Welcome to the website of Marc and Stephanie Chamberlin, happily married and living with two English Mastif slob mutts - Laika and Cleo, a ferocious cat Rango, a dozen cranky chickens, and who knows how many fish and other critters we keep around here.

Feel free to browse around and learn more than you ever cared to know about our world!

Marc's Biography

I am a tall 6'5" critter, currently sporting  brown hair, blue eyes, and a gray beard. I emerged into this world at exactly 11:09pm on July 25, 1953AD, at the Ashland General Hospital in Ashland, Oregon USA.

My childhood years were spent mostly growing up in a medium small town of Klamath Falls, Oregon. My initial goal in life was to become an astronaut, but alas that was just not meant to be. So I spent my youth immersed in science fiction books, having fun in the Boy Scouts hiking and camping all over southern Oregon till I became an Eagle, talking all over the world on ham radio and driving my parents crazy with all the antennas I wanted to stick up, building electronic kits, fishing for steelhead and trout, playing the piano,  and looking at the stars with my telescopes.

After a two year stint in the Army, I finally grew up and decided computers were my calling. I  graduated from Oregon State University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science, and from the University of Oregon in 1978 where I received a Masters of Science degree in Computer Science. So now I am a computer scientist and a senior software engineer with over 35  years of experience programming computers.

My career has focused on the usage of computers in scientific applications. My  first job was working on array processors at a company called Floating Point System. These computers were attached to a host computer and handled high-speed, complex mathematical matrix calculations such as FFTs and video image processing. Here I developed programmer tools such as compilers, assemblers, simulators etc. which enabled customers to design their own custom applications for the array processor.

In 1981, I joined the Multiple Mirror Telescope Observatory near Tucson, Arizona which was a prototype telescope employing six 72 inch mirrors mounted in a single framework. Using computer controls and active optics, the Multiple Mirror Telescope achieved the performance of a single 280-inch telescope, making it effectively the largest telescope in the world at the time. I worked there to develop the real time operating system, and  the telescope mount pointing and tracking software. Using software dithering techniques, I was able to help the telescope achieve a pointing accuracy which approached a thousandth of an arc second and tracking accuracy which exceeded a hundredth of an arc second. For you laymen, hold up a quarter 300 miles away from you, the diameter of the quarter is equal to one thousandth of an arc sec! This made the MMTO one of the most accurate large telescopes in the world and enabled it to use active optics and interferometry techniques to combine the light gathered from the 6 separate mirrors into a single image, as if it had been acquired from a single large mirror. There I had fun doing things like tracking the space shuttle to see if it had lost any heat shield tiles, spotted Halleys Comet out beyond the orbit of Neptune, and helping astronomers discover gravitational lenses.

In the mid 80's I finally met a charming woman, Glenda, with whom I had a lot of interests in common with, and who took a fancy to me. We had a Jewish wedding ceremony (she was from a Jewish family) in a planetarium ( I was the astronomer) and settled down to live in her house. There I decided to try my hand at consulting and running my own business. It was a lot of fun and hard work, I got to work on projects ranging from modifying cell telephone computers, building custom robot spectrometers for the mining companies, to building an operating system and software development tools for the Amiga computer.

In the late 80s, Glenda and I went to Stockholm Sweden where I was a consultant to Ericsons for a couple of years. There I met and worked with a wonderful Swedish man, Kurt Johnson, who hosted us. We worked on Ericson's telephone switching networks developing custom network diagnostic tools. Glenda and I loved Sweden and even learned to speak some Swedish while we were there, not an easy task for this kid! With a wonderful 8 weeks of vacation time per year, we got to travel a lot around Europe also!

When we came back to the United States, I accepted a position at Tektronix Inc. working in their computer research labs. This was an exciting opportunity for me, to work with people on some cutting edge computer technology, but unfortunately I think it lead to Glenda's and my divorce a couple years later. So after 8 years of marriage we separated. In the labs, I worked to develop a rather complex program called a parser generator. This program was able to generate a custom program for each of the  electronic test and measurement instruments that allow them to communicate electronically with each other and computer controllers.

