ASP Volunteer Spotlight, 2004
Volunteer Spotlight: Jerry Stern
by Kathy Salisbury
Association of Shareware Professionals, 2004
Congratulations to Jerry Stern of Science Translations Software on being named ASP Spotlight Volunteer!
Jerry Stern is well-known in the industry as the editor of ASPects, the monthly newsletter of the Association of Shareware Professionals. Jerry has been an ASP member since 1992. In 1997, he was drafted to help with some writing projects for the Education Committee. Later, he was recruited by Bob Ostrander to take over as ASPects editor when Will Daniel left the position.
Most ASP members are unaware of the critical role that Jerry plays in the organization. He works most often behind the scenes, recruiting writers, evaluating article submissions, reminding the board members about deadlines, editing, and often writing articles himself, in order to deliver timely information to ASP members month after month.
Jerry often goes the extra mile for the organization, with little recognition. He is active not only in the ASP’s member-only newsgroups, but often takes part in committees, and even more often in the ASP leaders newsgroup and the boardroom. It takes a vast amount of time and mental energy to give input on so many issues, but Jerry is well-capable of managing and prioritizing these important tasks.
Most recently, Jerry has implemented a CD version of the ASPects archives. With the help of Gregg Seelhoff, who wrote the autorun file, and former ASPects editor Tom Simondi, who scanned the older issues, Jerry put together and tested the CD which was distributed to all ASP members for the first time in 2003. Thanks to Jerry, the 2004 version of the ASPects CD will soon be produced and distributed to the membership. Jerry also gave valuable input on the new format for the Shareware Guide, which will be included on the CD.
As if this weren’t enough to keep him busy, Jerry has also written over 100 articles for other publications. You may view a partial list of the articles at https://www.graphcat.com/article-reprints/.
Regarding his technical background, Jerry has been programming since Fortran IV was in fashion (1974), and has since worked with multiple editions and platforms of Basic, C, and more than 10 macro languages, and is mostly self-taught. His first commercially-released title was a roulette game for the Texas Instruments 99/4a, complete with sound and an animated spinning wheel, way back in 1983.
Jerry has completed a Bachelors’ degree in biology and psychology from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Masters’ degree in writing from Towson University. He writes mostly about computer topics, including programming, computer configuration and security, and has written both one-shot articles and monthly columns, including 39 articles on programming in Extended BASIC for the TI99/4a computer for MICROpendium and a 12-month series on WordPerfect for the Baltimore Computer Times, and has been editor and occasional writer for over six years for ASPects. He’s a WordPerfect Certified Resource, a Corel Solution Partner, and just to round things out, was also a certified Unicolor Darkroom Expert and a Glidden Paint Expert. (Before going into full-time self-employment, Jerry was in retail store management, selling, among other things, cameras, computers, and lumber.)
Graphcat, Jerry’s first program published on a PC platform, resulted from a failed magazine article submission to WordPerfect Magazine. He wrote a clip art cataloger that runs entirely inside WordPerfect back in 1990, and although he did end up writing several feature articles for the magazine, the response to Graphcat was “We did that last month! It should arrive any day now…” When the magazine arrived, it was a trivial cataloger, far less flexible than Graphcat, so he added more error-traps and a full user interface, and released it as shareware in 1991, and had his first registration in 10 days, from around 100 miles away. In the following three months, registrations came from farther and farther away as the old bulletin board systems did their jobs and distributed his trial version file.
The following year, Jerry attended the second-annual Summer Shareware Seminar, joined the Association of Shareware Professionals, and is now a lifetime member.
Jerry has been self-employed full-time for over 14 years as a computer consultant specializing in system configuration and security, ASPects editor, and shareware author. He continuously works on updates to his FileTiger file management product.
The ASP salutes Jerry Stern for his dedication, hard work, and expertise. The organization could not hope to find anyone more talented and uniquely qualified to fill the role of ASPects editor. This small tribute includes a sincere thank you and long overdue praise for Jerry’s work on behalf of the ASP.