of our work group doing a "team building" thing by painting a picture. Really liked the G11: out of about 70 snaps by myself and two others that borrowed it, all on auto, only half-a-dozen were poorly focused or lit.
- Some work I did to examine the claims in Dr. Helen Caldicott's book, "Nuclear Power is Not the Answer", to the effect that nuclear power plants have nearly as large a carbon footprint as fossil-fuel power plants. She was, in brief, wrong.
- A few hours' work looking at the effect of not having health insurance on life span for American States
I've been reading a lot lately at a blog site called True/Slant where I found Matt Taibbi and a favourite fiction author, F. Paul Wilson. A blog there wanted comments on Megan McArdle's controversial Atlantic piece questioning whether health insurance has any effect on life span. It's plain enough to me that there is some effect, even if it is well-hidden by stronger factors such as obesity, income and smoking. It was much more plain to Harvard, as shown in the link from my page on it above.
- Our vacation in Hawaii, 2009. Click on the "kt" link for our three-day trip up the Kalalau Trail with over 60 photos
- We went back in 2011. No huge hike this time, but even more stunning photos of Kauai,
and a few of a luxurious golf-resort on Maui. (We didn't play golf. Too much snorkeling to do.)
- The eeePC and the Threat to Microsoft ... a presentation for CUUG about my then-new "eeepc", the first netbook. I correctly predicted some pressure on MS-Windows from the new platforms that didn't need it - albeit that netbooks were not that platform. (Windows did push Unix from the netbook space in 2008). The predicted pressure actually happened in smartphones and tablets.
- "Poor Man's Computer: Cheap Information Appliances for the Whole World" ... a presentation for the City of Calgary Society of Professional Engineers, January 31, 2008. Highly-time-sensitive material, it will be laughably dated by late 2010. If you are reading this after that, enjoy it as a nostalgia piece. It tackles the Eee PC, the XO laptop and how Intel has tried to sink it, and a general review of global development and the debunking of myths about it. Has considerable content overlap with the eeepc presentation above, but a much larger focus on sales in the developing world.
- The Titanic and Risk
Management (vs. Cost Management)
Index to all material including the
1995 Web essay and the 1998 lecture developed from it, then the 2000 address
to the National Defense Industrial Association, including links to the
paintings I have scanned
- Speech on "The
Internet and Civil Engineering" for Canadian Society of Civil Engineers
- Essay for "24 Hours
of Democracy" February 22nd, 1996
- Index to "The CUUGer"
(web newsletter of CUUG, the Calgary Unix User Group), which I edit.
- Most of the contents of "The CUUGer" are of little interest outside our
group, except for a few Unix fans who will want to read the more technical
articles. However, I do use my editor position to get a few opinions off my
chest - many are of general interest on topics on politics and society. Here
are direct links to them:
- May, 1996:
"The End of Moore's Law. Thank God!"
Describing the expected end of
steady improvement in silicon circuits - and claiming that this has a silver
- June, 1996:
"Home-made Pie is Best"
Observing that many things of quality are
still produced for free, and that the inability to protect "intellectual
property" from piracy may not mean the end of good art - or software.
1996: "Hacking Alone"
Recounting the theories about societal
cohesion from the book "Bowling Alone", and the counterargument in the
Atlantic's review "Kicking In Groups" - and how all this relates to the
small "cyber-society" that is CUUG.
- February 1997:
"You Say You Want a Revolution? Be Careful..."
Revolution, as viewed by Robert Owen and commented on by Canadian author
John Ralston Saul, was NOT an improvement in prosperity for most
people - and perhaps neither will be the Silicon Revolution.
- May, 1997:
"The Philosophy of Freedom"
Describing the Ingoldsby definition of
Unix as a "Philosophy of Freedom", and how Unix will still "win" the
market-share battle even if every desktop is run by Microsoft - as long as
we keep to the philosophy.
1997: "Death to Word Processing"
Describing how HTML and XML make
possible a completely open, non-proprietary format for any kind of document
or datastore, and calling for the switch away from proprietary file formats.
Relating the joy of giving that everybody feels at
Christmas to the giving spirit of those who create tremendous free software
products like Linux and Perl - and pointing out that this wonderful spirit
is most prevalent in the Unix community.
- June, 1998:
"The Chronicles of Computer Communications"
biblical-language parody. Blush.
- January, 2000: No
Pane of Glass
The Web search that ended a long, long personal search
and reminded me how great the Web is...but found more than I bargained for.