John Providenza

John Providenza is a confirmed h/w engineer who enjoys C and tolerates Perl as needed.

His most challenging job was at Optical Data Systems where he was able to play with lasers, holography, PDP-11 computers, 4004 and Z80 microprocessors. After becoming the second most prolific producer of holograms in the world (true, but most of them were computer generated then copied), he left ODS (well, it went bankrupt, but he was just a nerd, not a manger) to join Tektronix. After a very creative learning stint with Ward, he went on to multiple small companies to hone his skills.

Finding his true vocation as a consultant at Providenza & Boekelheide Inc (, John continues to enjoy developing hardware and software products for a variety of customers.

Got Verilog? John enjoys designing and verifying hardware using Verilog HDL. It's clearly not the best language in the world, but compared to the alternatives.... Why couldn't the original Verilog designers have studied modern languages? If you use Verilog and know Vim, you can get John's tags program to help you out at

A couple of fun things John's worked on are a couple of interpreted debuggers designed for PCI systems. One (the more mature & reliable) is based on Forth and is call DBG. The newer (and more flakey) is called CDBG and is based on a C interpreter. If you want to look at these, try

John is married to Bonnie, and it's been long enough that he has to do arithmetic to figure out how long. His daughter, Valerie, was the 2004 NCAA Women's Sabre Champion. Is John proud?

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