[Erik Secret Conspiracy]
[erikd AT zip DOT com DOT au]

Welcome to my home page.

Although I've had a couple of web pages for some time, I've been avoiding setting up a home page. Everybody seems to have a home page even if there isn't anything of any interest on it. Hopefully mine will be a little more interesting than most.

 The Book

Here is a picture of the book I co-authored with Brad Jones and Peter Aitken. It is published by SAMs which is part of the Macmillan Computer Publishing group. For a rather favourable review you can have a look at Amazon.com but I suggest you buy the book at Barnes and Noble or fatbrain because of Amazon's "one click" patent. You can also probably find a copy on the shelf of your local computer bookseller.

The book starts with an introduction to the basic tools of programming; text editors and compilers. It then introduces concepts like variables, and the main() function before moving on to conditional statements, loops, functions, arrays, pointers, data structures, disk files and more. The final chapter gives a very brief introduction to programming using the GTK+ toolkit for programming X-Window applications.

The book was designed for the beginning/intermediate programmer who is using Linux and would like to learn C programming in the Linux environment.

For readers of the book I have made a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) web page. If you have questions about the book you should consult the FAQ for an answer before emailing me. I am however happy to give a reasonable amount of help to readers having any difficulty with the book.

Update (Feb 15, 2001). This book is now available in German and Korean .
Space [Book cover]

 Linux    [ping the penguin]

I'm a keen user of the Linux operating system. I had people telling me about it as early as 1992, but it wasn't until 1995 that I actually had a play with it. A colleague of mine from work (hi Dub) was already using Linux and he set it up on a hard drive for me. I took the hard drive home, plugged it into my PC, booted up using a floppy and I had Linux! I have since used and installed a number of distributions including Yggdrasil, Slackware and Redhat. In late 1999 I switched to Debian GNU/Linux.

In the little spare time I have I like to hack around in Linux. I have a number of projects in the pipeline but the only ones I have released so far are:
  • libsndfile a library for reading and writing sound files.
  • xmms_sndfile an input plugin for XMMS which uses libsndfile to read a number of file formats XMMS cannot normally handle.
  • Secret Rabbit Code a high quality audio sample rate converter.
  • I used to maintain vsound but can no longer do so for legal reasons.

 My Work

From January 1995 till July 2000, I was a Research and Development Engineer for Fairlight ESP (now Fairlight AU ) a company that designs, manufactures and exports professional audio equipment. I did extensive design work on the Fairlight MFX3, MFX3+ and MFX3/48 systems. Most of this involved hardware design but I also wrote some software; mainly for testing and diagnosing problems with the hardware.

Most of my hardware designs were based around Xilinx Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). Some of the more interesting ones include a special purpose graphics card, a Linear Time Code (LTC) reader built around a digital Phase Locked Loop (PLL) and hardware for synchronising video and audio.

From August 2000, until Novemeber 2003 I worked for Sun Microsystems in their office here in Sydney Australia and in December 2003 I joined Sensory Networks as a developer working on their Linux based network security products.

 Why I don't like LinuxCAD

I spend quite a bit of time reading and contributing to a number of Usenet discussion groups. Anybody who reads these groups would agree that SPAM (Excessive Multiple Posting and/or Excessive Cross Posting) is a problem. In early 1998 a company called Software Forge (makers of a product called LinuxCAD) started a relentless spamming campaign in the Linux newsgroups. I wrote this piece as an attempt to stop them spamming. Unfortunately this didn't stop them but it certainly damaged their reputation.