Personal Stuff…

Here’s a bunch of stuff about me. I was born in Colombia and grew up in the US. I studied biology, chemistry, and physics in high school, where I won the state science fair. In the late 70s, I lived seven years in Germany, where I got a graduate degree at the Universität Heidelberg, followed by year in Paris and Aix-en-Provence, and then seven years in Århus, Denmark, where I worked on a doctorate for a while, married a Danish girl for a while, and had a computer company for a while.

Because I’ve lived in so many places, I speak a bunch of languages. If you like words, here are some of my favorite words.

Want to see photos instead? Open my FB photo album

I was in Berlin the night the Berlin Wall fell. There’s plenty of photos of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, but I’m the only one who wrote what happened that night. My letter ended up being published in a number of history books and has become part of historical archives. In 1999, as part of the tenth anniversary, I was interviewed on nationwide radio. When that statue of Saddam was pulled down in Iraq, the BBC called up and we talked some more. I was interviewed again by the BBC for the 25th anniversary in 2014.

In the mid-90s, I got married again for a while. Here’s a bit about Susan.

I got burnt out by all the big money in philosophy, so I came to Silicon Valley in the early 90s, where I worked at more than 25 startup projects and companies, incl. SUN, SGI, Oracle, and Brio. I even started a few companies.

I registered on August 30, 1995, when there were just a handful of websites and you sent a email to a kid named Jerry in his dorm room so you could be listed on his page, which he named Yahoo just for fun (and it actually means something). We were using and UseNet in the 80s. The web was cool because one could add pictures to it (okay, mostly cat pictures).

I wrote one of the first books on web design. It sold tens of thousands of copies. I built websites for more than two hundred Silicon Valley startups. I was the webmaster for a site that grew to 16 million registered users and 60 million hits per day. It’s very likely you used it. The dotcom burnt $70 million in VC funding and cratered. Yes, I worked for a Silicon Valley dotcom and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.

In 2001, after the web crashed, I held a funeral for the web, which we buried in my Palo Alto backyard. For a casket, we used a Webvan box and filled it with the sockpuppet, along with AOL CDs, Netscape mouse pads, and all sorts of logo stuff from dotcoms. I invited Bill Gates, Marc Andreeasen, and Jim Clark and we held services. It kinda got out of hand. Four magazines and several newspapers covered the funeral and a bunch of people visited the website… oh, 100,000 per hour for a few days. In July 2002, another company bought the rights to the spokespuppet and relaunched his career, so more press showed up.

How to Write a Book! by Andreas Ramos

Me & Helen when the book went #1 at Amazon

I read a lot. I read two or three books every week and often two per day. I have over 5,000 books, including Roman and Greek literature, classical and modern Chinese and Japanese novels, African literature, South American, India, and so on. I’ve also written a few books, including a bunch of #1 Amazon Best Sellers. I’m working on several more books.

In 1998, I bought a house in Palo Alto and did a lot of renovation. Many people say they built a fireplace, when really, they hired a carpenter to do it. I rented a stone cutting machine, bought several hundred pounds of slate from India, set up a workshop in the backyard, and cut the stone myself. I also replaced all of the plumbing and wiring, plus built two decks for my annual parties. There’s a great backyard for big parties.

I hosted a Y2K Millennial party at my house. Here’s the invitation. Reporters showed up and it was in papers.

In 2012, I got married again. Helen, me, and our cat Anaximander Katzenjammer, who is a great mouser, share our house in Palo Alto.

I often write about my trips. Some of these pages are the best guides on the web to that city.