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Cary Swoveland

Victoria, Canada

Me, now

I'm retired, and have been for many moons. My hobbies include woodworking and helping others learn Ruby.

Me, before

In my former life I was, chronologically, a university prof, a government policy advisor, an independent consultant, and a software developer. The last of these was the result of an idea I had in 1992 for a remote computer backup system. The concept was to transfer each distinct file but once, even if the file was owned by multiple users (as was the case for program files, which at the time accounted for the lion's share of the occupied space on users' hard drives). This resulted in it being highly economic to perform automatic nightly backups with the technology available at the time (14400 bps modems). I hired three young coders and we set about writing a DOS app in C. After some ups and downs I licensed the software to a company that moved it from DOS to Windows and then to the internet. A few years later they were acquired (for their one and only product--the remote backup software) by a US software giant.

reputation vs. Reputation

What's most important to you, a good reputation as a Ruby coder, or a high Reputation score at SO? If it's reputation you want, devote your time at SO to helping everyone, yourself included, to gain a better understanding of Ruby. It's as simple as that. The Reputation will come. This means:

  • submit well-crafted questions, answers and comments that are concise, complete and understandable.
  • if you don't understand a question or answer, ask for an explanation or clarification.
  • offer answers that are innovative, even when you prefer an answer already posted by someone else (and say so). If it garners no upvotes, but you've learned something in the process, that's enough.
  • give credit where credit is due, both in awarding upvotes and complementing posters for their questions or answers, including answers to questions that you have answered as well. (Some members seem to feel that awarding an upvote is tantamount to receiving a downvote, which does not go unnoticed.)
  • admit when you are wrong, and graciously accept worthwhile suggestions for improving your answers. (Some members--often anti-upvoters--never admit they are wrong. Don't they realize that everyone in the room is looking at them?)

Us, now

My wife, Cynthia, and I live in Victoria, British Columbia (Canada). We have two sons, three grandchildren and one puppy (a goldendoodle named Saffi). My current avatar shows what I looked like when I was a young man.

Me, contact

I can be reached at:


(which amounts to "#{fname}@#{lname}.com").

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