Redwood Games: Karen (Crowther) Chun

Karen coaching at outrigger canoe on Maui

'60s Rebel

Karen started out life in Palo Alto, California. She attended Gunn High School, which was so anxious to get rid of her that she graduated at age 16. Given the choice of staying home under her parents' watchful eyes or going to college, she started an abortive college career at the University of California at Berkeley in the midst of the '60's turmoil. That didn't last long.

Eventually she found herself on the Northern Coast of Mendocino, where she built her first house (well, actually a cabin). This was the beginning of a very expensive hobby which resulted in the design and construction of four more solar houses (this time, real ones) and a lifetime of mortgage debt.

Masters Degree in Mass Destruction

She went back to the University of Davis and got a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering. Thinking that this would equip her to work in the solar engineering field she was shocked to learn that the only jobs open were designing missiles and nuclear bombs (or "devices" as they are euphemistically called.)

The five weeks paid vacation was an attractive allure but not enough to overcome the downside of dedicating her life to killing hundreds of thousands of people, polluting the earth with long-lived radioactive waste and burning up billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars for arcane research into mass destruction.

Hydro Power

Fortunately, Western Area Power came to the rescue and Karen spent several happy years writing computer programs to plan resources for the vast array of California reservoirs and hydropower plants.

Unfortunately, for California, one of her jobs was predicting the water forecast. When Mother Nature saw Karen's rosy prediction, she decided to inflict the worst drought in recorded history on the state.

Working Mom

Meanwhile, Karen's family was growing and she started writing computer games to entertain her kids while she was working. There is a significant advantage to writing games over engineering applications: if you make a mistake, the building you are designing does not fall down; the reservoir you are predicting does not go dry; the budget you are preparing does not come out a million dollars short...

Redwood Games

That was the beginning of Redwood Games (Named after the redwood trees on the Mendocino coast) Later, after a couple of vacations on Maui, Karen conceived a passion for outrigger canoe paddling and fell in love with the paddle maker, Malama which necessitated a move to Maui. To celebrate her 50th & 55th birthdays she paddled in the Na Wahine O Ke Kai channel race from Molokai to Oahu (41 miles).

What's Up Now

Karen is mostly retired but makes websites for a few clients. Since Microsoft finally completely broke her DOS programs (and everyone else's) with Vista (unless you use DOSbox - bless the open source community) she's switching to Linux. With the open source (free) Wine and DOSbox, you can run almost anything on Linux. Not only that, but Open Office does everything the expensive Microsoft Office does without the high price and bloatware. If you haven't tried Vista yet -- don't! Get a Mac or Linux machine.

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