Welcome. My name is Ben Hyde. I live on the East coast of the United States near Boston. My wife is an artist, and my three children are all out of high school. I’ve been doing computer stuff since the late 1960s. The PDP-12, APL and Simula were amazing!
Some of the highlights of my career have included; in the 70: teaching at CMU, working on multiprocessors including C.mmp and the Butterfly, a broadband over CATV system at BBN; in the 80s: an Ada compiler, a failed AI startup, system architect for 123/Mac, and then Gensym. Gensym was cool huge rapid development platform in Common Lisp with expert system, objects, procedural programming, all behind a graphic user interface. I was chief architect for the UI. In the 90s I got involved with Apache. I was on the original board of the foundation and in another figure-head role I was the VP for the infamous server project.
In this decade I did a lot of interesting projects while working at Intuit. We tried to give away a slew of websites to small businesses, and setup a plugin application scheme (not unlike what Facebook has done successfully), and we spun up a developer network. Also while there I became interested in industrial standards and was involved for a while in the intractible problems of Internet identity; helping early on with the Liberty Project. I spent a few years running the SIMILE project at MIT, where other folks built some really cool stuff.
Currently I’m consulting and looking for what’s next.
I treat the blog as a kind of open lab book. In a sense it’s a way of finding other people that might be interested in the same things I happen to be thinking about. Since I find it troublesome to other people’s privacy I rarely talk about my paid work and when I do I label it as such. There are some things that I have an ongoing interest in. Business modeling, particularly businesses with network effects (e.g. markets, platforms, developer networks). I’m very interested in industrial standards and open source. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we might push events across the internet, for example how to do that while assuring privacy. It maybe hard to puzzle out, but all these threads come together around the question of how groups form, particularly small groups. A question I think, but don’t know, is intimately tied to puzzle of how of the distribution of wealth changes over time.
You can contact me. Please don’t be shy about reporting typos and grammar errors, bewildering sentences etc! I am blind to them!