A Short Autobiography
I was born in
Poughkeepsie, New York on October 25, 1946. My early years were
spent in Milton, NY and later in Wappingers Falls, NY, both near
Poughkeepsie, NY, about 70 miles north of New York City. I was
the 3rd child, and have a brother Bob and a sister Kathy. We
were all brought up as Christians - believers in Jesus Christ as
As a child, I was taught that my eyesight
limitations would not prevent me from doing anything I wanted to do
(I was "legally" blind - which means my vision was worse than
20/200). My parents were very careful raising me to think of
myself as "normal" and capable. This was extremely effective,
and I thank God for their insight.
My interest in music started early. I spent
many hours listening to my dad's collection of 10" LP's from the
Musical Heritage Society: Bach, Beethoven, Brahmas, Vivaldi,
Haydn, Handel, and other greats. I fell in love with many
great classical pieces that I still love today. I also took
piano lessons for a number of years.
Until 8th grade, my glasses had no measurable
impact on my sight. I could not read the blackboard from the
front row, so I sat at the back and used a "reading machine" in the
closet to read books. I very clearly remember telling my
teachers about the prospects for getting a new kind of glasses from
Dr. Feinbloom in New York City that would enable me to see the
blackboard for the first time. They were not impressed.
My visit to New York City was amazing: for
the first time, I could actually read the letters on the eye charts!
With some help from the Lion's Club of Poughkeepsie, my parents were
able to afford the very expensive glasses I needed.
Unfortunately, the glasses were over an inch thick. This did
not help me in social circles in high school.
In spite of a rough start in 7th grade, and the
status as a "social outcast" in high school, my grades improved
steadily until I was on the high honor roll by the time I graduated.
In 1962, we moved to Rochester, New York, the home
of Eastman Kodak and Xerox Corporation. I spent 2 years in
Penfield High School, and graduated in 1964. I applied to the
University of Rochester, and was accepted into their Electrical
During my high
school years, I had many interests. My love for photography
started there, with a Kodak Instamatic camera. My interest in
electronics blossomed in 9th grade, and I built many tube-based
electronic devices. My science fair project in 12th grade was
to build a complete AM radio station, WPBC (West Penfield
Broadcasting Company). This was a carrier-current transmitter,
like used on college campuses. I set up broadcasting after
school for 2 hours, and sold local advertising at $0.60 per minute.
I even broadcast from the front window of the local drug store for a
week! The 1963 photo above is taken from the local Penfield
newspaper, showing me in my basement broadcast studio. My
Heathkit oscilloscope and multi-meter can be clearly seen on the
I attended the University of Rochester,
majoring in Electrical Engineering. In those days, that was
tubes! Transistors were just beginning to be taught! In
fact, I am the 'evil student' that caused the electronics course lab
project to be switched from a tube-based oscilloscope to a
solid-state design! I did that (accidentally) by asking if I
could do it. The professor did not know that high voltage
transistors were available at Radio Shack - but when I showed him my
plans, he decided on the spot to have the whole class switch to
I got to write my first Operating System at UR -
for the IBM 7700 DAS (Data Acquisition System) - a mainframe
which filled a pretty large room. The computer was donated by
IBM when they decided not to produce it as a product. It was
the last of the 7000 series computers. All software was
written in 7700 assembler. I wrote the symbolic assembler, the
complier, linker/loader, and run-time system, over a 4 year period.
I still have the program listings in the garage.
IBM's system software could not be used, because
it required two expensive tape drives, which the University could
not afford. So, we got to write our own! My STANCOM
compiler was a FORTRAN IV-like compiler, but included real-time
extensions for the DAS, and controls for the external analog
computer, an EAI 680. The analog computer allowed us to
integrate digital and analog computations. In those days, the
computers were not fast enough to do it all digitally. My
Apple II was faster and had more memory! Graduate students
used my compiler to translate programs to control experiments, such
as eye responses to light pulses.
It was at UR that my social life exploded.
The unforgiving teenager years were past at last! I joined the
Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, and had a great social life,
including my first girlfriends. I launched out and established
my faith on my own, separate from my parents faith, and established
an important foundation for the rest of my life.
I graduated from UR with High Honors with a BS/EE
degree in 1968, and then moved to Boston to attend the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, majoring in Computer
Science - specifically, artificial intelligence. In those
days, people actually thought we were on the verge of creating
intelligent machines, believe it or not! Here we are 30 years
later, dealing with Windows™ - probably not exactly what was
anticipated as "intelligent"...
