Click to return to home page View our beautiful nature panoramas Photography from major national parks Photography from the Pacific coast to the Sierras Corkscrew bird sanctuary, Everglades, and more Photography from Kauai and the Big Island Click to see more photo categories

Biographies, favorites, resumes and more!

Read my resume and list of issued patentsThe history of Clear Light, Inc. - a 2live4 exclusive!Check out favorite books, software, and music!
Eric C. Anderson

A Short Autobiography

Early History

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 Lord.

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 Engineering program.

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 left.

Higher Education

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 solid state.

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 then!).

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 years.

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 2-pass assembler...

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 developed:

bulletThe 1200 System:   paper tape and tones
bulletThe Diamond System:  digital CMOS logic, SSI and MSI
bulletThe 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:

Clear Light 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 co-branding business.

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 overhead!

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...

Family Experiences

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 were happening!

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!

Apple Projects

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:

bulletDSP 3210 from AT&T
bullet"Singer" stereo codec from ITT
bulletThree-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 machines.

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. 

FlashPoint/OS

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, does it?

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 Environment) installed.

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 shipped include:

bulletKodak DC220 Digital Camera
bulletKodak DC260 Digital Camera
bulletKodak DC265 Digital Camera
bulletKodak DC290 Digital Camera
bulletH/P C500 Digital Camera
bulletMinolta Dimage EX-1500 Digital Camera
bulletEpson Print-On PT-100 Stand-Alone Digital Image Printer

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.

Market Conditions

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.

Patent Development

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:

bullet AndersonCreations.net - my business website.
bullet LuminousImpressions.com - my fine art photography website
bullet WhatGodIntended.com - a website I developed for BWGI Ministries to assist in growing their ministry.
bullet AddictionProofing.com - another website developed for BWGI Ministries

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.

Anderson Creations

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 available here.

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 www.luminousImpressions.com.

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
 


Home  |  Panoramas  |  National Parks  |  California  |  Florida  |  Hawaii  |  Flowers  |  Contact Us
Copyright © 2002 Anderson Creations.  All Rights Reserved
You are visitor number .
Thank you for visiting!