Tom Hull: A Resume

Note: For contact information, please write thull2 AT I live in Wichita, KS.

Expertise: Operating systems; programming languages; software development tools and methods; user interfaces; software packaging, installation and configuration; publishing; typography; business models and free software economics; sociology; baseball history; jazz and popular music; cooking (Chinese, Indian, Turkish, Ozark). I'm a generalist, mostly self-taught, and as likely to be interested in something new as in anything above. I'm a pretty decent writer.

Tools: C++, C, Unix, [ksh, awk, yacc, emacs], Linux, Ftwalk, TCL/TK, SQL, SGML, HTML, English; dabbled in many others.

Free Software: Wrote and support Ftwalk, a high level script programming language based on the idea that the awk language paradigm could be applied to other problems -- e.g., file tree searches.

Job Experience: 20 years experience programming in C/C++ and Unix/Linux, mostly working on commercial software products and development infrastructure for software product and service companies. In addition to engineering, did time in management (up to Director level), consulting, customer and sales support, product management, marketing. Since leaving SCO, I've worked on several speculative business development projects (e.g., open source-based home networking and automation), web development (cf., and other writing.

1998-2000  The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.

Unix operating system vendor, which obtained rights to Novell's AT&T-derived UnixWare operating system. I worked as Engineer in UnixWare development (mostly in VM and Performance Group, mostly on VM). Projects include:

  • Project planner for DCAP Scalabilty and Performance projects. Wrote project plans, identified / resolved project problems.
  • Wrote VM code for IA32 16GB project, including: pool support for 32-bit DMA devices, kernel virtual reservations, autotuning limits, 64-bit /dev/mem support. Wrote VM stress tests.
  • Wrote pocket guide to kernel debugger kdb.
  • Worked on open source release of Unixware sar(1M).
  • Noisy advocate of open source / Linux proposals.

1995-1997 Xyvision, Inc.

Software for large-scale publishing applications, typically SGML-based for aerospace companies. This software often requires customization. I worked in the Consulting Services Group, mostly writing custom programs, including:

  • Automate page layout of automobile repair manuals.
  • Manage indexing standards publications for ASTM.
  • Manage a cross reference database from SGML files.
  • Import filter for WordPerfect files.
  • Windows (VB) interface to PDM Portal.

1985-1994 Contex Graphic Systems, Inc.

A start-up which developed CEPS (Color Electronic Prepress System) software, especially for consumer goods packaging. I was employee #10, and worked as: engineer, group manager, director. Also worked five months in the Contex UK office, working on customer support and business development. Technical projects included:

  • Built source code control system, later extended to include software packaging, release, install, configure, and validate tools.
  • Wrote much of user interface framework: command metalanguage, history, GUI widgets (including color palette tools), job management, on-line help system.
  • Wrote typesetting programs.
  • Wrote batch processing system, resulting in Compute Server product.
  • Built prototype for linework-only program (later evolved into Rip 'n' Strip product).
  • Wrote on-line backup system (including initial version of Ftwalk for use as file select filter).
  • Championed internationalization project. Integrated initial French localization.
  • Introduced various software development tools, including C++.

1984-1985 Compugraphic, Inc.

Typesetting equipment manufacturer. Worked as Engineer on low-cost Japanese typesetter project:

  • Built simple file system for font management.
  • Wrote font installation and caching utilities.

1981-1984 Varityper, Inc.

Typesetting equipment manufacturer. Worked in Engineering and Product Management. As an engineer, I:

  • Wrote loader, disk formatter, and install utilities for EPICS.
  • Collected common hardware/filesystem functions, integrated and organized them into an operating system (of sorts), which could function as the basis for new utility programs. (Until that time, all typesetter programs had complete hardware support linked in, and could only be booted.)
  • Wrote a file system, based on Unix design. Wrote a VFS-type interface to make this and other file systems transparent to programs.
As a product manager, I worked on:
  • Plans for a second generation replacement for EPICS system.
  • PC-based typesetting software.
  • Technical evaluation of various business development deals, and research into long-term technical trends (e.g., SGML, PostScript).

1973 - 1981 Worked in type shops in Wichita, St. Louis, and New York City. General work: books, magazines, newsletters, aircraft manuals, catalogs, lots of advertising work. Did some layout, design, copywriting, editing, management, but mostly typeset.

While working at one type shop (Wizard Graphics, NYC), I wrote up a design for a networked multiuser typesetting system, and did some prototype work on it. This is where I started programming.

Published an overly intellectual rock/roll fanzine, Terminal Zone. Wrote record reviews for Village Voice.

Education: Wichita State University, Washington University (St. Louis). Major: Sociology.

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