The author of: SURFR Trading Systems, VX QuickMilling, VX Post (old), VX QuickCopy, TechnoPack (TechnoCAD, TechnoCAM, GNCPP), FinancialTools.

Some information about me

My name is Dan Micsa and I was born in the first day of 1967 in Timisoara, Romania, 50 km from the Serbian and Hungarian border. Timisoara is one of the most modern cities in Romania, with a strong academic history.

In 1977, I started to regularly play Bridge and Chess since I have a passion for mind games.

In 1980, I learned the 4000 year old game of Go (Baduk, Wei-Qi) and this has remained one of my main hobbies throughout my life (in addition to programming). Complex mind games continue to absorb my time. More about my achievements in Go at the end of this page.

After quite a successful poker spree on Christmas night in 1981, I had the opportunity to buy my first personal computer. I was 14 years old and the computer was a Sinclair ZX81, with 16K of RAM. It was my dream machine until the beginning of 1983 when I exchange it for a Sinclair ZX Spectrum with 64k, 8 colors, 3.5MHz and a tape recorder. This computer changed my life and I spent most of my time, programming various kinds of applications and games.

In 1985, I finished C.D. Loga High School with a specialty in Mathematics-Physics.

I passed my exams and arrived as a bright-eyed student at a Polytechnic Institute specializing in manufacturing. In that period of time (communist era) to earn a student position wasn't an easy task and I had to pass 3 exams: physics, algebra and geometry (there were more than seven potential students for each single placement).

In 1986, I meet my life-time love (she might read this so I can't write what I want) called Adriana the one who would later become my wife.

After serving nine months in army, I started University and until 1991, was a student. I won many awards in University even represented our Polytechnic Institute at the national Programming Olympiad in 1987. I continued to program a lot of scientific applications in particular in the area of fixtures, tool design, data analysis, data processing, manufacturing and mechanisms completing practically all my projects on my Sinclair Spectrum. My Master Degree (was called diplomat engineer in my country) thesis was called "Real Time Functions Visualization". In the Winter of 1990 I bought my first real computer a PC 286 + 287 + VGA + 1M RAM + color display + 16MHz + 10M HDD = a jewel! Finally, I had enough horse-power to finish my master thesis. I started using Turbo Pascal as a programming language. I did mental gymnastics for about 6 months in order to learn about caching data in Pascal and assembler. I finished University in summer of 1991 with 93% average.

In the summer of 1991, I spent my time playing soccer, swimming, drinking endless beers and enjoying parties with my brother Horia. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. One day, my mom came into my room and showed me an advertisement to write some specialized program in Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) field for one of the biggest mold and die maker in my city. The name of the company was ROMACOST SA. So I decide to go and see about what they wanted to achieve. I was competing against four other companies specialized in software development. ROMACOST's managing director explained their requirements for the project: a CAD/CAM system for mold and die design for 2, 2.5 and 3 axes milling. One of my competitors presented there had already programmed an APT processor (language used to describe tool paths for NC machines) so he made lobby to split the project into 2D and 3D because a CAD/CAM product in 2D and 3D was unheard in 1991. The managing director agreed and people start bidding for the 2D work and the minimum was $1500 from the guys with the APT processor. I was quiet (which is unusual for me) because I wasn't much interested in the 2D world. When they started bidding for the 3D system nobody wanted the work. So I asked if they would agree to pay $3000 when they cut first part in metal. They verbally agreed and I told them I'd be back in 2 months time with an update to our project.

I started to work on this project using a "pincushion representation of the surface" or a uniform grid kind or a monochrome image where different shades of grays represents differing Z heights. I had a lot of good code from my master thesis plus the Graphic User Interface (GUI) and a 3D viewer. I (re)invented gouge free machining using sequential dropping. What I coded seemed 100% robust. This was quite an achievement so I did some rudimentary surface modeling with analytic surfaces, surfaces thru sections, and some other simple modeling techniques for my CAD (computer aided design). I converted it all to my Z map using simple min, max, add and subtract functions (or solid operations as they are now called) and everything was ready for a first strike. I presented, in the agreed two months, my new software creation called TechnoPack composed of TechnoCAD (the modeler) and TechnoCAM (the tool path generator). The client love it and managed to machine a Citroen part in the afternoon of the first day. Lucky for me, the guys with the APT already did Direct Numeric Control (DNC) so it was a walk in the park to transfer the massive tool path via serial port. They admitted that they used to need at least one months work to program the part that I programmed in a single day. Needless to say, they paid me and that was the start of my professional career.

