bencrowder.net

About

about/bencrowder.jpg?v201710
My now page lists what I’m currently working on.

The bio

I’m a Mormon and I’m happily married with four great kids and a lot of books. My interests (see below for more detail) include books, rogramming, art, design/typesetting, languages, and genealogy. By day I’m a senior software engineer at the BYU library, comfortably surrounded by millions of books. I’m also a grad student at BYU, doing a master’s in computer science.

Contact info

ben.crowder@gmail.com. It often takes me a while to respond, but I love hearing from people, so don’t hesitate to email me if you have questions or feedback or just want to say hi.

About my church

I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (See my Mormon.org profile and my 2012 post on why I’m a Mormon for a little more detail.) If you don’t know much about us, Mormon.org is a great resource.


The aforepromised details

Disclaimer: this section on my sundry interests is self-indulgent and almost certainly boring. You have been warned.

Books

Oh man, I love books — reading them, talking about them, reading about them, making them. I used to read mostly science fiction and fantasy, but now I read more nonfiction (mainly history and science, though I’m interested in almost everything). I read primarily on my phone these days.

Programming

Most of my experience (both at work and personally) has been on web apps and backend services, with most of that being in Python and Django. I also enjoy writing Go and plan to learn Rust soon. I’ve been using Vim for 20+ years, which I suppose says a lot about me.

Art

My artmaking has been largely digital (Photoshop, Illustrator, Procreate Pocket), though I hope to branch out to acrylics and other analog media sometime. I mostly make religious art and whimsical illustrations.

Design/typesetting

Language charts and books are the bulk of what I’ve done here. I tend toward a minimalist, bookish style, as is no doubt obvious from the design of this website. I love good type. I’ve also done a fair amount of freelance book typesetting and diagram/chart design off and on over the years, though I no longer have much time to do it.

Languages

My main interest has been in dead languages; in college I studied Latin, Greek, Middle Egyptian, Coptic, Old English, and Middle English. That said, I have nothing against living languages and dabble occasionally. I also speak Thai from my time as a missionary in Thailand.

Genealogy

I do a lot of family history research and am active on FamilySearch and Ancestry. My father’s side comes from Virginia and North Carolina, then goes back to the British Isles. My mother’s side hails from Spain (by way of Cuba) and Italy.


Colophon

bencrowder.net has two halves: the projects and the blog.

Of the projects, the main areas are Mormon materials, language materials, and art. There are also a fair number of ebooks, some genealogy design experiments, and small apps.

The blog started back in 2000. (The archive page says 2005 because a few years ago I went through and culled thousands of posts.) I don’t blog as much as I used to, but I’m trying to get back into it.

Tech-wise, the site runs on a custom engine, with a custom theme. It’s pretty much all custom. The typeface is Charter (by Matthew Carter, via Matthew Butterick).