Who is this guy?

Who is this guy?

This section tells you a bit about myself.  I’ve had a few emails asking about my
background, so here it is.

The story to date

My name is Dan Langille.  I grew up in Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada.
 My earliest memories are of blueberries and snowmobiles.  I lived there until I
was 13 when I moved to Ottawa. 

When I was 14, I read a computer article in an
Elementary Electronics magazine and I was hooked.  I started taking night-courses at
the local technical college and some courses at high school.  I wanted to attend
McGill, but it was too far away and I couldn’t afford to live away from home.  I
applied to Carleton but didn’t get into the School of Computer Science.  I was quite
devastated.  But I paralleled the degree in the Arts program.  I spent just
about every weekend away skiing while my classmates were coding.  Despite my
slackness, at the end of my first year, I was invited to join the School for my second
year.  By this time I’d gained a reputation amongst my classmates for being a clever
bastard.  Little did they know that by the end of the second year, they had all
caught up to me.

My major was software development.  My favorite courses dealt with abstract data
types and, what we call today, object oriented programming.  My Honors project was
titled "Merging Priority Queues Implemented as Heaps" and was based on a program
written in Pascal on a Honeywell CP6.

My first year Calculus professor, Derrick Sida (spelling?) told me his time teaching in
Dunedin.  His story about the students catching the train up the ski-fields
fascinated me.  That summer, I worked for the University as one of their
"consultants"; we were the first line of inquiry for any computer related
problems.  It was during that time that I met Nick Briggs, a New Zealander from
Auckland.  His father worked in the library at Carleton.  I remember him telling
me about places in New Zealand that rain every day (a slight exaggeration, but not far

With these stories in mind, my goal was to take a summer off and head to NZ to do some
skiing and come back and finish my degree.  I never made it.  Instead, I spent
my summers working at Carleton as a consultant, for National Research Council at the high
speed wind tunnel, and at Bell Northern Research on a telephone switch project.

In January or so of 1985, I sent went to the New Zealand High Commission and looked
through their business directory.  I sent off 19 job applications to various
companies around the country.  Then I headed off to Chamonix for two weeks of skiing.
 Upon my return, I had a job application.  Armed with that, I applied for and
received Permanent Residency.  I received my degree that spring on a Friday, hopped
on a plane on Monday, arrived here on a Wednesday, and I’m still here.

Paid work I’ve done

Since graduation, I’ve done some high-level system design but most of my time has been
spent developing client-server applications.  I’ve been created Windows-based
applications since Windows 2.11 which is about 10 years.  I started off working for a
bank where I coded in C and wrote programs for foreign exchange and money market dealers.
 After that I started programming in PowerBuilder for Synergy.  During the past 6 years, I’ve
worked in various industries including the film industry, for financial institutions,
fisheries, and courts.

Now I’m working for Ponte Communications working on their
network security system.

Volunteer work I’ve done

I did some work for RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) where I learned to clean
and tack a horse.  When Peter Jackson was filming The Frighteners at Camperdown
studies, I did some work for them to help them keep track of the special effects.  My
favorite project has been the race
timing system
I wrote for The Kennett Bros.


My main hobby is mountain biking.  I used to do a lot of tramping and skiing, but
I’ve pretty much given that up since I took up mountain biking.  I cycled a lot
during university.  Mostly to and from uni and one summer I commuted from my place to
the Ottawa airport every day.  That summer, it rained only once during my ride.

Wellington really is the Mountain Biking Capital of the world.  There isn’t another place I know
of that compares to the wide variety and quantity of trails.  Have a look at http://www.mountainbike.co.nz/rides/mtb/
for a short list.

I’m also a Hasher. My home Hash is Wellington Hash House Bikers.
Although I started out a biker, I’ve also run with Port Nicholson Geriatrix Hash House Harriers,
and more lately with Ottawa Hash House Harriers and recently founded
Bytown Hash House Harriers.


Well, I’ve recently acquired two kittens.  Some pics of them are at the cats directory.  They
are a little shy still and have yet to tell me their names.

Recent moves

Since early May 2001, when I took a new job and moved, I’ve been living in Ottawa and working for Ponte developing
software for their security platform. If you’ve already heard about Ponte, then you know what I’m doing. If you
haven’t heard about Ponte yet and you’re doing sysadmin for a large company, I bet you’ll have heard of us
by the end of 2002.

5 thoughts on “Who is this guy?”

  1. The little digital thingy down in the corner of my screen tells me this is 3:49 am. I know it’s a bit off but I’m too lazy to go upstairs and find out what time it really is. It’s late, ‘kay? and for that reason I really can’t think of anything clever to type.
    I hope this is the first of many other intresting tidbits you find posted here. Do you still have those cats?

    1. I don’t have any of the cats. Gus died (<http://www.freebsddiary.org/newjob2.php&gt😉 about a week before I moved to Canada (<http://www.freebsddiary.org/newjob.php&gt;). Seth disappeared. And Bast is at a new home (<http://diaspora.gen.nz/~rodgerd/pictures/bast/&gt;).

      I’ve been told I’m heartless/cruel/etc for not bringing Bast with me. I think those people are not familiar with cats/NZ. Bast is an outdoor cat. She hunts. She loves being outside. If she came to Canada, she’d have to be in side 3 or 4 months of the year and she’d have no bush to play in. I think she’d go crazy locked up inside for that length of time. It’s far better for her to still be in Wellington with a good home.

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