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Who is Professor Smiley?
I am the founder and owner of Smiley and Associates , a Philadelphia area computer consulting firm.
Up until 1998, my primary source of income was Contract Programming, Teaching and Consulting. Since 1998, I have written 8 computer programming books (all on programming), a number of workbooks, and have put together several computer courses for major online vendors such as ElementK, SmartPlanet and ZDU.
In case you're wondering, no one (or hardly anyone, I should say) gets 'rich' writing computer books. Like everything else right now, the book market is suffering.
Overall, my business is way down. Book sales, teaching, and consulting are way down--but I know things will bounce back.
By the way, a bunch of people contact me all the time for free things--which is OK, but you need to remember that prior to 1998, I didn't do anything for free (I guess I was just a nasty consultant, charging outrageous hourly rates).
Since then, I've met (for the most part) a bunch of great people over the Internet, and now I find it difficult to say 'no' to anyone.
Bear this in mind the next time you ask me to finish a program for you, look at some code, or even do your homework for you (sorry, I draw the line there).
By the way, if this sob story has gotten to you, consider making a donation to my Web Site to keep all of my valuable materials and time free.
Speaking of teaching, I am a Computer Science Professor at Penn State University, Philadelphia University, (formerly the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science), Holy Family College, ElementK, SmartPlanet, and the now defunct Ziff Davis University (ZDU). If you take a Visual Basic course at any of these venues, there's a chance that I put the course together, and that the course is using one of my books.
Speaking of books, as I mentioned I have written 8.
I wrote my first book because for years I had been using Visual Basic books in my classroom which I deemed adequate, but not great. I kept notes of the questions that were asked by my Introductory students that weren't covered in these books, and when the opportunity arose, I wrote my first book for Wrox Press, under the imprint of ActivePath. My first book
Learn to Program with Visual Basic 6
is a bona fide best seller (at least as far as computer books go). It's sold over 100,000 copies--which is a lot for a computer book. I then wrote, in succession
Program with Visual Basic Examples
Learn to Program with Visual Basic Databases
Learn to Program with Visual Basic Objects
Learn to Program with VB.Net
Learn to Program with Java
Learn to Program with C#
Learn to Program with C++
All of these books are fun books to read, not written in the typical dull style of most computer books.
All of the books are written as if you are in an actual college classroom.
Because of this, you have classmates, students who show everyone how smart they are, students who ask dumb questions (we know there is no such thing!), and students who ask questions in between. It's a very clever technique, in that I anticipate every question the reader would ask if I were actually sitting next to them, and answer them at just about the moment the question pops into their head.
Slow learners and readers find the books wonderful because I don't talk down to them. Teaching beginners has always been my business--and I've just extended the paradigm to my writing.
In addition to writing my own books, I've also written a chapter or contributed in some other way to these books
Wrox's Beginning Visual Basic 6*
Wrox's Beginning Visual Basic 5*
Wrox's Beginning Visual Basic 6 Objects*
Before I started writing, I tech edited a number of books:
McGraw Hill's Excellent HTML*
Que's Special Edition Using ISAPI*
Que's Web Development with Visual Basic 5*
Wrox's Professional Visual Basic 5 Business Objects*
Wrox's Beginning Objects with Visual Basic 5*
My Spare Time
I work quite a bit, so I don't really have any hobbies--although lately, I've gotten back into running. I run 6 to 10 miles, 3 times a week, and try to run a race (5K, 10K, 10 miles) once a month or so.
I enjoy watching football, playing basketball (mostly with my son Tom who now can beat me), and going to the movies once a week with my wife. When I retire (in about 5 years) I hope to do something other than write books and computer programs--but I think I'll always do a little of that, as I really do enjoy it Perhaps I'll write my second novel (my first was never published).
Something I used to do with the spare time I don't have is to participate, each year, in the MS150 City to Shore Bike Tour for Multiple Sclerosis. I did this from 1998 through 2003, but I found biking takes too much of the time I don't have.
I formerly loved watching professional baseball, especially the Philadelphia Phillies. However, in 1996, I became so fed up with professional athletes, I decided to give up my full season ticket plan for the Phillies. he Phils worked with me for two years so that I could hold onto my season tickets, but unfortunately, in 1998 we parted, as a partner of mine, Guy Weaver, owner of JetPlate Inc, in Reading PA took over the seats. By the way, Guy, you promised to call me every year and sell me some of my home plate tickets. Haven't heard from you since. I think you always complained about someone you know doing that to you. Hypocrite.
My wife Linda is still as beautiful as the day I met her. I'd put a picture of
her up on this Web Site, but I value our privacy too much.
Tomis my oldest son. To my knowledge he was the youngest web page author in the United States at the age of nine. He's now 18, and is a fine young man. He plays a great game of basketball, does extremely well in school, and tracks US currency via wheresgeorge.com. His mother and I are very proud of him. Tom will be entering Drexel University in the fall of 2005, and will be majoring in Civil Engineering. His tuition, room and board ($34,765) is threatening to bankrupt me---so if anyone has a spare $1,000, please send it along.
My son Kevin, 17, reads more than anyone I know, and is turning out to be a wonderful illustrator. His room could be a little neater, but I'm a firm believer that clutter is a sign of genius. He's proven that by recently being named a Merit Scholar.
Last but not least, is my daughter Melissa, who is undoubtedly the smartest 9 year old kid in the whole world, and probably the most pleasant!!! I think she's a natural athlete, and is a wonderful soccer player and runs extremely fast (she could play organized basketball but chooses not to). She doesn't have her own web page yet--but is already a computer expert. She loves every Sims game ever made, and plays a video game called Animal Crossing.
10% of the net proceeds from my book sales go to charity. Would you please be considerate enough to give to some of these great organizations?
MS 150 City to Shore Bike Ride During the weekend of September 29, 2001, I was busy riding my bike to the shore for a good cause of curing MS in the City to Shore Bike Tour 2001. Please take a look at the pictures I took during the 1998 MS150 City to Shore Bike Ride. I was supported that year by over 100 people and we raised over $1,000! THANKS AGAIN!
ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) I am very deeply interested in curing ALS also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. I am interested in this because I want to see those wheelbound people and Spinal Cord Injured people walk again!
Feed the Hungry My son Kevin, as part of a church project, began collecting money to Feed the hungry of underdeveloped countries. To make a contribution, just follow this link.
I believe in the sanctity of human life (born and unborn), and I believe that what we do here on this earth we are in one way held accountable for. Whether you are a Catholic (practicing, as am I), a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist, an atheist, an agnostic, or whatever, know that I treat each person I meet or talk to with respect and I hope you do the same---pass it on!
Here are some links you may find of interest:
I've heard people say they don't know what they are--check them out here.
Beatitudes--from the Sermon on the Mount
Having a bad day? Read these and see what awaits you if you believe in something greater than yourself.
My personal tribute to the people I (and others close to me) have lost, and whom I believe I will see again one day.
I once maintained a Complaint Page in which I stated all the things that bother me--people talking in church, talking in the movies, parents who don't watch their children, etc. However, I've decided that I should be more positive--besides, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone". Instead, I prefer to concentrate on my
Things I really love, people I admire, etc.