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Dave Taylor's Biographical Information

I was born in London, England, though we moved to New York before I was a year old (we journeyed on the Queen Mary, as it happens, and it was not, I understand, exactly like the romantic lower steerage of the film "Titanic"). Just before I turned ten we moved to Los Angeles, and when I graduated High School, I went to the University of California, San Diego for my undergraduate degree (Computer Science, with a minor in Philosophy).

The day I received my degree I accepted a job with Hewlett-Packard's Colorado Networks Operation, and while there began creation of The Elm Mail System, a Unix email application that remains popular today. HP's R&D Labs in Palo Alto offered me a transfer position to help with some AI research, so I moved to California in the late 1980's. A few years later, I'd quit HP and launched Intuitive Systems, a consulting business that I continue to run. Clients have included the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link, Apple Computer, The Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities, and more.

Among my freelance writing gigs during this period were "Sun Tech Journal" (later sold to IDG and renamed "SunWorld"), "InfoWorld", "MacWorld", "The HP Chronicles", "Sun Expert" and a cast of dozens more. I also wrote my first book, somewhat to my own surprise: "Global Software", all about software internationalization. It never sold that well (wrong publisher) but showed me that writing a book was surprisingly similar to writing an article, just, well, longer.

Shortly thereafter, the editors at "SunWorld" magazine , where I'd been writing a monthly industry gossip column under the nom de plume "Raymond Rank", asked me to join the staff and build the Advanced Systems Test Center, the first Unix-based product review and testing facility in the industry, so I did.

About 18 months later I was ready to find some new horizons so along with my then-girlfriend, I moved to West Lafayette, Indiana, where we both pursued graduate degrees at Purdue University. I earned a Masters in Educational Computing, after having developed the award-winning Purdue Online Writing Lab as my thesis research. While in Indiana, I took some material I'd developed on learning Unix and, with the help of Sams Publishing, turned it into the best-selling "Teach Yourself Unix in a Week". Before we left Indiana the following year, I'd also published the best-selling Creating Cool Web Pages with HTML (IDG Books) and helped write "The Internet Business Guide".

We came back to Silicon Valley as the dotcom boom really started to gain steam, and with the help of two others, I turned an online hobby into The Internet Mall, Inc., the first online shopping directory. We raised over $1 million in venture funding, and finally sold the business to TechWave (Network Commerce) of Seattle. Simultaneous to that, I revised my Unix title for a new series Sams was launching, producing Teach Yourself Unix in 24 Hours. To date, that title has sold over 300,000 copies, been translated into over a dozen languages, and is still going strong!

In late 1999 or so I created another startup,, the first third-party auction search system, and the only one that had approval from eBay to legally touch their site. With the help of two good friends, we built a business and sold it to, Inc., (now As part of that process, co-founder Susan Cooney and I wrote a book about the world of online auctions: The e*Auction Insider (Osborne/McGraw-Hill). I also wrote a sequel to my popular Creating Cool HTML Web Pages book called Dynamic HTML Weekend Crash Course (IDG/Wiley).

Somewhere along the way I realized that rather than create yet another startup company, my strengths were really more with helping other companies through the process of birthing a business, so I created Growing Ventures, a startup-focused management consulting firm. I've also recently wrapped up an online MBA from the University of Baltimore, with a focus on traditional management and its application to the world of high tech.

Zoom to the present and I've moved aggressively into both management consulting and the intersection of two of my favorite technologies: the Macintosh and Unix. My most recent books are The Complete Idiot's Guide to Growing Your Business with Google (Penguin/Alpha) (widely hailed as a must-read by business experts), Teach Yourself Unix System Administration in 24 Hours (Sams/Macmillan) (which focuses on three operating systems: Red Hat Linux, Solaris and Mac OS X), Solaris 9 for Dummies (Wiley), Learning Unix for Mac OS X Panther (O'Reilly), Wicked Cool Shell Scripts (NoStarch), and Creating Cool Web Sites (Wiley).

I also moved out of the Bay Area and relocated to beautiful, quiet Boulder, Colorado, where I can go cross-country skiing at the park around the corner and my three wonderful kids can practice sledding in my backyard. A wonderful place!

I've also started writing film reviews for local publications and for my well-received film blog DaveOnFilm.

Any other projects on the burner? Well, you're invited to check out my photography work at Colorado Portraits, learn more about tech Q&A at my popular at Ask Dave Taylor site, find out about my parenting journey at and you can always keep up with my business blogging and industry analysis at The Business Blog @ Other than that, well, that would be telling, wouldn't it? :-)

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