December 2000

Welcome to our annual State of the Family letter.

Not much has changed since last year. Brent still works for Synopsys. Julie still works for HP. And, Scott is still the smartest, cutest and most lovable kid in the Northern Hemisphere.

We would tell you all about Scott's way-ahead-of-his-peers accomplishments, but you would probably just roll your eyes. We would forward copies of Scott's email correspondence with various academic luminaries, but they don't yet exist (we've been too chicken to connect his computer to the internet). Instead of surfing the web, he plays a myriad of "educational" games that focus on numbers, letters, shapes, and colors. His recent favorites are interactive computer books. While "reading", he bangs the mouse on the table if the response is slow (where did he learn that?). He's watched his parents curse a rebooting computer so much that when he sees the happy "Windows" rebooting logo, he now points to it and says "broken". Duh.

We'll dispense with further parental encomiums, except to suggest that you see for yourself on our website, While you're there, you might also check out the photos from our Ireland trip. The beautiful countryside is occasionally visible behind Scott in the pictures. Ireland is a great place to relax. The people are friendly, and they all have the coolest accents. One nice lady told us on the phone that the rent on a house would be 200 easy a week. It was not until later that we learned it was 280. If you do visit, a pint of the Guinness is nearly mandatory. We do not recommend you do as we did, and let on how foul you think it tastes. The Irish revere God, Country and Guinness (not necessarily in that order).

Brent has been keeping busy helping Synopsys move into the Place and Route business. According to our own press releases, our new products are meeting with great success. Of course, our competitors issue similarly glowing announcements. The overabundance claims and counter claims in the field recently led a consultant to personally call hundreds of chip designers to tally which tools they were actually using. He concluded that Synopsys was the winner, but the competition claimed his method was unfair and asked for a recount. We think the consultant did a great job. But, we would. Not to get overly philosophical (or epistemological), but, never has it seemed more clear that our perception of "objective truth" depends so much on our personal biases. What seems "fair" depends so much on what side we're rooting for.

Julie is back at HP, but working in a different division (they disbanded her last lab right before she returned from maternity leave). She is now managing a project to build a next generation PC server. Since this project uses a new architecture, supports multiple operating systems and has involved a great deal of external hiring (in this tight labor market), there has never been a dull moment from day one. It has been 15-16 years since Julie was involved in a product launch on a new architecture (about the right spacing). Hopefully, this round will be even more exciting and rewarding than the last one. The reward part would be especially helpful as we still have several family members who are planning on retiring from HP. Ask Julie's dad about the difficulty of retiring, since he recently "flunked" his HP retirement and is now back as a part-time contractor.

Well, that's all the news that is fit to print. Keep an eye on for exciting updates. We will notify you when it updated (every other month or so) if you send us your email address. Better still, come visit and watch Scott fail to perform amazing feats on command.

Best Wishes for the holidays and for a Happy New Year,

Brent, Julie and Scott