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A Little About Stone Design’s Founder and Chief Software Engineer
Andrew Stone
Software is written is by people for people. A customer thought it would be useful to learn more about the person behind Stone Works, so I’m providing this page as a peek into Andrew’s World.

I grew up in Cincinnati, a hilly city in the Ohio River valley “Mid West”, and left home at 16 to travel in South America independently. Instead of finishing high school, I spent a year and a half of wanderlust through the Andean highlands learning Spanish and some Quechua, and a lot about how most of the world lives.

Upon returning to North America, and deeply culture shocked, I moved to New Mexico in 1974 and spent 4 years at the University of New Mexico studying Architecture and Urban Planning with an emphasis on owner built solar adobe architecture and sustainable agriculture and organic gardening.
Grid-tied PhotoVoltaic system produces the electricity on our hand-made passive solar heated adobe home.
I practiced “design build” architecture for 10 years - that’s where the architect does the actual construction as well as design for clients. I began using computers for my practice in 1980 - I had a TRS-80 from Radio Shack for doing heat loss calculations, and in 1984 used an IBM PC with 256K of memory. (The MacBookPro I’m typing on now has 4 Gigs of RAM, that’s a factor of sixteen thousand!)

In 1985 I dropped by the Architecture & Planning department and ran into one of my favorite professors who sat me down in front of a Macintosh. It was love at first byte!

I ran out and got my first Mac, and within two years was an avid HyperCard programmer. I began writing software in HyperTalk and even contributed a few chapters to the Waite Group’s “Tricks of the HyperTalk Masters”. Programming became more fun than designing and building! The turnaround time from an idea to an implementation was almost immediate and required naught more than brain power!
I spent 1987 through 1989 working on my masters degree in Computer Science, but before graduating, I began programming software for Steve Job’s spinoff company “NeXT Computer”. By October 1989, we had shipped one of the first applications for the NeXT, TextArt, a type styling program. And so began my 20 year (so far) involvement with Mac OS X - because it is directly descended from NeXT Operating System!

Our years developing for NeXTStep were productive and entertaining. My friend John Perry Barlow and I threw some highly memorable “Raves” in San Francisco in ‘92,’93 & ‘94 when the word “Rave” was still fresh and innocent.

And in those two decades, I’ve written over twenty applications which compete head to head with MicroSoft, Adobe, Quark, etc as independent alternatives to expensive and ofttimes bloated commercial software. And, what’s even cooler is that we have a community model of software - you buy once at a low price, and get free software upgrades for life! But enough about biz!
My wife Katie, son Eli Stone (he assures me that HE is the ORIGINAL Eli Stone), daughter Emma Ruth and I live on a three acre sustainable irrigated farm along the Rio Grande river, just a few miles from downtown Albuquerque. My eldest daughter Izzi lives and teaches in New York City, and my second born Lillie Mae studies environmental science and theatre in Portland.

I have been practicing organic gardening for over 35 years, and my specialty is home made chill dill garlic pickles. One year, Eli & I sold over a thousand dollars of pickles just on the side of the road and he bought himself his first Mac with the proceeds.
One of my favorite things to do is bicycle to the Post Office and our local community owned grocery store, La Montanita Co-op, where I just finished a three year term on the board of directors. One of my new hobbies is to write articles about gardening and sustainable living (see page 13). Riding away from the computer to get exercise always turns out to be more productive than trying to out-think bugs by staring at them!

Katie drives a Prius, but I’m holding out for an all-electric car that we can plug in to the solar generated electricity from our 5 KW photovoltaic system on our roof. Recently,
Tesla Motors annouced they are going to open an electric car factory here in Albuquerque for deliveries of sedans in 2009!

Stone Design began delivering software electronically as a pioneer back in 1990, and by 2002, we had moved away from producing any hard goods whatsoever: all of our manuals are available for download electronically as PDF’s and the latest versions of our software are always
available here.

Well, you made it this far, so here’s a little story for you:
One day, Richard Stallman, the original creator of Free Software, came to visit us at our farm. He took one look at my adobe castle-like tower where I like to write software, and quipped, “Oh, I get it. Tower. Wizard”.

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