Here are our thumbnail biographies and links to our home pages.
John R. Levine
(He gets to go first because this web page is hosted on his computer. So there.)
John R. Levine was a member of a computer club in high school -- before high school students, or even high schools, had computers. He met Theodor H. Nelson, author of Computer Lib and inventor of hypertext, who reminded us that computers should not be taken seriously and that everyone can and should understand and use computers. John wrote his first program on an IBM 1130 (a computer roughly as powerful as your typical modern digital wristwatch, only harder to use) in 1967. He became an official system administrator of a networked computer at Yale in 1975. He started working part-time, for a computer company, of course, in 1977, and has been in and out of the computer and network biz ever since. He got his company put on Usenet early enough that it appears in a 1982 Byte magazine article, which included a map of Usenet sites. He used to spend most of his time writing software, but now he mostly writes books (including UNIX For Dummies and The Internet for Dummies) because it's more fun and he can do so at home in the tiny village of Trumansburg, N.Y. He also does some lecturing and consulting, and is the municipal water and sewer commisioner. ("Mess with me, pal, and you'll never flush again.") B.A. and a Ph.D in Computer Science from Yale University, but please don't hold that against him.
David C. KayDave Kay is a writer, ex-engineer, and aspiring artist, combining careers in much the same way as his favorite small business, Acton Muffler, Brake, and Ice Cream. Dave has written and taught on a wide range of computer and other high-technology topics for many years. His books include Microsoft Works (3 and 4) For Windows For Dummies, VRML and 3D on the Web for Dummies (with Doug Muder), WordPerfect (6.1 and 7) For Windows For Dummies (with Margy), and Graphics File Formats, 2nd Edition(with John). He runs BrightLeaf Communications, which does marketing communications writing and illustration for high technology companies, including website development and management. As a break from all this hi-tech, left-brain stuff, he tracks humans and other critters in the woods.
Carol Baroudi met her first computer in college at Colgate University in 1971. Her first encounter with electronic communication was in the form of send ttys, an ancient form of terminal warfare. She taught programming and helped design a computer science curriculum, but majored in Spanish Literature. For the last ten years she's been writing about computer software, including various electronic mail packages. She firmly believes that computers should be easy and fun to use but are no substitute for real life.
Arnold ReinholdArnold Reinhold learned about computers during the Eisenhower administration. You name it, he's probably programmed it. Arnold studied mathematics at City College of New York and MIT, and business at Harvard. He worked on the Apollo program and helped found the robot company Automatix, where he was responsible for machine vision. His recent publications include: E-Mail for Dummies, 2nd ed., Internet for Dummies Quick Reference, 6th ed., "Commonsense and Cryptography" in Internet Secrets, The HaYom On-line Hebrew Calendar for Macintosh and Windows, and several papers on cryptography. Arnold thinks Paris and the Internet are both underrated.
Douglas MuderDoug Muder is a mathematician whose career involved explaining complicated subjects to people who could fire him if they didn't understand. Until recently, his main works were impenetrable papers about such important topics as the precise number of ping-pong balls that can fit into a very big cardboard box. He finally cracked under the strain of taking all this seriously and became a for Dummies author. His first complete computer book was VRML and 3D on the Web for Dummies with Dave Kay, although he did have a hand in updating Dave's Microsoft Works for Windows for Dummies, and wrote small portions of MORE Internet for Dummies and E-Mail for Dummies.
Margy Levine YoungMargy Levine Young has used small computers since the 1970s. She graduated from UNIX on a PDP-11 to Apple DOS on an Apple ][ to MS-DOS and UNIX on a variety of machines. She has done all kinds of jobs that involve explaining to people that computers aren't as mysterious as they might think, including managing the use of PCs at Columbia Pictures, teaching scientists and engineers what computers are good for, and writing and cowriting computer manuals and books, including Understanding Javelin PLUS, The Complete Guide to PC-File, UNIX for Dummies, MORE Internet for Dummies, and Internet FAQs: Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions. Margy has a degree in Computer Science from Yale University and lives with her husband, and two children in Cornwall, Vermont.
Alison Barrows has been a serious computer user since high school, and soon found herself irresistibly drawn to the software field (with help from the other Gurus Cabal authors). She has designed and written software courses and taught hundreds of computer novices how to make computers work for them. Since finding herself in a career as an author Alison has authored or co-authored six (and counting) books for IDG Books Worldwide including Excel 97 Secrets, Access 97 for Dummies Quick Reference, Dummies 101: 1-2-3 97 for Windows, and Dummies 101: WordPerfect 8.
In addition to writing books, Alison teaches custom computer courses and writes technical documentation and training material. When she's ready to take a break from technical stuff, Alison sings with the New England Chorale, practices yoga, plays ultimate frisbee, and dabbles in rock climbing. Alison previously worked in technical support and training at The World Bank and at Information Resources, Inc and has a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School at Harvard University, and a B.A. in International Relations from Wellesley College. She currently lives in Boylston, Massachusetts with her husband and extremely cute baby.
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