Hacking & Free Software

A lifelong tinker, I’ve been programming computers since age six, and continue to take apart anything, and learn as many technical skills as I can find the time for. My obsession is to create, to build, to unite and connect nature and technology.

The hacker attitude prioritizes freedom, and the power of individual thought to protect the freedoms of our society.

"He’s amazing— this guy Charney is visiting from another dimension."

David Blaine

Performance Artist


GNU stands for Gnu’s Not Unix. It’s the original hack: a community of programmers who rose up to create their own free operating system. To this tradition of innovation and the pursuit of freedom, I am a devotee.

Today, I use many tools on many platforms on behalf of many clients, ranging from completely free to enterprise-class expensive. What’s important is knowing the difference, using the right tool for the job, and covering your ass.

Free Software

The free software movement was born in 1983 with a vision— what if talented ethical computer programmers around the world volunteer to write and share software with everyone else who agrees to do the same?

I participate, for example on GitHub or Stack Exchange, in the development of tools used in my line of work, and develop new tools to share with the global community.

Audio Mixer + Music Theory (Go)

The first prototype of the XJ Music platform was written in Go. There were two major areas of functionality identified early on as potential tool kits that might be of use to other developers. And as it turns out, both go-music-theory and go-mix have become widely used by the community.

Count (JS)

I was surprised once upon a time when I couldn’t actually find a tool for this job. So I wrote count, a tiny javascript library to count in natural language e.g. Zero, One, Two, Three .. up to 999,999,999,999,999.

Producteev Export (JS)

Out of the necessity to export my tasks (from one of the dozens of task managers I’ve used over the years) and in lieu of a proper Export feature, I built Producteev Export that has become a front page search result for persons trying to liberate their data from that particular task manager.

Trello2Pivotal (JS)

I love Trello for small projects. I love Pivotal Tracker for large projects. I don’t always migrate a small project that becomes a large project, from Trello to Pivotal Tracker, but when I do, I need it done right— so I built Trello2Pivotal.


It was with awe in 2006 that I met the opportunity to work with one of my own icons, the original street magician, David Blaine. I’m not a magician, but it turns out, there’s a lot of overlap between hacking and magic. I’m ferociously proud to have worked on David’s core team for a number of years. Of course, I can’t talk about it, but my colleague from those days, the phenomenal Doug McKenzie, is a world leader in performance magic of the hacker variety.