After 3 years, it became clear to me that I did
not want a PhD degree, so I took a "bypass" to the MS degree and a
special degree MIT awards to PhD candidates who don't write a thesis
but do complete all course work - an EE degree. Such a
confusing name! When I tell people I have an EE degree from
MIT, they think "BSEE". Sigh.
Grad Group at Park Street Church
In Boston, I joined the Park Street Grad Group,
a large graduate-age group meeting Sunday nights at the historic
Park Street Church, right on the Boston Common. Firearms were
stored in the catacombs under the church during the Revolutionary
War. I took a brief tour of this underground area.
This Grad Group also had a very high impact on my
life. I joined the Grad Group Band playing the accordion, and
had a ball playing every Sunday evening. My piano lessons
finally paid off! The Grad Group had a very high impact on
many others, as well. This can be verified by the fact that
the group still exists and has yearly reunions to this day.
Visit the Grad Group area on this website for more information.
While at MIT and attending Grad Group, I became an
avid dater. I was known as "safe" by the girls of Grad Group,
and often dated two to three times a week. I met my wife Sandy
through a Grad Group wedding. She had been a roommate in
college with the girl getting married, and was one of her
bridesmaids. In my usual photographer mode, I took her
picture. She asked for a copy, and that started a pen pal
relationship that ended in marriage a few years later. Sandy
was living in Philadelphia at the time.
First Photo Trip
The year before I graduated MIT in 1971, I took my
first trip to the US Southwest - Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion
Canyon, and others, with some friends from MIT. In those days
I was using slide film (Agfachrome 100) because it cost too much to
do prints, and I enjoyed giving "slide shows" to the Grad Group.
Unfortunately, most of the slides from the 70's and early 80's were
destroyed by humidity when I moved to Florida in 1979.
It was during this trip where the relationship
with my wife-to-be developed, via lots of postcards with "xxxx's"
and "oooo's" on them. This was no doubt due to camping for a
month with 3 guys! When I returned, she visited Boston to
"collect" on the promised hugs and kisses.
The Clear Light Experience
After marriage in 1971, we continued to live in
Boston - Newton, actually, until 1979. I was one of the
founders of Clear Light Productions - later just Clear
Light, Inc. This Christian start-up company was founded by
some friends from Park Street Church to use multi-media to present
the Gospel of Jesus Christ to secular man. We used banks of
slide projectors and other devices to do this, along with rock
music. We got tossed out of Park Street Church for using rock
music! As things developed, we presented a 6-projector show
entitled "Cry 3" to over 500,000 people
in churches, schools, universities, on beaches, in parks, etc., over
a 5 year period, using seminary students to cart around the
equipment and give the presentations. The follow-on
production, "Because I Am" was never
produced, except in record form (hey - they didn't have CD's back
Ultimately, the company became an electronics
company, based on the products I developed, and the name was changed
from Clear Light Productions to Clear Light, Inc. We moved the
company to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1979, where I lived for 8
Engineering at Clear Light
My responsibility as Chief Engineer - later Senior
VP of Engineering - was to create the hardware to drive the
projection equipment. It started out with manual "dissolve
units" driven with simple analog circuitry and relays, moved to tone
encoded simple digital systems using PLL's (Phase Locked Loops),
then to paper tape with SSI CMOS chips, next to pure digital with
MSI CMOS, and finally to microprocessor-based designs. Our
first microchip was the Fairchild F8 series, in the form of a Mostek
3870 single chip computer. That was a great little chip!
Really compact 8-bit instruction set, on-board 2K ROM, and about 36
pins of I/O. Programmed on a TI "silent 700" cassette-based
terminal! Was that a trip! It took 15 minutes to run the
The Apple Connection
In 1979, we began looking for a microcomputer to
base our future products on. Up to then, we had introduced
products based on various technologies, beginning with "manual"
controls, and then moving up as the microelectronics industry
|The 1200 System: paper tape and tones|
|The Diamond System: digital CMOS logic, SSI and MSI|
|The Star System: 3870 microcomputer based - typically 2 per unit. A
15-projector system was a network of 13 3870's.|
Our competitors were using S100-based computers.
These were very heavy, and used lots and lots of parts, plus an
external CRT terminal. When I finally saw my first Apple II
computer, with switching power supply, single, simple motherboard,
integrated keyboard, sound and graphics, I knew it was the right
choice. From this, we created the
Clear Light Superstar computer, one of two Apple
"co-branded" versions of the Apple II ever allowed. The other
co-branded Apple II was the Bell & Howell black version. In
this photo, supplied by an old friend, you can see me demonstrating
the Superstar to a customer at a trade show, probably around 1983.