In the summer of 1992, after my milling success a professor from my University's manufacturing department became interested in my technology and invited me to earn my PhD in this pioneering area of research. I agreed to work on my PhD thesis part time because I was busy managing my fledging company and had a lot of potential clients asking me for CAM software. So that was the start of my PhD thesis called: "Generic Methods of Generation, Conversion, Import, Export, Analysis and Optimized Tool Path Generation using Discrete Surfaces" that can be viewed it or downloaded here. Unfortunately, it is only available in Romanian language but it has more than 200 cool pictures generated with my old TechnoCAD/CAM. My supervising professor was prof. dr. George Draghici and he spend a lot of time to help me finding my way in presenting in an fluent, formal, unified manner all the material suitable for a PhD thesis. Many thanks to Dr. Draghici for all his kind help.

In April 1993, Adriana and I decided to get married.

Later that year, our darling girl Patricia came into this world and she has managed to keep us on our toes since the day of her birth.

From 1991 to 1996, I worked for my company doing everything necessary to stay in business. I acquired a lot useful (and useless) experience in: drinking (oh, pardon me, ...dealing) with clients, negotiating with directors, detailing requirements, mapping their needs into software components, implementing, testing, delivering, training, service and so on. I developed plenty of new products to my TechnoPack series that now was composed from more than 8 products specific to client needs. One of the most important was Generic Numeric Control Post Processor (GNCPP) packed in TechnoPack Lite that can still be downloaded from various sites.

At the end of 1996, I decided to switch to C++ as the language of choice and I started to program using VC++. I loved it! I was fascinated by possibility of doing template programming and to use generic containers and algorithms optimized at compile time - this offered me the much needed speed for my CAD/CAM products.

In the summer of 1996, I created a website to publish some of my CAD/CAM ideas and in September of 1996 I was contacted by Mr. David Boucher the then Managing Director of Pathtrace ltd. We had a meeting and enjoyed a great time discussing competitive, professional CAD/CAM systems. After our meeting he asked me to join Pathtrace and I agreed. In the spring of 1997, I moved to Reading, Berks, UK near London and was employed as an Senior Analyst Programmer and later as Principle Analyst Programmer. Here I had the opportunity to hone my skills with C++ and STL(Port). I still had plenty of time to finalize my PhD and defended it in the autumn of 1998. At Pathtrace I mainly optimized tool path generation based on discrete technologies and I was a member of their accomplished math team so I was exposed to data acquisition, processing, presentation, large scale software architectures using Rational ClearQuest and ClearCase products + UML + Visio. I was in London at a Guerilla C# training in late 2000 and I fell in love with Microsoft dotNET, by far the most advanced programming technology around. Pathtrace is ISO9000 certified company so I learned a little bit of "discipline" as well.

In 1999, I won the "British Small Go Board Champion" title. I also won smaller titles too but I don't want to bother you with them here.

In 2001, frustrated by British traffic I decided to move on and opportunity came from VX Corp of Melbourne, Florida. VX recruied me to be their Lead 3D CAM Software Engineer (2001 - 2004) and then since 2004 as Component Technology Director. This is different kind of company, with a professional team doing an End-to-End CAD/CAM product. My job challenge was to design and implement a viable 3D mold and die machining package.

The product is called VX QuickMilling and it is one of the fastest, most competent 3-axis CAM products on the market. It is still young and under heavy development but shines in many aspects. I did other projects such as: point cloud stitching using progressive annealing, real-time point cloud decimation, optimizations in STL importing, healing and large assembly drawing. I wrote an entirely new Post Processor customizable via XML and self programmed via C++ reflection (not dotNET). I also helped prepare technical materials for QuickMill presentations, taking pictures, image processing and other minor DTP tasks.

In July 2003, I won first "Florida State Go Champion" title my major achievement in Go, to date.

In August 2003, I won "Kyu Killer" and "Hurricane" title in self paired tournament and 3rd place in 3 Dan players group with 5 out of 6 points at at the most prestigious US tournament "US GO Congress" held in Houston, TX. More info can be found here . I took my 4 thDan rank as well.

Some cuts from American Go eJournal are here.

In 2006, our second child a beautiful girl called: Isabella Melissa was born proving we are still fertile and capable of doing it!

These days I play a lot Civilization IV and GO. My nickname is: "Billator" on KGS for Go or Civilization IV HOF or Caps.Fools or Forums. Some of my achievements in Civilization IV can be found on: Civilization IV Hall Of Fame. A word of warning Civilization IV is a addictive game, one of the best I ever played, so play it with caution!

Since 2005 I'm spending a lot of time researching Boost, Parallel Programming and Market Simulation and Forecasting pretty interesting but complex stuff.

You can download my professional curriculum vitae as a DOC or PDF file.


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