Autobiography

I was born in Cincinnati Ohio. I lived in Sunnyvale, California for almost 30 years. I went to Homestead High School with the founders of Apple (Jobs and Wozniak), so I saw Silicon Valley go from orchards to fabs. In high school I took a lot of pictures with my Canon EF outfit. I was also the president of the Pizza of the Month Club with Wolfgang Hanisch, a great photography teacher of mine.

After high school I went on a mission for the LDS Church for two years in South Carolina. I served as a missionary trainer, a district leader, a zone leader, and as secretary to the president. I served with President Robert H. Parker, a great man that I learned many things from.

I then attended BYU where I majored in Math and Physics and minored in Philosophy. I was the president of the Association of Computer Programmers where we learned how to program the Macintosh. The best class I took was a class in learning to read classical Greek by reading the New Testament! I was very fortunate to take many classes from Hugh Nibley, Truman Madsen, and C. Wilfred Griggs. These men taught me history, philosophy, and ancient studies, respectively.

During the early 1980s I came home to California often for holidays and summers. There I was involved in many different activities. I was a part of the PPC, an HP calculator users group that learned how to do "synthetic programming" on the HP-41C, and later, how to do Forth programming on HP-75s and HP-71Bs.

In the summer of 1982 my sister got married. This was hard for me, as she was a great friend that now began to lead a different life. So I climbed Mt. Shasta (14,162 feet above sea level) with friends, and rebuilt the engine of my first car, a 1961 VW Beetle that my father gave me.

In the summer of 1983 I listened to KFJC's Maximum Louie Louie Festival on the radio for several days. In 1983 and 1984 I sang in the Utah Bach Choir. In 1985 on Bach's 300th birthday I participated in a sing-along in San Francisco where hundreds of people sang Bach's B Minor Mass. That same summer my mother and I went to sing-alongs every Monday evening in Menlo Park. We sang things like Handel's Messiah and Carl Orf's Carmina Burina. In 1986 I was part of a South Bay production of The Music Man, where I was part of the barbershop quartet. I sang baritone.

Dan Allen sitting on Apple's Cray XMP supercomputer I worked at Apple Computer from 1985 until 1994, although I lived in Utah from 1991 on. While at Apple I worked on a wide variety of projects. I began by testing MacApp (the first commercial class libraries), and then I did a lot of development on MacsBug, Apple's main assembly-level debugger. I also worked with Steve Capps at this time on testing HFS and new Finders. Then on to working on the MPW Shell's editor, adding features for HyperCard 2.0, and then creating common front and back end compiler pieces on the Lego project. After a detour to Utah to work for MicroMath on scientific software, I returned to Apple to lead system software API testing for the Power Macintoshes and System 7.5. Whew. No wonder I took a sabbatical while at Apple!

While at Apple I wrote a book: On Macintosh Programming: Advanced Techniques. It was published by Addison-Wesley and has also been translated into Japanese. It has been used as a text at several universities.

Book cover: On Macintosh Programming

Apple in 1985 was a great place to work, kind of like Microsoft was when I arrived in 1994. At Microsoft I worked on WLM, Visual C++, Omni, Java for IE 4, and Java for Windows CE. I then managed all of the testing of tools, libraries, and virtual machines for Windows CE, which includes VC, VJ, VB, the ETK, SDKs, CEF, and more! I retired from Microsoft October 15th, 1999.

Family

My wife, Beth Anne Tobin Allen. The smartest thing I ever did was marry Elizabeth Anne Tobin, of Salem, Massachusets. We had four great kids in less than 5 years! From oldest to youngest they are Andrew, Rachel, Joshua, and Brigham. Here we are in the canyon not far from our house:

Family portrait near North Bend


Home

Here is Puget sound from the air, with the North Bend, Washington area where we live marked by a yellow box:


Puget Sound; North Bend detail is the yellow boxed area.

If you zoom in on the yellow boxed area of North Bend, you can see I-90 and Mount Si. X marks the spot where we live.

I-90 in North Bend; X marks our house.

According to my GPS receivers our house is at N 47° 28.915', W 121° 47.850'. We are at 530 feet above sea level. Our climate receives a lot more rain than does Seattle. North Bend averages at least 70 inches per year, and sometimes can have as much as 120 inches! Here is our house in the snow of late December 1996:


House at 1525 SW 15th Place, North Bend

In 2004 we moved to Spring Lake, UT. We did so to get some land for horses, ATVs, etc. We have been raising alfalfa on and off, and enjoying the peace and quiet of the rural life. In 2012 we lived in Munich Germany for five months. What an incrediable time we had!

While in Utah our children grew up, served missions, and went to collage. In 2014 we sold our place and began our freedom tour. We have lived in Hyannis MA, Kirkland WA, West Yarmouth MA, and along the way in many Hampton Inns all over the country. Who knows where life will take us next!


Dan Allen on the Portugese bridge of Visual Sea

Hobbies

I like to travel, and in order to travel one must have a collection of gadgets. I enjoy collecting sextants, instruments used to navigate by the heavens. I have written a lot of navigation software over the years. Apple, Canon, HP, Mercedes, Nikon are some of my favorite companies. Bach, Camel, Sara Evans, Jean Luc Ponty, and Alan Parsons are some of my favorite musicians. I enjoy photography and digital cameras. Programming computers and creating, testing, and benchmarking development tools is a real passion of mine.

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Created:   7 May 1998
Modified: 28 Jan 2017