A co-branded Apple II had Apple logos and our
logos on the name plates for the disk drives and the computer
itself. Below is a picture of the Apple II name plate for the
Superstar with Apple-approved co-brand
Apple finally decided this co-branding was not a
good thing, and called and asked us to stop. I offered to stop
if they would pay for the stock of nameplates we had made up - about
$1100 total. I never heard from them again! Guess Apple
was pretty small in those days! When they came out with the
Apple //e, the labels no longer fit, and we were out of the
We created a real-time multi-tasking operating
system for the Apple II, all in hand-crafted 6502 assembly code.
It got too big to fit in 64K of memory, so we used disk overlays to
extend the available space. Even Apple DOS 3.3 was a disk
overlay! It was always fun to tell people that when they
selected "File" from the menu, DOS was swapped into memory!
For you Apple II fans, we keep the RTWS (Read/Write Track & Sector)
subroutine in memory at all times.
Multi-Tasking on an Apple II!
With the Superstar, you could program up to
4 "time lines" at once. A task or alternate time line was
started via the "Start Task' command. This unprecedented
capability (for programming slide projectors) allowed independent
functions to be programmed independently. For example, you
could create one task to do a marquee effect with 3 projectors, and
synchronize other projectors to the beat of the music with
another, while changing subtitles to the voice track on
another. The computer would "merge" the timelines together
into a single "cue track" for the projector controllers.
The entire system could run at 100 cues per
second, and could process control statements (non-projector
statements) at over 1000 statements per second. Our
competitors could not match the performance or ease of use, even
when using a much more powerful IBM PC and C programming. It
was too slow to use! Ah, there IS some value to a Pentium 4,
after all! To suck up all the C compiler and operating system
There are many other Clear Light stories, but
enough! The Clear Light experience lasted until 1987.
During the 16 years with Clear Light, I was very productive: I
developed and shipped over 55 products, from manual controls to
Apple II-based products. We had the best products. Too
bad we didn't know how to spell "marketing."
...continued in right column
|continued from left column...
In 1974, we had our first and only child - Adam
Christian Anderson. Adam was a delightful child! Sandy
became a full-time mom, and together we raised a wonderful son.
When we left Florida in 1987 to move to San Jose, California for my
new job at Apple Computer, Inc., Adam was in 8th grade. He
attended Ft. Lauderdale Christian School during the first 7 grades.
It was a painful transition to the public school system - even for a
school with a great reputation in Cupertino.
Adam graduated from high school, and then attended
Santa Clara University, where he got his B.S. in Computer
Science in 1996. Adam is now a consultant, doing database
systems for various clients here in San Jose. His resume is
also available elsewhere on this site.
Sandy also attended Santa Clara University, and
gained a MS degree in Counseling Psychology. She then worked
her 3000 hours as an intern, and took the state boards. After
receiving her license, she opened a successful private practice for
child and family therapy in San Jose. She closed her practice
in late 2002 for our move to Nevada.
Engineering at Apple Computer
When it was time to let Clear Light go - slide
projectors were on the way out - I began looking for a new job.
The only company I truly wanted to work for besides Clear Light was
Apple Computer, Inc. I read everything I could about
the company, the products, and the people. Cupertino was some
mysterious place on the west coast where all the interesting things
I got my first nibble in the summer of 1986 from
Larry Tessler, who was in charge of the Advanced Products Group,
which later became the Advanced Technology Group. Larry asked
me a question: "Do you want to do products or research?"
I guessed the wrong answer, based on the name of his group, and said
"products!". Oops... I was devastated when I found out
that the "right" answer was "research."
Fortunately, my wife Sandy had more faith than I
did. I gave up on Apple - it was too painful to consider
having been rejected by the one company I wanted to work for!
Sandy prayed for a year that Apple would contact me again and offer
me a job.
Sure enough (Hey! God answers prayers!) in
the summer of 1987, I got a call from John Medica (now at Dell
Computer) following up on a resume from the previous year.
I had just sent in a new one, but he was not aware of it. Over
the next few weeks, I visited Cupertino and Apple several times, and
moved out quickly to my new job in the CPU Engineering Group!
I was in nerd heaven!
While at Apple, I worked on various Apple II
programs, including the Apple II Video Overlay Card. I
also worked on a project to replace the Apple II main processor with
the ARM chip, which would emulate the Apple II instruction set.
