ken on ipod Ipod created in Adobe Photoshop

About Ken Freed

digicomp I've always had an interest in electronics and computers, and I programmed my first mechanical Digicomp computer in the 1960s.



ibm1130 I programmed my first electronic computer, an IBM 1130 in Fortran, as a junior in high school back in 1971.


During high school I became interested in photography (which has long since branched off into today's interest in computer graphics), and I particularly liked darkroom work. My interest in chemistry led to a one year clinical training course after high school, and I received my ASCP-CLA (hospital lab tech) certification in 1973.

Owing to the recession at that time, hospital lab tech jobs were hard to find. I became an apprentice in a machine shop for the next 2 ½ years helping to make blow molds, and some injection and compression molds. Most of my time was spent roughing out blow molds in front of a Bridgeport milling machine, with some surface grinding and lathe work.

The machine shop experience fostered an interest in engineering, and in 1976 I started college, planning on becoming a mechanical engineer. College awakened my previous interests in chemistry, electronics and computers however - and I wound up getting degrees in chemistry (with a third of the Masters degree coursework completed, concentrating on organic chemistry with research on stereo selectivity in sulfones), chemical engineering and a (near) minor in electrical engineering (concentrating on analog and digital circuits).


During my last 3 years in college, I switched from picking up Saturday machine shop work, to working the weekend shift and holidays as a lab tech at Riverside Hospital (now St. Clare's) where I had trained to be a lab tech a few years earlier. I also took a semester and summer off from college between chemistry and chemical engineering degrees to work for GAF Corp, as a chemical engineering co-op (collecting binary vapor liquid equilibrium data to model the use of GAF's n-methylpyrrolidone as an extractive distillation agent for the separation of ethyl benzene from the styrene monomer in polystyrene production).


ken at obm After college I joined IBM Endicott (in what would eventually become part of the Microelectronics division) as a way of using both chemical and electronic backgrounds. After a year as a chemical engineer in Additive Copper Plating, in 1982 I transferred to IS (information services) and went on to become an expert at writing tool interfacing applications to address production and engineering needs. Although my initial focus was on getting the data out of machines and correlating it to (good and bad) product so engineering could figure out what was wrong, the time spent in the lab and machine shop provided insight into the types of things that easily go wrong in manufacturing. As a result, the software I developed was sought after by manufacturing production operators and managers alike. From there, I branched out into real time multitasking embedded tool control (using IBM Series/1 computers, which are similar to today's C language PLCs), CAD data preparation for 2D circuit board image photolithography, and MES (manufacturing execution system) software.



After 14 years with IBM manufacturing (during which time I completed a Master's Degree in Computer Science with an emphasis in project management) and 3 years with Applied Materials (as the sole Ion Implant embedded software support engineer in the US), I spent 2001 through 2008 as the site Automation Engineer for Cypress Semiconductor in Round Rock, Texas.


Since the Cypress Texas plant was shut down at the very end of 2008 (it was an older 6 inch wafer fab, and production was moved to China) I put effort into learning web technology, and have completed two major customer projects in Lamp/Wamp (Apache, Mysql, Php) - along with their accompanying HTML, CSS, and JavaScript/jQuery scripting/code. As can be seen on the web site, I also have interests in Adobe Flash, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and the modeling, texturing, lighting, rigging and animation in 3D graphics packages such as Modo and Carrara.