Hogweed Software is a US corporation started by a team of venture capitalists and assorted entrepreneurs, with the aim of making as much money as possible from dodgy products in a couple of years, before selling all the rights to Global Megacorp Inc and making even more.

Only kidding… Hogweed is basically, er, just me. So what’s my programming history (other than ZX Basic back in the 1980s 🙂 ) ? Well, I started programming in C on Unix when I started my PhD in antibody structure prediction. A couple of years later I got my first PC (a secondhand 386) and did a few games and graphics utilities in Borland’s Turbo C++ on DOS on that, basically new versions of Pacman, Space Invaders and the like plus software to design the graphics. Later I upgraded to a Pentium II with Windows 95, the machine I still use now, and started playing around with Java, again coding one or two games plus a graphical designing program which avoided the need to use GIFs and JPEGs with Java images, something that came about when I discovered at the time (1998) that there were no free programs to convert BMP to GIF and JPEG files, an essential task given that Win95 supported no format other than BMP. In the meantime, my interest in C and C++ programming on the PC waned as I was greatly put off by the ghastly-looking Windows API and Microsoft Foundation Classes: my first taste of GUI coding had been the Java AWT and those basically sucked in comparison… 🙂

Being used to Unix at work I’d always been vaguely interested in Linux, but had been put off by the awkward installation until around a year ago when I discovered version 7.2 of Mandrake which promised an easy installation. Well, on it went and so I enjoyed the ability to use the powerful shell and compile/make tools that I’d been used to at work. It also meant I could do much of my work at home which was nice 🙂 My first programming project was a designer and player for those text adventures that you used to get on the ZX Spectrum (coming soon here…); later I also discovered that graphical programming in C++ was far nicer under Unix/Linux than Windows, thanks to a great number of well designed libraries, which reawakened my interest in this. Subsequent discovery that many of these were actually cross-platform – available for Windows too – encouraged me to get going on Hogweed’s first release, Mapmaker, more of which can be found here.

Go back to hogweed.org