Ephraim Vishniac's Home Page

If I'm not the Ephraim or the Vishniac you expected, I have lists of Every Ephraim and Every Vishniac that I can find.

Original Content!

Despite the conventional wisdom about growing out of food allergies, I've become allergic to corn and some other foods as an adult. Corn is nearly impossible to avoid, so I wrote the Avoiding Corn page to help others. If you're not allergic to corn, have a Coke for me. (Very cold, with a little lemon, please.) I'd join you if only I could.

I love my unique name and its unusual components. I've collected dozens of Ephraims on the Every Ephraim pages, and a few Vishniacs on the Every Vishniac page.

The Obligatory Biographical Blurb (Professional Edition)

I work for Ab Initio Software Corporation, a low-profile software developer located in Lexington, Massachusetts. Write me if you really want to know more about my work.

Previously, I was a software engineer for Discreet Logic of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, before Discreet was bought up by Autodesk. I joined Discreet through their late subsidiary, the now-extinct Stone+Wire The Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Earlier still, I spent 6.5 exciting years (1987-1994) at Thinking Machines Corporation, then of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Despite some great achievements, TMC never did go public or become profitable and fell into bankruptcy just a few weeks after I left. I came to Thinking Machines from Wang Laboratories, which has since gone through bankruptcy, emerged as a much smaller company, and been bought out. While at Wang, I attended the former Wang Institute of Graduate Studies, which was killed by the late Dr. An Wang and eaten, still warm and quivering, by Boston University.

I first came to the Boston area to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where I joined the Xi chapter of Tau Epsilon Phi and learned to unicycle. (I didn't learn to juggle until after graduation.) I also edited the 1977 edition of Technique, the MIT yearbook, and photographed various productions of the Musical Theatre Guild and the Shakespeare Ensemble for fun and profit (very limited). Oh, I also studied EE&CS at MIT. Rumor has it that the curriculum is very different now, as it involves the use of actual computers.

I've been hanging around the Boston area ever since. I live now in Arlington, slightly northwest of Boston. If you don't have my unlisted phone number, e-mail is the best way to reach me.

The Obligatory Biographical Blurb (Personal Edition)

I have a wife and kids and we all have a home in the suburbs. If they feel like it, they'll write their own web pages some day.

I waste my time on puzzles and computer games. These interests have converged with the rise of on-line crossword puzzles. I recommend MacXword if you've got a suitable computer, else Across Lite is the software to use. I heartily recommend an annual subscription to the New York Times on-line crosswords. Their uniformly high quality is unmatched.

I was obsessed for a year or so with Lemmings (the computer game, not the rodents) and wrote a complete Lemmings walkthrough for the Macintosh version. I was converting that walkthrough to a useful hypertext form, but I doubt I'll ever finish.

I wrote various bits of Macintosh software in the Mac's very early days. The longest-lived of those is my re-write of Steve Capp's Dali Clock program. The Dali Clock Museum shows it running on half a dozen platforms. You can run it yourself on a virtual Mac Plus with Mini vMac.

It's possible that I was once the world champion at Littlewing's Tristan digital pinball with a top score of 339,225,900, but then McVane wrote to say he's scored about 1.3 billion. This was all with the original Mac II version, not the 2000 re-issue. I stopped playing new pinball sims after Loony Labyrinth. There's no end to the time you can spend, but there's a limit to the time I have.

Outdoors, in-line skating on the Minuteman Bikeway is my favorite recreation, weather permitting. I've skated about 7,000 miles up and down the trail in the last eight years. I'm on my third pair of Salomon skates (no longer sold in the U.S.). Thank goodness for eBay, where you can find the old, the obsolete, or the merely used. In 2004, I started writing a weekly note on trail conditions for the transportation section on Live From Arlington. In 2007, I'm blogging my trail reports instead.

I'm also fond of construction and engineering toys, particularly K'nex. My best K'nex design effort is a working verge and foliot clockwork escapement which runs for about ten minutes as the weight which powers it descends three feet.

Quid Pro Quo

A variety of sites are kind enough to provide links to my pages, so I'm returning the favor.

The Avoiding Corn page is cited in so many places that I've moved that list onto that page.

Last Modified: March 12, 2007