1992 Workstation Technologies / Nortel / UMAX / SuperMAC
WTi 18004 Skypark Circle, Suite 240 • Irvine, California 92714
I had wanted to do Mac Application Development, so I went to a small startup called WTi (Workstation Technologies, Inc). The job was creating a QuickTime VDIG and a dithering algorithm for teleconferencing, and QT-VCR a commercial application used for recording and playback of streams.
It was an interesting gig, that only lasted part of the year.
I remember that I went from being super confident at Baxter (and before) to catching a weird virus that attacked my lymphs, liver, and left me with an anxiety disorder and agoraphobia. I was able to stay mostly functional, in that I could drive to work and back, but I was having a much harder time in social situations. My Martial Arts training (mind-over matter, and body, and meditation, etc) was letting me conquer it much faster than most. But that was still years of continuous fighting with myself, psychological pain. I've nearly died a few times, broken my arm 4 times, and nothing compared to the challenges of having to learn how to cope with a broken fight-or-flight mechanism.
To compound that, I had started in a high stress startup... I had a Girlfriend move in with me (a new stress), and I had serious performance anxiety at work. And I handled it poorly, and was cheating on my girlfriend at home with a girl at work.
The lead Scientists (Klaus(?)) was a nice enough guy. If he told me what he wanted, like a dithering algorithm, I knocked it out, and it became the basis of their video compression and reconstitution. I also wrote a VDIG (Video Digitizer / Driver for QuickTime 1.0). And I worked on the Application that could do recording and playback of streams, which I named QT-VCR (QuickTime and VCR / Video Cassette Recorders that were the rage in the day). All that in a few months. But I would get these brain blocks and paralysis where I didn't know what to do next. Klaus would say, "why aren't you doing X", then I'd un-brain-freeze and knock that out... then vapor lock in self doubt on what to do next. And I couldn't do my usual, just hack it out (figure it out) and keep trying until I got it right techniques.
It was weird and unique for me to be unable to just execute, or work things out. I learned how much of coding is just ego, and pounding over every hurdle (the hard way). I knew OOD and had taught myself Frameworks (and written Libraries/Languages/Class Libraries/Frameworks) far harder than TCL (Think Class Library), but for some reason, I'd just get brain-blocked. I was trying to lean on others too much, instead of just doing, and they thought I was more Jr. than I was (in action). In hindsight, I still performed fairly well in what I accomplished. But I was not surprised at the time, when they decided to let me go because I didn't have the right personality for a startup.
Still, the stuff I did, or helped with had the hardware acquired by Nortel, and the software licensed by eMachines / SuperMAC / UMAX, for their video conferencing/capture systems.