Bio & Background
To say I've been around the block a few times would be an understatement but the good news is that I haven't let experience corrupt my worldview. I still believe in the goodness of people and am willing to lend a hand when need be. Anyone that's watched an episode of Dharma & Greg knows my personality type. I'm what you might get if Greg would ever adopt Dharma's way of thinking--sort of a happy middle ground between carefree/fun/easy-going and uptight/hard-working/over-achiever.
Seriously though, I got my start with computers in the late 70's (grade school) but didn't actually get my first computer till the mid 80's. I bought a Commodore 64 and thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. I programmed games for the Commodore 64 and the Apple II for a while in the early 80's. When I entered the military in '85, I got my first taste of networks, email and real-time transaction environments and I've been swimming up hill ever since.
My time in the military took me around the world. I spent a year and half in intensive technical training before being shipped off to an overseas assignment. My first tour was in Japan. I liked it so much in the Far East that I extended for an additional year. In Japan, I studied Japanese, Kendo and Buddhism after hours while I worked with computers and real-time transaction environments as a systems analyst specializing in real-time messaging and speech systems.
After Japan, I volunteered for an airborne assignment and went off to Air Combat School followed by Survival training. Survival training was challenging and fun, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless of course you like running through the wilderness in the middle of winter without food or going through prisoner of war training for a few endless weeks.
My next assignment was in Germany. In the air, I worked with airborne communication systems, electronic warfare systems, and other advanced computer and networking technologies. On the ground, I did my bit in flight operations and worked with PC management--office computers and databases. After hours, I spent quite a bit of time wandering through Europe--Germany, France, Spain, Holland, England, Scotland just to name a few of the countries. I still miss German meats and breads, Italian ice cream and real cheese. Not that my home state of Wisconsin doesn't make good cheese, but after Holland cheese just doesn't taste the same.
Fun in Germany was interrupted by the situation in the Persian Gulf. I was among the first in my company to volunteer for combat duty. I served in Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Provide Comfort. During the Gulf War, I logged hundreds of combat hours in the air and flew on many missions into Iraq. I was awarded 9 medals for my wartime service including one of the United State's highest flying honors, the Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross.
Serving in combat gave me clarity of thought and determination like nothing you'd believe. I didn't forget about the things I had seen or heard during the war, but instead I let it drive me to success.
My next assignment was to Hawaii where I spent my last 5 years in the military, again working in a real-time transaction environment but this time I worked mostly as a UNIX system administration and WAN manager. While working full time, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and a Master of Science in Information Systems, graduating with distinction--and all in less than 4 years. Basically, I either worked during the day and went to school at night/weekends or went to school during the day/weekends and went to work at night. If you can believe it, I actually co-wrote my first computer book while working on my Master's Thesis. My Master's Thesis is a weighty tome devoted to gaining competitive advantage on the Internet.
After Hawaii, I went my own way, working as a consultant and writer. So far I've written or contributed to over a dozen computer books. Beyond books, I am also a regular columnist and feature writer for magazines. Throughout 1997, I was a contributing editor and columnist for the Web Database Developer column in Dr. Dobb's Sourcebook. I am also a contributor to PC Magazine and you'll sometimes find my work in the PC Tech section. A lists of my published works follows.
Journals/Magazines (Selected Samples)
Copyright 1994-2003 William R. Stanek