WORK IN PROGRESS...
Welcome to my home page

Currently, the aim of this site is to support my employment search after a long semi-retirement break

Click on resume to see my resume in printable form.

I can be reached at
edjames@greenbelt.com
edward.james@gmail.com
home phone: 301 345-8479.
Current/Recent Technical Activities

LINUX has become a full time hobby for me. I have five LINUX boxen now, more of which are active on my home Ethernet system. All of these machines are built from older, throwaway machines which I've recommissioned as Desktop Linux workstations to work on various projects. Some of past and current projects include: C++/Xlib widget development...
GTK+ programming...
Java "Desktop"...
Sample Java Programs

This is a list of programs written by me which run (as is) as either an applet or an application, depending on how the user chooses to launch them. They are intended to display certain Java features (threads, animation, graphics, etc), and certain Java components, (MenuBars, ToolBars, Canvases, etc). Each example page contains a functioning applet, brief explanation of features, and the complete source code.
Applet/Application that displays a .jpg
Simple little bouncing ball animation
Early stage of a board game of some kind
Circle things randomly run through a random maze
Simple video animation
Simple little scribbler program
Simulated display console

Sample Java Applications

Ed's Java Desktop is GUI Java desktop package. The goal is to provide a single Java package for desktop computers which contains most or all of the functionality usually needed by an end user. Example functions are database, file management, spreadsheet, word processing, browser, telnet client, chat client/server, and games. Stretch this concept and we're back to Java actually BEING an OS.

Ed's Compiled Java Library is a library of classes written in C+ which mimic various Java classes. The aim is to be able to write, test, and debug a non-GUI program in Java, and then convert the Java source code into C++ source code. The C++ code is then compiled to native binary.


Current Community Activities

This listing is presented to showcase my social skills and group involvment. References from each organization can be provided when requested.

Board of Directors of Greenbelt Homes, Inc., a 1,600 member housing cooperative in the heart of old, historic Greenbelt, Maryland. I've been elected to our Board of Directors three times. The BOD itself has elected me as Corporate Treasurer once and Corporate Secretary twice. This position involves numerous meetings as well as occasionally representing GHI to other organizations, such as our City Council. I've also been elected to the GHI Audit Committee which is an oversight group which reviews operations and procedures. I have also been appointed to committees which exist to develope an extensive housing upgrade program over the next several years, manage 90 acres of surrounding forest which we own, meet with agencies such as WSSC, and provide social services such as our annual picnic, home and garden "open house", neighborhood yard sales, and other similar events.

Board of Directors of New Deal Cafe, a cooperatively-owned and operated restaurant/bar in Greenbelt. I have been elected to a five-member BOD to make decisions and write policies to run this business. Prior to my election to the BOD, I was elected to the NDC Audit Committee which was instituted to review BOD operations.

Board of Directors of the Greenbelt Community Development Corporation, a recently-formed and growing Maryland Corporation created to assist in community development project in the City of Greenbelt. I am one of the founders and have been elected to our BOD, and elected Treasurer of the GCDC by the BOD. I maintain our finances.

Co-Chair of the Old Greenbelt Neighborhood Watch, a citizen organization which assists and is supervised by the Greenbelt Police Department by acting to reduce or prevent crime and enhance safety within Greenbelt. I am one of the original founders and have served as Co-Chair of the OGNW for many years now.

Member, Green ACES, a committee appointed by the Greenbelt City Council to address environmental issues, research issues, and make recommendations for policies to the Greenbelt City Council. I have been appointed to this committee by our City Council repeatedly for many years now.


Out-of-the-Box Thinking
Often, I demonstrate initiative by developing creative and innovative ways to make a system perform above and beyond expectations. This section provides a few examples.

Years ago, in an IBM environment, I was the Systems Engineer responsible for quick fixes for NOAA system which included two IBM mainframe job runsets (consisting of several job steps) each of which took over 12 hours of wall-clock time to run. After the usual practices of reblocking IO, tuning syncsort parameters, and so on, I dug deeper into the COBOL code to find the biggest bottleneck. This turned out to be an ISAM lookup performed hundreds of thousands of times per day, which hit a particular disk file pretty heavily - once for the key, and at least once for the record. Since the COBOL compiler at that time limited array size to 65k, it was not possible to fit that ISAM table into a main memory array. However, runtime did NOT check for array overflow, so I abused a bug. Note that this is not a good practice, but under the circumstances, a job which took over 12 hours wallclock time a day, and which ran on an old IBM machine which was prone to crashes, it was justified. I allocatted TWO arrays, back-to-back, then read the ISAM file into the first array, allowing the executing job to overflow the first array into the second array. No harm done - it was MY space, to use as I saw fit. Data lookup via the array method enabled both runs to complete in under 2 hours of wallclock time, with a tremendous savings in CPU and IO costs.

My most recent position was a Software Engineer at Sprint for 3.5 years (first as a contractor, then as in-house). I was assigned to cut a purchase order for some commercial Java software purported to be able to generate Excel spreadsheets from data we pulled from an Oracle database. I was unable to get a firm price from the sequences of salemen assigned to my account. I received a series of questions about our environment, such as number of cpu's per machine, number of users, number of machines, etc. Eventually, this project was yanked away from me. However, by the time Sprint management was able to get a price-quote, the prices had gone up above and beyond the allocated project budget, which meant more delays to gain additional funding, and a failure to meet the project deadline. I took it upon myself to find how Excel worksheets were designed, did a lot of searching and testing, and was able to write my own Java code which produced the desired output. I did this entirely on my own time, on my own computer. When I mentioned my success to my Manager, he asked me to turn it over to the project leader to see if it would work in Sprint's environment. It did indeed. Using my own initiative, I saved a project from failure, saved Sprint tens of thousands of dollars, and received an award from Sprint of a whole hundred bucks.