About This Blog

Chappaqua-20071021 055 Dave Shields
Dave, 1962 HHS Yearbook

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Bio

Hi,

I’m Dave Shields. My full name is Lynwood David Shields. My father was Swanson Claude Shields, and I am named after his brother Lynwood.

I was born in Abilene, Texas, lived for a few years in Michigan, and spent most of my childhood years in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I graduated from Caltech almost forty years ago with a B.S. in Mathematics, then moved to New York City to start graduate school at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University (NYU). I lived on the West Side while in the city and now live in Chappaqua, a small town about forty miles north of Manhattan.

I spent over 20 years at NYU in several roles: grad student, staff member, SETL project, NYU Ada/Ed project. Along the way I picked up my Ph.D. in computer science. Jack Schwartz was my thesis advisor. I worked with Robert Dewar on SPITBOL/6000 and PC SPITBOL.

I left NYU for IBM Research in 1987. My first job at Research was working for Fran Allen on the PTRAN project.
While at Research Philippe Charles and I were the co-authors of Jikes, a Java source to bytecode compiler. It was released in Dec ’98 as IBM’s first Open Source Software (OSS) project; I ran the project for a year.

Though Philippe and I moved on to other things at the end of ’99, the Jikes project went its own way. It can be found now at sourceforge.net

From February 2003 to my departure from IBM in February 2009 I worked full-time as part of the small team responsible for management of IBM’s open-source activities worldwide and for all divisions. I am the only person ever to be part of this team who has created an open-source project and led it. I am also the person who caused IBM to write its first open-source license.

I now work as an independent computer software professional, and provide advice and counsel to interested parties from the open-source community. See OpenSourceSoftwareConsultant.net (OSSC).

My LinkedIn profile can be found here.

The title of this blog is based on the occasional column “The Wayward Press” that appeared in the New Yorker some years back. It was the work of A.J. Liebling, one of my favorite authors.

License

All trademarks and copyrights on this blog are owned by their respective owners.

Comments are owned by the individual posters.

The writings of David (Dave) Shields contained herein are available under either of the following licenses, according to whether or not they are software code:

License Dave Shields For Software:

Copyright (c) 2007 Dave Shields

I wrote this software .
You can do with it what you wish.
All I ask is that you try to have fun with it and give credit where credit is due.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

The concluding part in capital letters is standard language that I borrowed from the MIT License. If that language was good enough for MIT then it is good enough for me — even though I went to Caltech.

You can use my writing herein that is not software code under the following license:

License Dave Shields:

Copyright (c) 2006-2007 Dave Shields

I wrote this.
You can do with it what you wish.
All I ask is that you try to have fun with it and give credit where credit is due.

Trivia

This section contains miscellaneous trivia of no practical value. I expect many folks who stumble across this blog feel the same way about the posts, too.

Technorati Authority/Rank Tracker

  • 2009/02/27: 5; 966,781
  • 2009/02/28: 6; 834,516
  • 2009/03/02: 5; 966,316
  • 2009/03/06: 8; 672,539
  • 2009/03/08: 9; 611,068
  • 2009/03/19: 10; 503,582
  • 2009/03/23: 11; 509,596
  • 2009/03/27: 12; 471,485
  • 2009/03/30: 13; 438,108
  • 2009/04/06: 14; 407,875
  • 2009/06/03: 15; 376,090
  • 2009/07/07: 16: 236,591
  • 2009/07/10: 17: 222,014

Up five million in a month. Not bad!

