About me

Today in 2019, I work as a support engineer for the Positive Internet.

Fractals The living room of the house Gropius designed for his family in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Built by the architect in 1938, it was furnished with items from the original Bauhaus workshops. A nice example of the Sierpinski gasket. See the man who built the bauhaus

In 1987, I worked for the first dot com, Symbolics, where I consulted on Macsyma. It was the very first company to register with the internet with the symbolics.com domain name. Back then, there were very few domain names — mostly with institutions that were doing research in Computer Science, Physics. At that time, the Internet was just another U.S. Department of Defense research project, funded by U.S. Government grants and with ‘blue sky’ expectations. Someday, it might amount to something. People felt that computers were the future, but at that time, no one knew what the future was all about. I guess you could say I was a pioneer, working for the first internet company.

I spent most of my time working in Number Theory. My Erdos number is ? (Erdos Number Calculator ) I felt in my heart that I was doing something important, but it was a mystic feeling, a hunch. Macsyma, known now as Maxima, is a computer algebra system. I wrote my thesis using Macsyma.AI Working Paper 275 

I wrote my Ph.D. thesis (1988) entitled “Symbolic Algebra: Jordan Forms and Local Analysis” under the direction of J.H. Silverman, Brown University, https://www.genealogy.math.ndsu.nodak.edu/id.php?id=4597  Professor Silverman is a world expert in Number Theory and is well known for writing “The Arithmetic of Elliptic Curves” https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9780387094939

The manifold purposes of this website stem from my personal interests. As such this can be termed a hobbyist website. I am distributing applications that I have written for GNU/Linux — currently, two — Orbtimes and Vguitar.

Orbtimes originally developed from my developing IoT applications for my house in Nevada. I wanted an internet interface to my yard irrigation systems. I developed a server on an Arduino that worked pretty well, until the circuit board failed in the heat of summer. I rode a lot of time and energy on my bicycle on the River Mountain Loop Trail

I wrote to the LIFX distributed UDP protocols for light bulbs. I really enjoyed doing this, but it dead ended. Then I realized that the essential piece of my IoT work really was understanding of the Sun, its position, and the varying day. In the desert, the Sun takes on a exceptional prime role. It is the dominant force. All of this work, I released on github, the lightbulb work at  https://github.com/str255/lanlifx and other explorations at https://github.com/str255/

I ended up writing an application for keeping track of the Sun, azimuth angle, rise and set. This developed into quite detailed Astronomical calculations of the Moon and other celestial orbs. Then, in a fortuitous circumstance, the great Solar Eclipse of August 2017 led me to lengthy and delicate eclipse calculations which I found very difficult. This work is contained in the Orbtimes release found on this website. https://nick-strauss.com/?cat=2

My wife and I sold our house and moved back East to find doctors and hospitals for my wife’s heart condition which became serious in 2017. I ended up in a Penske truck full of furniture on an Illinois hillside at the Blue Sky winery http://www.blueskyvineyard.com/ waiting for an eclipse on my way to Philadelphia.

We moved to Philadelphia, every day has seemed to be rainy and cloudy. So my astronomical interest was waned. I have become interested in learning how to play the guitar. As I have so much systems and programming experience, it was inevitable that my learning would lead to some kind of software application. So I have written Vguitar, which has taught me a lot about  the guitar, and also let me practice strumming and tablature without disturbing my wife. This work is contained in the Vguitar  release found on this website. https://nick-strauss.com/?cat=3

I have learned more about hearts than I ever wanted to. Always a subject of romance, the heart has often been dismissed as simply a pump. And yes, that it is. I have learned about rhythm and it’s importance to the Guitar when my knowledge of the Song was relegated to the tablatures of Melody. And from my time working and flying airplanes, I am well acquainted with the critical path, and the difference between required and optional components. The heart is essential. The heart lives on in love letters, songs, and medicine. And so in vguitar, beats per minute (BPM), is key. And so BPM in the heart.

Now, we live in St. Louis, Missouri.


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