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Thomas Pfau

My mail address is <pfau at>

I have some pictures that I have scanned online. One of these days I might add to this collection.

I will be trying to collect my thoughts and put them onto the web. Don't expect any great insights but if you want to take a peek inside my head, look at my Random Thoughts page. Please ignore the cobwebs.

In a further attempt to collect my thoughts, I've started a blog. I don't know if I'll keep updating it for long. I am not a great writer but maybe it will give me something else to do besides playing solitaire all night.

Check out my hoax e-mail page.

Find me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook.

I am a Christian, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Programmer, and Musician.


My wife and I have been attending at Spirit Life Fellowship in North Brunswick.


I've been married to my wife, Karen, since January 1982.


I have four daughters named Melissa ('83), Megan ('84), Heather ('87) and Courtney ('89). They're all beautiful and talented (but I'm biased).

In April '98, we were adopted by Dodger who the vet told us was a Shepard-Collie mix but we thought he had some Golden Retriever in him. Unfortunately, we had to put him down in October '09. In January '12 we adopted Stanley, a Dutch Shepard mix, from a shelter. He seems to have adapted to us quite readily.

We have also adopted several cats; Chessie was adopted as a kitten, Cuddles (recently put down) was a neighborhood stray (sort of), and Finn who Karen adopted as a kitten from Petco. First
Kitten Picture Second Kitten Picture We used to have several birds but they have all died.


Charles Anthony Oryniak was born January 9, 2008. Nathan Jefferson Oryniak was born September 15, 2009. Kevin Thomas Firestine was born on July 17, 2010. Noah Daniel Policano was born August 25, 2013. Ruth Grace Policano was born April 5, 2015. Emily Grace Oryniak was born on June 11, 2015. Ryan William Firestine was born on July 17, 2016. Jonathan Paul Policano was born July 23, 2016.


My Resume.

I have been a VMS system programmer since 1983. I worked for Digital Equipment Corp. for 12 years starting in Field Service and switching to Software Services after a couple of years. I started programming on unix in November 1992 after installing linux (V0.97) on my home computer.

I mostly program in C/C++ or Perl. I got my start in programming using BASIC on a PDP/8e in High School. In those courses I also learned FORTRAN and assembler. In Tech School I took another round of computer courses that included BASIC, FORTRAN and assembler on PDP-11. When I was trying to get into Software Services at DEC I learned COBOL by reading the manuals over the weekend. I taught myself Pascal when a friend was having problems with his computer science classes. I taught myself C as it seemed to be becoming the common language for just about everything. I took a Java course in November, '00 and have done a few things with it. I've done plenty of DCL, some shell programming (bash and zsh), and lots of Perl.

I currently work for an electronic brokerage company helping improve the software that accepts and matches trade requests. This is a multithreaded program that efficiently handles several hundred client connections. My current project involves creating an event feed to external programs using Google Protocol Buffers.

I worked for a friend who is selling wine making franchises. I maintained the website used for point-of-sale activities at the stores. The software started as an OS Commerce installation but it has been heavily modified. The site is written in PHP using a MySQL database and runs on Apache.

I worked at a pharmaceutical company where I was responsible for maintaining the software that managed the automated warehouse. The system tracked inventory and controlled seven cranes that stored and retrieved pallets in the 30,000 pallet warehouse. The system was written in C, DCL, and Datatrieve. I also wrote several perl scripts to extend CMS/MMS for more effective project management.

I worked at a startup where I developed an administration utility using C++, Java, CORBA and PostgreSQL. We were working on NT but with an eventual desire to move to linux. We had trouble raising financial backing after 9/11 and the company failed as a result. The product was finished and marketable but we ran out of funds to deploy it.

In previous jobs, I worked on VMS, OSF/1 (Digital Unix), RSX-11M/M+, MS-DOS, Pick (Ultimate), MUMPS (DSM), and some other things without operating systems and probably a few more I can't remember. I have worked with Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQL Server, Visual C++/MFC, DEC C/C++ on OpenVMS, gcc/g++ on linux, HTML, CSS, perl, X Windows, Motif, TCP/IP, Java, and more.

I have developed a set of subroutines called ftplib which implement the FTP protocol. This allows programs to send and receive files to remote machines without forking. The current release (V3) allows programs to read and write remote file data directly.

I have some Perl programs and modules that might be generally useful. I also have some applications on line driven by perl and backed by Postgresql.

I started a new site on my Alpha workstation running OpenVMS. I will be posting OpenVMS related information there.


I have been playing guitar (electric, 6 & 12 string accoustic, bass) since about 1975. I have attempted to play keyboards with little luck. I've also been known to use a harmonica on occassion. If I start singing, leave the room.

I ran the sound equipment at church for several years. I also ran sound for a friend who ran a coffee club in the basement of his church.

I was once part of a band called 9 Feet Tall. This was a collection of musicians that played worship at our church although not all were ever together there at the same time. We performed at coffee clubs and benefits mostly singing songs written by our lead singer. We recorded a CD which is available from the web site.

I recorded another CD project with some friends I played with just after High School. I did most of the recording and mixing on this project. The CD pressing company sent us a few samples of their attempts to master the audio but we thought they destroyed the sound quality by overcompressing it. We decided to use my mastering results and have received several complements on the sound quality on this disc.

Last Updated - July 25, 2016

Thomas Pfau / pfau at