I’m starting this in mid-November to track my growing rank and authority with Technorati, as the rate of change has picked up this month. Authority is listed first, followed by Rank; The higher the authority the better; the lower the rank the better:

  • 2007/11/27: 82, 85,297
  • 2007/11/26: 80, 87,977
  • 2007/11/26: 76, 93,462
  • 2007/11/25: 71, 101,376
  • 2007/11/24: 70, 103,170
  • 2007/11/22: 67, 108,652
  • 2007/11/20: 63, 116,930
  • 2007/11/19: 61, 121,630
  • 2007/11/18: 60, 124,139
  • 2007/11/16: 56, 134,803
  • 2007/11/15: 54; 140,824

Statistics

Milestones:

Total views:

10,000 12/17/2006
12,000 01/01/2007
20,000 03/20/2007
24,000 05/14/2007
30,000 08/20/2007
32,000 09/07/2007 (I’ll pass a power of two this week)
40,000 10/10/2007
140,788 02/28/2009
141,459: 03/02/2009

Posts:

016 09/22/2006
032 09/29/2006
064 10/20/2006
128 11/18/2006

Size:

238 posts; 168,000 words 01/01/2007

WordPress bloggers:

400,000+ in Sep 2006 when this blog started
800,000+ in Apr 2007]
1,000,000+ in June 2007

A. J. Liebling

This blog is named after A. J. Liebling, one of my favorite writers. He wrote an occasional column for the New Yorker called “Wayward Press.” Here is a picture of my collection of his works:

My A.J. Liebling collection [1]

The wikipedia article says that “Liebling is remembered for many quotes and aphorisms, such as:”

  • “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”
  • “People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news.”
  • “I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better.”

A wonderful piece on Liebling by the current New Yorker editor David Remnick can be found at Reporting It All: A. J. Liebling at one hundred..

As time permits I’ll copy over some of my favorite passages from his works. I’ll start by working my way across the shelf, from left to right.

From “Back Where I came from,” First Edition, copyright 1938.

Why don’t you can back where you came from? — Old American Folk Saying

A New Yorker doesn’t have to
discover New York. He knows
it’s there all the time.

— Whitey Blimstein

APLOGY FOR BREATHING

People I know in New York are incessantly on the ponit of going back where they came from to write a book, or of staying on and writing a book about back where they came from. Back where they came from, I gather, is the American scene (New York, of course, just isn’t America). It is all pretty hard on me because I have no place to go back to. I was born in an apartment house at Ninety-third Street and Lexington Avenue, about three miles from where I now live. Friends often tell me of their excitement when the train on which they are riding passes from Indiana into Illinois, or back again. I am ashamed to admit that when the Jerome Avenue express rolls into Eighty-sixth Street station I have absolutely no reaction.

Notes:

1. The fourth book from the left is “3 Witnesses,” written not by A.J. Liebling but by Rex Stout, creator of the indominatable duo of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, and also one of my favorite authors. One of Nero’s favorite words was “flummoxed;” for example, “Archie. Confound it! I am flummoxed.”

To be flummoxed is to be bewildered, counfounded, confused, or perplexed.

I noticed “flummoxed” in an article published 6 Nov 2006 in the Business section of the New York Times, titled “Hollywood Puts the Squeeze on Talent” that the sixth paragraph begins with the sentence, “The growth of new media threatens to undermine traditional businesses, while studios are flummoxed about how to take advantage of the new opportunities they represent.”

Others are also flummoxed about how to deal with digital media and the associated hardware such as the Tivo digital video recorder. For example, if you ask me to explain the gplv3 license I can only respond, “Gplv3? I’m flummoxed!”

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3 Comments

  1. PJTramdack
    Posted October 17, 2008 at 07:04 | Permalink

    This is a nice blog. The Sweet Science is one of the best sports books I have ever read, maybe the best.

  2. Aubrey Bennett
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 16:13 | Permalink

    Working on Shields family history in Lynchburg.. My gggaunt Alcey Barksdale Shields had a daughter Mary Ambroshia Shields
    had a son Claude Swanson Shields that died 1924 his wife remarried and moved to Michigan.
    please contact me.
    bootsy49@aol.com

    • Posted November 27, 2012 at 16:28 | Permalink

      Aubrey,

      Thanks for the note. Claude’s son Swanson Claude was my father. He had another son, Lynwood, after whom I am named.


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