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Welcome to ZebSoftware

the Zebulon sunflower
Slideshow Image 2 the 'phi' expression
Slideshow Image 3 the 'golden ratio' manifest
Slideshow Image 4 Pikes Peak

ZebSoftware comes from the Zebulon Sunflower, which has an amazing geometric pattern that reveals the power of phi, or the golden ratio. In conjunction, I live by Pikes Peak, which was named after the explorer Zebulon Pike. The golden ratio is applied to design, and Pikes Peak keeps me in motion by exploring this majestic purple mountain.

About

Company Goals

  1. Security1st. Help keep the internet, software, and/or your privacy safe.
  2. Deliver uniform, reliable, and maintainable software.
  3. And, always do your best!

I started writing software in 1990 after receiving a BA in Mathematics with a Computer Science Minor from Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO. My senior thesis was titled: Can the Computer replace the Human Brain? The conclusion was that true randomness can only be achieved by the human mind. To pursue more of this curiosity, I ventured into software development for the personal computer industry. In the year 2000, I received a C++ Object-Oriented Programming Certificate from Colorado Technical University, Colorado Springs, CO.

Skill set: C/C++ (18 years), C# (3 years), PHP (3 years), JavaScript & HTML & CSS (2 years), VB (12 years)

If you're in need of software or website design, development, and/or support then please read more... ▼

In 1991, I started writing C and x86 assembly code for Softronics that developed a communication and terminal emulation application (Softerm) bundled with IBM's OS/2 and also ran under Windows 3.0. Highlights: I developed a script based OS/2 and Windows dialog formatter that followed the IBM CUA (Common User Access) standards and supported multiple languages. I received a significant bonus in my effort to get our product converted and released into 14 different languages. I stayed with this job for 6 years, but had to move on after the personal computer, Sun UNIX boxes, and Windows Servers overtook the mainframes/terminals.

I then moved on to testing tape drives for the Quantum Corporation. I stayed with this company for 12 years until the magnetic tape gets replaced with cheaper hard drives and faster solid-state disks.

Serving as lead software engineer (10+ years) for Quantum's “Ongoing and Reliability Test” software, I tested SCSI tape drives & libraries (medium changers), hard drives, solid state disks, and multi-disk backup systems. This tester software, under my development started running in one reliability lab here in Colorado Springs and then grew to become a critical required tester for design, engineering, process, production, and customer verification testing. This software was purchased by at least two other companies and ran worldwide. It had to be bullet-proof to provide critical data for timely executive decision-making and had to run for months on end without stopping (period). This software originally was written in C with the ASPI manager to send the SCSI commands. I converted it to C++ and after Windows stopped supporting ASPI it was modified to use Windows SCSI pass-through over SCSI, Fiber Channel, SATA, SAS and USB hardware connections. The ‘real-time’ output test data was communicated to a Windows server application in C++ with MFC, using Winsock 2.0 packets, which then transferred it to a SQL Server database. This server application displayed in one viewport the entire lab's test status (pass/fail/alert) for each device being tested. One Windows Server monitoring up to 255 personal computers running at least 8 'test' devices/drives/loaders/disks each.

Commentary: this software was written to be reliable, like its objective on testing our products. My favorite company offered class was the SCSI Nuts and Bolts. I also enjoyed the 1's and 0's, the big-endian, and the SCSI spec.

Designed and developed .Net component libraries to provide an API (application programming interface) to the SCSI protocol for all internal Quantum applications from product design to production testing. The CRL class library was written in C# and was also script driven from sending a complex SCSI mode sense command to writing pseudo-random data to fill an entire disk/tape at streaming speeds with a bit by bit read verify test (whoa!). The second component was a Win32 dynamic linked library (DLL) written in C++, which communicated the SCSI commands using Windows SCSI pass-through (SPTI).

Team lead developer of a multi-threaded C++ Windows application to automate, control, and monitor up to 48 DLT tape drives ‘simultaneously’ running a 96 hour confidence test using the COMM (RS-232) interface on one pc. A script engine was included for controlling the tests with encrypted scripts written by the process engineers. Components to this application included test status updates to a central reporting application through a socket connection, which in turn talked to hand held devices used to instruct the operators of tests requiring their attention; COM based interfaces to VB and VC++ executable's for the GUI; and data collection.

Then in 2009, I unplugged from the technology wave. It was an amazing time but after experiencing the last 10 years with Quantum's layoffs every year (from thousands down to hundreds), watching/helping manufacturing go from Colorado Springs to China, and watching my stock options go from zillions down to nil, I decided to try something else. So, I returned to the job that got me through college - framing/remodeling. It was great to get back into shape. Highlights: built a fan-tail staircase on a customer's backyard deck.

From March 2016, to Dec 2017, I volunteered to support the local Women's Resource Agency's website and thoroughly enjoyed learning the process, software, and the code development. During this time, I decided to return to software development.

In April, 2017, I volunteered to setup a website with a simple calendar for local events. The Pikes Peak Women requested to “capture in one place” our local community work responding to our recently changing political environment: Pikes Peak Social Activism Calendar. To respond quickly, I used the Joomla content management system, complemented with a free version of the dpCalendar extension. We have over 60 users but it is now rarely visited. My intentions were not to re-invent the social wheel but to provide a 1-stop shopping experience for all these very important social-events happening. The bonus was that I received a first hand experience with the current hacking methods by looking at the website logs and then learning what's happening with the URL. The 'Social Activism' in the websites title name was the keyword for the 'out-of-country' hackers and it wasn't helpful to redirect wp-login.php file to the NSA (won't do that again...). It has been a 'live' boot-camp for web security, with many improvements in my web page development and knowledge.

So, I started a software development company name 'ZebSoftware' and registered with the State of Colorado. I also setup and created this website using “plain-vanilla” HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, with a SSL Certificate. No other external dependencies or references in this website. Keep it simple (more security, less dependencies), make it attractive (eye pleasing, minimize flashing), and then release it with improvements and updates along the way (security, technological advances, higher search engine ranking).

What I've learned:

  • Develop with quality. Which means the software needs to be reliable, consistent, maintainable, and secure. To achieve this means to develop ‘tidy-bullet-proof’ code in a ‘as is required’ secure environment and then test, test, and keep testing. Testing not only enhances your skills for coding but always improves the interface as you interact with your project. Then seek out other opinions and adjust accordingly.
  • Design with the top-down method. Shoot for the stars…and then discuss the feasibility, time and money. Research many possible methods to reach the goals. Then draw a blue-print.
  • Develop from the bottom-up. Get the nuts and bolts working then continue up from there. This allows the development process to test the important components as you're building and testing on top of it.
  • Design your interface using phi (Golden Ratio). From nature to buildings, the Golden Ratio is pleasing to the human eye. Add comments while coding and logging/tracing capability throughout the source code.
  • Recognize not to let time and/or money overtake security. As displayed recently, the risk of security is unmeasurable. As technology advances and hackers evolve, the security should continue with support and updates.
  • Keep it as simple as possible. When possible, always use the core/native/default/built-in components.
  • And always have multiple backups!

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ZebSoftware LLC

Software Developer: Doug Marts
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
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