My story

Without making this a book, I'll try to keep it short. In the mid 70's I was in college trying to earn my masters in automotive powertrain engineering. Along the way I decided that there might be a future in these new fangled computers, and that they might find their way into cars some day. So, I branched, and ended up with a bachelors degree in software engineering along with my masters in mechanical engineering. Fast forward to the early 80's and I was working with CP/M and MP/M software using C, assembly, and some Cbasic for quick and dirty things. Then on to TRS-80 machines, commodore 64, (which we used to develop automation systems with), amiga, an finally IBM and clones. By the mid 80's I had settled on Turbo Pascal, C, and some assembly, and Then on to Delphi and Lazarus for desktop machines.

In late 1999 I went to work for Google on their new Android project My job was to port Linux kernel modules into the new system for the best functionality. We had a lot of arguments about the direction it should go, with me and others begging for them to stick with the Xorg x11 windowing system instead of developing Dalvik. There was already a huge base of developers out there, it was native, fast, and light weight. It didn't have to emulate anything and the code base was huge. Google had already bought the rights to Dalvik though, so the new system was going to be java based for the user interface and apps. I didn't want anything to do with java, and the decision didn't affect my work. It was just disappointing that they decided to cripple a new OS with an emulated environment on devices that were slow and limited to begin with. After the release of Android 3.0 I was done with the mod squad at google and resurrected my little software company Missing Link Software.

We played around with making apps for IOS and Android for a while using Eclipse, but none of us really liked java. Although it looks a lot like C, it is vastly different, and that difference was just too time consuming to deal with in a production environment. Sometime in 2011 I saw an add for Basic4Android while searching for something. I had worked with Basica, GWbasic, Cbasic, and Zbasic in the past, so I did some investigating. I got the demo and played around with it. It was still pretty limited, but it had good functionality and Erel was actively developing new stuff for it. My first app was for a Chinese company that was creating Android tablets (v 2.2). It was an app that did settings and showed all of the tablet options and capabilities. It was simple, but functional. From there we did several custom apps for various companies, but the Android side of the business was only about 3% of our total income, so I just started doing apps on my own outside of the company. That allowed my crew to focus on what was paying the bills.

After losing my wife in 2013 I went through a programming burnout and sort of faded away from the android market, and programming in general. I sold my company to the employees and retired. I developed for Apple for a short while, but we ended up in a fight with them telling me what language and compilers I had to use, so that ended. Now I'm back to doing desktop apps for Windows, Linux, and MacOS using Lazarus. I also help in the development of Lazarus4Android. I still keep track of the forums here and just started a new Android app in b4a. We'll see how that goes.

--- Jem


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Longtime User
Hey NJ, long time no see bud. I logged into the chat a few times but it seems dead. I have my sand bags in place and a good supply of body condoms hehe :)