I'm a humanoid, of Northern European descent, a U.S. Citizen, a husband, a father of three wonderful daughters, and a right-wing leftist. In the world of computer programming, I'm widely-known for writing several books on software development, C++, Java, and evolutionary computing.
I like coyotes, and I used to hike in a place called "Coyote Gulch". The coyote (pronounced k-eye-oh-tee) is a medium-sized canid that ranges across most of North America; a "gulch" is a small ravine. The name doesn't mean anything; it just sounds right to me.
Much as I like coyotes and dragons, neither make good pets. I do have several lizards in my office, ranging from a fiesty iguana named Spruce to a pair of Gherrosaurus validus (an african plated lizard). You could say the reptiles have become soemthing of a theme in this household.
By nature, I write code; it's "what I do," both for recreation and profit. Most of the profit comes from people who visit this web site, either in the form of conversation or paid development work. I enjoy sharing what I enjoy; if other people enjoy it, too, they'll remember my name, and perhaps think of me when a paying programming project comes along. I also like to make people think, and to expand the definition of what software can do. Few motivations in life are simple; distributing "free" (as in liberty and beer) software is both an social exercise and a tool for displaying my talents.
Anyone who's willing to pay me for an honest day's work! As of 1 May 2002, I went back to writing and consulting full-time; my previous full-time project came to an end after two successful years. In the most basic terms: I develop custom software for "heavy lifting" -- data mining engines, analysis tools, and processor-side, multi-processing applications. I'll be posting more about my consulting work soon. Meanwhile, I'm pursuing several opportunities as a writer.
Yes! In fact, since 2003, a big part of my income has come from overseas — Britain, France, Poland, Brazil, Israel, Finland and elsewhere. While I only speak two languages (English and Bad English) due to a complete inability to learn other tongues, my wife is very conversant in Spanish.
Surprising as it may sound, I don't have enough ego for a regular blog. I don't really think most people care what movies I watch, or my opinion of the Florida public school system, for example.
If you're talking about these books on computer programming, then I'm your man. There is a book by a "Scott Ladd" about "Computers and the Brain" back in the late 1980s, but he isn't me. At last count, I've found over a dozen people named "Scott Ladd", including one who lives only a mile or two from my current abode. I've never met any of the others, and so far as I can determine, I'm the only Scott Robert Ladd in existence.
Here's a partial list; in all, I've written 17 books on topics ranging from C++ to genetic algorithms. I've written a couple of books that never saw print, even though I was paid for them; publishers sometimes do strange stuff like that. On the other hand, I'm rather glad Microsoft never published my 1989 book on QuickPascal... ;)
First of all, I have written books since 2001. I wrote a book for O'Reilly; then an editor quit, the company changed direction, and the book languishes with an unknown future. Now, dragons like Sytherek may have some influence on my future literary efforts; we'll just have to see what happens.
Way Back When (the late 1970s), my high school had a teletype connected to the Univac 1110 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The school eventually bought an 8080-based Sol II computer (8K static RAM!), which had a nifty character-based Star Trek program... anyway, soon thereafter, my parents bought one of the first Radio Shack Model 1's, which kept me hacking (I programmed it in assembly) until I entered college. While pursuing a degree in Astronomy, I did development on a PDP-11 for the Physics Department. I moved from stars and planets to bytes and compilers, taking my first professional job in 1980 as a COBOL programmer. Since then, my career has meandered from financial institutions to government agencies; from 1989 onward, I've been self-employed as a writer and consultant.
Almost all of them. In historical order, I've written programs in MBasic, Z-80 assembler, FORTRAN, COBOL, FORTRAN (again), Pascal, Modula-2, i886 assembler, C, C++, Java, Fortran 95, Python, and C#. My programming language of choice is C++, but I'm quite fond of Python these days, and Java has some good points, too. To quote one of my mentors, Montgomery Scott: "Use the right tool for the right job!" While I have my preferences, I'm always looking for the most powerful and flexible tool for engineering whatever comes my way.