Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Paul Lutus is a computer programmer from the hey-days of the home computer (read: late 70s and early 80s) who sailed around the world in a tiny boat and wrote about it.
As a a thinker he put an interesting spin on sailing and man's relationship with the sea.
It's a interesting read which could inspire you to get out there and do some long distance sailing.
Before becoming a software author, Lutus designed electronics for the NASA Space Shuttle
and created a mathematical model of the solar system that was used by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the Viking Mars mission.
After working for NASA, in 1976 Lutus moved to a remote location in rural Oregon and started living in a cottage in complete isolation.
There, he started writing computer programs on his first personal computer, an Apple II. In the 80's, he would eventually program Apple Writer, an international best-seller for the Apple II, plus some programming environments.
In 1983, Lutus received Reed College's Vollum award for contributions to science and technology, and was named Scientist of the Year by the Oregon Academy of Science in 1986.
Between 1988 and 1991 Lutus sailed solo around the world in a 31-foot sailboat.
His book about the sail, Confessions of a Long-Distance Sailor is free on his website.
One of Lutus's latest software projects is Arachnophilia, a Java Web development workshop available free on his website. The program is released under Lutus's own version of the Careware license.