Jim Henry

[Picture of me in 1995]

I was born in 1973 in Decatur, Georgia, and lived there until 1979, when our family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. Back to Decatur in 1981, then to Stockbridge in 1985, where we built a house on land we bought from my Dad's father. My parents still live there.

Dad and Mom read to me often when I was small (Dad and I still read aloud to one another when we find time to), and I learned to read sometime before I started going to public schools. When I was younger I mainly read mysteries; later I started reading sf and fantasy, and old books of various kinds. My reading nowadays is mostly sf and history.

My parents always took me to church, and I believed in God in a shallow way when younger. In 1984 I realized I must personally trust God and his Son in particular; I was baptised on November 18 of that year. I was not terribly faithful to this first love; by about 1987 I was spending scarcely any time in prayer or Bible study outside of church. I got more serious about my relationship with God in late 1988 and early 1989, but difficulties in Baptist soteriology and Bible interpretation, and ignorance of better alternatives, led me to become more or less agnostic for awhile in the early 1990s. I was able to believe in Christ again, though not in distinctives of Baptist theology, in 1994. I kept going to the Baptist church I grew up in while I lived in Stockbridge, because I had many friends there, but I was really "in the foyer", in C. S. Lewis' metaphor.

After moving to Lilburn, I started studying on what the different Christian groups believe and why there are so many of them. After nearly a year of such study and prayer, and visiting various Protestant churches in Lilburn, I decided to join the Catholic Church. I started the Rite of Christian Initiation at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Norcross in November, 1999 and was received into the Church on Easter 2000. I helped out with RCIA as a sponsor and catechist from 2001-2003, and since 2003 have led an adult Bible study at St. Patrick's.

Mainly because of ill health, I home-schooled during my high school years. I took a correspondence course for credit, as I had heard nightmare stories about home schoolers having difficulty getting into college for want of paperwork proving a quota of study, but most of what I learned was from library books. I learned BASIC and C on my own, and wrote several shareware programs during the latter half of my high school years, two of which a few people valued enough to pay for.

After I saved up money for a modem, I was active on BBSs in the Atlanta area for several years, starting in late 1991, until the growth of the Internet began to erode the BBS community. In one year (1996) three of the BBSs I was active on went down. Since then I've been occasionally active on one or another mailing list, but haven't frequented Usenet.

I started writing book reviews and posting them on network message boards about 1994. In recent years I got out of that habit, writing just one or two reviews per year for my reviews web page. In May 2002 I started writing a weblog which mostly consists of reviews of whatever I have been reading lately.

After I graduated from the aforementioned correspondence course, I read library books and wrote software for another year, then enrolled at Clayton College and State University (then called "Clayton State College", though the older books in the library bore testimony to when it was "Clayton Junior College" not long before). I majored in Computer Information Systems for want of money to lodge away at a school with a four-year Computer Science program, figuring that I would learn more from library books and self-assigned programming exercises than from the courses anyway, which turned out to be mostly true.

In May 1996 I started learning Esperanto via the Web Hypercourse, and continued with the Free Email Course (see my learning resources page). By winter of that year I was able to read texts from the Internet with only occasional help from a dictionary. It wasn't until I went to the SFSU summer course in 1998 that I became fluent in spoken Esperanto, however. I've been active in the local Esperanto Society of Metro Atlanta, and was one of the organizers of the Esperanto League for North America's convention in Atlanta in May 2000.

I also read French, though I'm not at all fluent in the spoken language, and have also studied (with varying degrees of persistence and success) Classical and New Testament Greek, Finnish, German, and Latin. Also I mess about with invented languages of my own.

In June 1998 I graduated from Clayton College and State University. I spent part of the summer at the Summer Esperanto Course at San Francisco State University, the rest of the summer continuing the job hunt. In early October I started a job at PaySys as a software tester. A few months later I changed to do mainly programming (in C++ and in our house language).

I worked with PaySys for two and a half years, until it was bought out by First Data Corporation (April 2001). At that point I transferred to Delos Payment Systems, which spun off from PaySys and hired most of PaySys' research and development division. Delos changed its name to CoreCard in June 2002. I continued working at CoreCard until 2008, primarily on the house network protocol.

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Email me: jimhenry@pobox.com.

Last modified late 2010.

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