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Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Like many people, I love the Simpsons. Seriously. I have seasons 2 - 11 on VHS tape because my mother said when I was in 7th grade, “You should tape the episodes if you like the show because its going to be canceled any day now.” That statement was made in the year 1990. In case you don’t have a calendar, 17 years have passed.—Jeff Lipson (LinkedIn) / SIMPSONS SIMPSONS SIMPSONS! / We’re Going To Cover That In Phase 2

It’s amazing what our moms can make us do.

SML + Programming

When I was 7, I wanted to play computer games. My mom said, “Well, if you want to play computer games, you should go write my own.” So I did.

What I learned from these game writing is that I have no interest in those games—but the process of trying to solve the problems encountered during programming was great fun.


When I was 10, I wanted to play with the 286 my dad bought. My mom said, “If you want to use the computer, you need to read all the manuals before you touch the computer.”

Well, the manuals that shipped with the computer happened to be the MS-DOS user guide and MS-DOS reference. I read both manuals cover to cover and til this day I still know the DOS prompts by heart.

SML + Word Processor

After I got my hands onto the PC, my dad bought Wordstar and I wanted to play with it. My mom said, “Well, you don’t need Wordstar, what do you need it for?” I don’t even know what kind of features it had and I said, I guess, just word-processing. My mom said, well, you can write that, right? So 5,000 lines of BASIC code later, I had my own word-processor. Ugh.

SML + Research + Design Production

When I was 14, I wanted to play Monopoly (Wikipedia: Monopoly), but my mom thinks that it’s not an ‘educational’ board game and refuse to buy it for me. She said, “If you want to play Monopoly, you should make it yourself.”

My mom took me to the library and I found a reference for Monopoly, which details every game piece and cards which come with the game. It also provided extended rules and tips on game play.

I read that cover to cover and studied all the rules. Before embarking on my Monopoly factory production, I made sure my sister would at least play that set with me for ten times. I spent the next two weeks using color pencils and created the board, all the cards. My sister only played that with me once. :(

SML + Model Boats

When I was I don’t recall what age, I wanted to get one of those wooden model boats I saw at the hisory museums. My mom told me to build one from wood myself because they didn’t get it from the store either. I never crafted my model boat out of wood. And as I learned from architecture classes in college, it’s not all that easy.

I still haven’t crafted any model boats, but I am seriously thinking about it.

SML + Creativity

I hated my mom back then, but I love my mom now because she has put me in the seat of creation every time there’s a problem. I also learned that it is the process—not the end results—that matter most. The power of this philosophy has made me who I am today.

SML Thank You

Mom, thank you.


  1. I am so happy that something I wrote prompted you to write about these terrific memories you have about your own mother's influence on your intellectual growth.

    It seems like she was stern but inspiring at the same time. That sounds like a lot of mom's I know, mine included.

  2. Yup and yes :)

    I don't like blog interfaces where they don't let you edit the comments after you have posted them. Kindda annoying huh?!