Please see my resume for a standard list of skills and employers. Primarily since I was working solo for while, I created this page to provide links to publicly available information about me and my work. I can be somewhat hard to Google since there are so many Jeff Blums in the world.
Microsoft Program Management
I have brief acknowledgements and mentions in a few Microsoft Windows CE books, including Inside Microsoft Windows CE (search for "Blum"), p.255, section written by Cathy Linn, one of my managers at Microsoft:
"We had a fairly technical PM [Program Management] team; it really does take technical expertise to gain the developers' respect. Jeff Blum was a key person, a very dedicated, intense, organized person with a strong technical background."
There were a number of fun Easter Eggs (hidden programs that usually display information about who worked on the project) in some of the products I worked on, including: Handheld PC PIM (where my name shows up in the calendar), and Handheld PC (everyone's name bounces around on the screen). In addition, I created one of my own. On the Pocket PC, there is a word prediction engine where you can start typing a word, and it tries to guess what you are going to spell and offers it as a suggestion. I ended up being the one to go through the built-in dictionary to remove any "offensive" words you wouldn't want popping up. While I was in there, I added my girlfriend's last name (Szuchmacher) to the dictionary, so if you typed "sz" her last name would automatically pop up. It persisted through many versions even after I had left the company. I only added it because I figured nobody would ever type "sz" on the device. Years later, I received an email from Sarah Zuberec, the usability specialist on the project, who signs her emails "sz". You can guess the rest. I have other stories about Easter Eggs gone awry that I won't repeat here, but suffice it to say I wouldn't add any again.
After I left Microsoft, the Pocket PC flew on the space shuttle, which I think is pretty cool.
Glass Lantern, LLC - programmingGlass Lantern, LLC was my software company in Washington DC. Although I created a number of products, PocketLoupe and Pixfer for digital photo display and transfer on Pocket PC devices were the bread and butter. These actually started out partially as personal projects for my own use, as in this article. Here are reviews and feedback you can find online:
- Josh Root did a review of PocketLoupe on photo.net that was quite positive, concluding with "Pocket Loupe is a great little program that does just what I wanted it to."
- Chris Spera posted less glowing review at pocketpcthoughts.com, mostly dinging the program for not allowing editing and for being overpriced at $35. (Other non-professionals complained about the same thing...) If I had to do Glass Lantern over again, I would have charged MORE for the program - one of our competitors, Pocket Phojo, charged hundreds of dollars and focused only on professionals. I would move to a similar strategy if I did it again. Our best customers were those who saw the price as trivial and really needed a reliable, fast, pro solution for making sure they captured the images they needed. We might have sold fewer copies, but the time spent on support and other issues would have dropped, and I bet we would have come out ahead financially in the end. Note that one of the comments at the bottom of the review points out some of the reasons why pros found PocketLoupe so useful - there was a huge difference between the pro and amateur markets, and trying to straddle both was not a good strategy.
- Bruce M: "PocketLoupe is incredible viewing software, lightning fast seeks and display, 100% scrollable detail with a stylus tap. I've never seen anything even close. Full screen to 100% is literally instantaneous. Next image as fast as one can swipe the stylus. First to last image in a second." He also writes: "I also have found Jeff to be as helpful; he integrated Nikon 5000 .NEF viewing into PocketLoupe simply by my suggestion and implemented it into the latest release within days of me sending sample .NEF files to him."
- Troy Delnicki: "Jeff Blum, CEO of glasslantern software, in one heck of a programmer to say the least. PL [PocketLoupe] can open a RAW file (1:1 ) in about 7-8 seconds--pretty amazing as it take my desktop computer 45 seconds to do the same thing. At 50% size, it's more like 3-4 seconds. When you're viewing gigs worth of data, it sure is a time saver. Full histogram is there, thumbs, EXIF data, and instant delete and rotate image is there too. Most folks have not seen Jeff's latest program (version 149B), but it has major improvements. Good software truly does make the difference." To be fair, note that PocketLoupe did not read and parse the actual RAW data, but used embedded JPEG images that other software did not access. Still, PocketLoupe was very fast compared to other software due to quite a bit of effort not only on streamlining the actual image processing and using multiple threads effectively, but also in designing the user interface to provide top-notch feedback such as very fast thumbnails. This comparison shows PocketLoupe's performance as quite fast even before further performance updates were made.
- After I shut down the company, it was missed: "Note that Glass Lantern has just gone out of business; therefore, I no longer recommend their PocketLoupe any more, no matter how excellent it was. RIP Glass Lantern, yours was a great product!"
Patents My resume mentions a number of patents. Here is the complete list where I am an inventor:
5805164 Data display and entry using a limited-area display panel
6593949 Smart column for contact information on palm-sized computing devices and method and apparatus for displaying the same
6633924 Object synchronization between objects stores on different computers
6664991 Method and apparatus for providing context menus on a pen-based device
6727917 User interface for palm-sized computing devices and method and apparatus for displaying the same
6727830 Time based hardware button for application launch
6760696 Fast start voice recording and playback on a digital device
6819315 Soft input panel system and method
6901559 Method and apparatus for providing recent categories on a hand-held device
7411582 Soft input panel system and method
7533352 Method and apparatus for providing context menus on a hand-held device
7669208 Object synchronization between object stores on different computers
8066372 Binocular vision assessment and/or therapy
Speaking of patents, if you Google me, you may also come across a large amount of discussion for patent 6727830, which purportedly patents the double-click. Of course, it isn't nearly as broad as the sensational articles imply, but it did generate quite a bit of press nonetheless, including Engadget, Slashdot, Wired, Michael Gartenberg, New Scientist, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Seattle PI, and many others.