Unfortunately, this project was killed. The reason given was
Apple could not afford to support yet another OS. At the time
I did not believe this (but now, with the FlashPoint Technology
experience, I do!). Another reason given by many was that it
threatened the Mac - it would have had a higher performance than the
Mac II at the time.
After that difficult experience of being "shot
down" at the Cross-Functional Review Board - a very painful
experience indeed, I moved on to DSP (Digital Signal Processing)
work. I was still into multi-media, even at Apple! I
helped create 5 chips that went into the AV Macs - the 660 AV and
the 840 AV:
|DSP 3210 from AT&T|
|"Singer" stereo codec from ITT|
|Three-chip video codec from Philips|
I was the chief architect for the DSP program, and
defined the architecture for ARTA: Apple Real
Time Architecture, which was presented at the 1992
Microprocessor Forum. Unfortunately, this architecture was
used by Apple only as a "bridge" technology during the transition
from 68K to Power PC, in spite of pleas from the imaging community,
such as Adobe Systems, Inc., to continue to support it on Power PC
During the ARTA program, I was transferred into
the Advanced Technology Group. It turns out I was too "far
out" timeline wise for product land, and too far in for ATG. I
started working on digital cameras in ATG in late 1992.
The idea of a software-based camera developed
slowly, beginning in 1993. We developed a block diagram,
selected parts, and even worked on defining the GUI (Graphical User
Interface) which would be visible on a 2 inch color LCD.
This effort developed into a full-blown program in
Imaging product development in the fall of 1994. This program
was based on work done in ATG, but excluded the all-important color
LCD display that we felt was critical for a digital camera.
Unfortunately, Apple management felt low price was more important,
and we spent 2 years working on a operating system for a camera that
did not have a color LCD. Casio Corporation ended that
when they introduced their famous QV10 camera in 1995. The
project was killed in early 1996 after we determined that the CPU we
were using would not have enough horsepower to drive a display and
full GUI. Saying "we told you so" never quite makes it better,
However, the effort was not entirely wasted.
We were able to "spin out" a start-up company to complete the
original vision - a GUI-based digital camera.
FlashPoint Technology, Inc.
I was a founder at FlashPoint. FlashPoint
Technology, Inc. was started officially on November 15, 1996.
We grew the company to over 120 employees, with many on-going
projects and customers. More than seven products were shipped
with the Digita™ OE (Operating
The name change from FlashPoint/OS to Digita™ OE
occurred when we discovered that FlashPoint was a brand name used by
several companies for things like golf clubs... The products
|Kodak DC220 Digital Camera|
|Kodak DC260 Digital Camera|
|Kodak DC265 Digital Camera|
|Kodak DC290 Digital Camera|
|H/P C500 Digital Camera|
|Minolta Dimage EX-1500 Digital Camera|
|Epson Print-On PT-100 Stand-Alone Digital
Starting as early as late 1999, the focus at
FlashPoint began to shift to incorporating the internet into our
strategy. I played a major role in defining the Photivity™
wireless imaging solution, as well as future technology and
strategies which were never announced. The company had
announced a roll-out of wireless service with Sprint PCS, which
would have begin in the second half of 2001.
By the end of 2000, the market conditions had
deteriorated so much that it became nearly impossible to acquire any
additional capital. As of March 1, 2001, I left the company,
along with a number of others, as part of a cost saving effort.
At this time, the company only exists as a intellectual property
company, with a very small engineering team in North Carolina
working on a secret project. I returned as a part-time
employee in the fall of 2001, and continue to support the patent
portfolio licensing program.
During my stay at Apple and FlashPoint, I filed
over 170 patent applications. As of this writing, over 70 have
issued. A list of the issued patents can be seen on my resume,
available elsewhere on this website, and include DSP, audio hardware
and software, digital camera, and internet patents. The
remaining applications are still in process.
More Internet Stuff
During the second half of 1999, I spent a lot of
time learning new technologies for FlashPoint. I created a few
internal business websites, and some PC applications. I
launched this website soon thereafter. Since then, I have
added a few more websites to my list:
I really like developing websites. Not only
does it get me programming again after so many years, but it
combines programming with art and graphics design.
Reflections on Silicon Valley
Frankly, my experience in corporate America was
not exactly glorious. My time at Apple was very enjoyable
because I was far enough away from the upper management maelstrom.
