Gibbs and Associates

Gibbs Logo blue
21350 Nordhoff St #112, Chatsworth, California 91311
1986 to 1989 (3 years)
Software Engineer

  • ncCAM (now GibbsCAM) for Mac — Computer-Aided Manufacturing for Numerical-Controlled machines
  • ncPost for Mac — Post-processor for ncCAM data

This Mac-based CAD/CAM start-up consisted of two engineers (Rick Boarman and me) and one tester (Peter Jackson). I was largely responsible for the creation of ncPost, a post-processor for CAM data that translated milling data based on a public specification, and communicated with dozens of brands of CAM machines via a proprietary scripting engine. I also took ownership of ncCAM and implemented all of its 3D and animation features. ncCAM took data from our ncCAD application and allowed a machinist to plan out and visualize the moves his milling machine would make to produce complex parts for the aerospace industry. I was also called upon to visit with clients for training and to perform customer support, and in this way I developed great user empathy. All of our products were developed (rather painfully) using MPW and Pascal on early Macs and Lisas.

The Backstory

While he didn’t write code himself, Bill Gibbs taught me more about programming than UCSB ever could have. And plus, we had great fun. Thanks, Bill!

Chatsworth was a rough part of town and I’m sure it’s only gotten worse. In fact it was known as the porn capital of the world. Our shop was directly above a warehouse where one of the big studios stored their Tracy Lords videos, who was notorious for working underaged.

One day my new Suzuki Samarai’s spare tire went missing. I called around and found a tire shop nearby. When I arrived, they miraculously happened to have a stack of Samarai spare tires for sale for $50 a pop. Gee, I wonder why…

While working on ncCAM’s migration to 3D, Bill hired a local college student who was a mathematician. A few days later he didn’t show up for work. It turned out he got stabbed to death trying to break up his roommate’s drug deal over the weekend.