After 6 years in the labs, Tektronix decided it could no longer afford the luxury of having their own computer research, so they closed it down. I then went to work in one of their business divisions, to work on a gadget called an oscilloscope. There I used my knowledge of compilers and computer programming languages to build a real time embedded compiler for these electronic digital oscilloscopes. A compiler is a computer program which translates a program, which is written in human understandable terms, into machine language instructions which a computer can then execute.   The compiler I wrote was able to interpret mathematical expressions that a user could enter into an oscilloscope, and build code which did the math analysis and measurements on signals acquired by the scope

After another 5 years at Tektronix, I decided to leave an go to work for an exciting small startup company called Webcriteria Inc. I wanted to learn a bit about Internet technologies and this was an ideal opportunity for me to do so. There I  worked on an automated software robot which has the ability to characterize the ease of using web sites base on human behavior modeling  factors. Unfortunately, after only 8 months at Webcriteria, the economy and the company took a turn for the worse, and I along with almost half the company was laid off!

I then decided to take a bit of time off, and play with building an Internet based telescope controller. I have been a member of  the Northwest Astronomy Group for almost 20 years, and this group is building 2 computer controlled telescope, a 12 inch Newtonian, and a 24 inch Cassigran. The 12 inch has now become a functional telescope and has afforded me the opportunity to build this Internet based control system for it. This software system will allow the group’s members and guests to collaboratively control the group’s 12 inch (and eventually the 24 inch telescope when it is completed)  from the  Internet. This software system allows members to share the telescope-operation  and data-collection experience from disjoint locations over the Internet and collaborate with each other as they do so. Users will be able to view star charts that show where the telescopes are pointing, control or monitor the  telescopes pointing and tracking and control or monitor the CCD cameras and image viewers on the telescopes. (CCD cameras are a special type of camera suitable for astronomy applications)

A long time friend of mine and co-worker from Tektronix, Ed Averill and I decided to set up our own consulting business - JPrise Inc. It has been a roller coaster of a business, sometimes we get a lot of work sometimes not much. We have had projects ranging from wireless Internet services, artificial larynx, telescope controllers, to robotic vision pick and place die machines. I been staying very busy setting up my own servers, learning all about Internet technologies, writing a LOT of Java code, and poking around in the bowels of Microsoft's Windows operating system in order to build this telescope control web based application!

I had a couple of back surgeries around 2001 - 2003 time frame that I finally am recovered from. In 2004 I got lucky again and met another woman who I find to be absolutely delightful! Stephanie and I got married (a small ceremony in the back yard of her house) and then she came to live with me in Forest Grove. Stephanie is a nurse who loves astronomy and traveling. We started to plan our future together and I got busy designing a dome home for us to live in. We hunted around for land, found several possibilities but all proved to be unfeasible for one reason or another. Then we struck the jackpot and found a dome home near Washougal Washington, out in the woods with two fantastic views, and lovely gardens. We fell in love with it immediately and bought the place and have been fixing it up with our collective styles.

I am NOT a complete computer geek either! Besides all this, I do have other interests an activities that keep me fairly well balanced! I enjoy playing the piano and have done so since I was a kid.. Currently I am into Scott Joplin ragtime, Chopin classical, and New Age music. A few years ago I took up sailing as another hobby and like to get out on the Columbia river whenever I can. I have gone sailing in the South Pacific, once to the French Polynesian islands around the Toumoto islands and Tahiti, twice around the Fijian islands, and once around New Zealand. Someday maybe I will find a partner with an adventurous streak in her, get a sailboat and go cruising! I also have my own sea kayak and love to go sea kayaking up in the inland passage off Vancouver island, or around the bays and estuaries of the Oregon coast. I love to go hiking in the back country, or river rafting down remote canyons. I also and have been known to poke my spelunking nose into a few caves. I love to read science fiction still, but have broaden my reading considerably and love short stories, philosophy, and sailing adventures. I drag my telescope out of it box and go stargazing at star parties in the summers and falls, and I still chase remote contacts and sailors (cruisers) via ham radio. Friends tell me I make some damn good beer, and my home made ice cream is first class! (I own 5 hand crank ice cream freezers, and one electric!) I like to get together with a few of my friends for a good evening of playing pinochle. And my brother and I get together for a flick and a boys night out on the town whenever either one of us gets to feeling stir crazy!

Latest Projects

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Click on an icon to go to the web page.


JPrise Inc.

Marc's Company

Marc and his partner, Ed Averill, formed a consulting/contracting company that specializes in Java programing. Click on the more button below to visit JPrise Inc's website.


Internet Telescope

Explore the universe

This is Marc's biggest personal computer project. Marc is designing a collaborative web site that will allow members of a telescope observatory to control their telescope from the internet.


Quick Links

Some useful links for Marc & Steph

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