With the exception of being shot down at the Cross Functional Review
Board, and hearing stories of the huge fights between groups and
managers, I lived a pretty calm life. However, the outcome of
the management maelstrom was an incredible waste of engineering
effort. Most engineers at Apple never got to complete a
product and ship it! The projects were constantly being
tinkered with, cancelled, or redirected. Entire developed and
working technologies were tossed out at the last minute due to
on-going management fights for control and power.
Unfortunately, at FlashPoint, I was right in the
maelstrom Not being a good "politician" makes me a really bad
match for the extreme political environment of a venture capital
start-up. I was not able to compromise my beliefs, and thus
there was a lot of friction and pain. Frankly, I think this
has been a growing problem on corporate America, leading to the
serious lack of trust in management and accounting firms we now see.
Once I left FlashPoint, I did not wish to return
to the corporate upper management world - at least not without very
very serious review of the driving principals behind the CEO and
Board of Directors. I am sure there are companies out there
that would meet my criteria, but I don't know of any that also need
my experience and skills. Also, as I had worked with several
ministry organizations over my career, I became very interested in
transitioning to a more ministry-based direction.
In that regard, I spent the first three months of
my new life after leaving FlashPoint Technology, from March 2001 to
early June 2001, developing the new website for BWGI Seminars, an
organization I had been involved with for over 10 years. That
website was very successful, and has continued and been expanded
numerous time since then.
In June of 2001, I set up a small consulting
company "doing business as" Anderson Creations. I have
focused on writing patent disclosures for clients, and website
development. The Lord has provided all of my clients!
Every effort I made to get business failed, but a number of
relationships just fell into my lap! I am very grateful for
the care I have received from my God.
As the summer of 2001 passed, it became clear that
our cost of living was not in line with my new goals.
Specifically, the major remodel we had just completed when I left
FlashPoint had increased our debt and our monthly payments to
uncomfortable levels. With much pain, it became clear that we
needed to sell the home we had just spent almost 2 years in making
just the way we wanted. Sigh.
We successfully sold our home in December 2001,
and moved into a rental in January 2002. The goal now was to
choose a place to move to.
The Big Move to Nevada!
Most of my work was done at home. I had
occasional meetings with my clients. It became clear that most
if not all of the work I was doing could be done almost anywhere,
using telephone consultations rather than face-to-face meetings.
We set out to locate a place where we could buy a home outright, and
reduce our cost of living significantly.
With a little research, it became clear that
California was out. We decided to look at Nevada and
Washington. Our visit to Nevada turned up a lot of very
interesting information - and convinced us that Gardnerville was the
place for us. We built a new home, completed in February 2003,
and moved to Nevada in March 2003. Our new home, sans
landscaping, is shown below.
Market Conditions, Continued
As you certainly know, the market conditions have
not significantly improved - in fact, have gotten worse in many
cases. Where is the fabled recovery? It is real or is it
another Wall Street "smoke and mirrors" fantasy? I guess I
have to come down on the side of the fantasy. Friends, we are
in a bear market, with regular rallies and drops, moving ever so
certainly in a downward direction. I, like many of you, lost a
fair chunk of retirement dollars in 2000 and part way through 2001.
I wanted to sell many times, but was told "DON'T SELL NOW!!!!"
However, by the middle of 2001, I decided that I had lost enough
money, thank you, and pulled everything out of the market. I
then began to study to find out what was going on.
I now believe that we are at the front edge of a
major downturn - either a prolonged recession, or even a depression.
If you are interested in learning more, check out
Elliot Wave Theory
and Safe Money Report.
I highly recommend you consider the Safe Money Report newsletter,
which contains three separate investment portfolios - all of which I
have tried now since August 2001 with good results.
Inventor of the Year
The Silicon Valley Intellectual Property
Lawyer's Association favored me with the
Inventor of the Year Award for 2003.
The reprint from the Reocrd-Courier, my local newspaper, is
Fine Art Photography
In 2005, I decided to finally take the big leap
and add another business to Anderson Creations: fine art
photography. I have made a lot of progress with this effort,
including launching a new website at
EduPlex Ministries, Inc.
In 2006, I launched a new ministry, a non-profit
501(c)3 religious organization based in Nevada.
EduPlex (the word) is constructed
from Educational Complex - the education version of a
Cineplex, for example. The vision of
EduPlex is meet the crisis in Christian leadership
training in the developing world by providing free transformational
Biblical, theological and ministry educational materials that
transform the heart and equip the mind to produce Christ-like mature
leadership: to become the Free Biblical
University for the developing world. Visit our
website at eduplex.org.
Thanks for reading my brief autobiography! I
hope you enjoyed it!
Eric C. Anderson