John C. McCallum

Information Technology


I was born in the house above. Since then, I have had a good life and a good career. Now I am retired as a permanent resident of Singapore. But, I spend a portion of the year living in Bangkok, Thailand with my partner Vincent. I try to get to Canada to visit my family and friends every few years - and sometimes I get to see the old house.

I notice that over the years everything seems to get renamed or relocated. London South Collegiate became London South Secondary School for a few decades, then was renamed back again. The University of Western Ontario became Western University. The UWO Physics Department became the Department of Physics and Astronomy. York's Experimental Space Science became Earth and Space Science. The College (later University) of Petroleum and Minerals became the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. Websites move around even faster! Keeping up to date with the world takes a little work.

I have loved computers since I tried designing a simple mecahnical relay computer as a young boy. I wrote my first computer program at the University of Waterloo in 1965 during one of their introductory days for high school students. When I decided that I would have my own computer one day, it seemed unreasonable. But, in 1975, I bought and soldered together an Altair 8800 with 256 bytes of memory. The Altair (Intel 8080 CPU) was programmed by entering bits from the front panel switches.

The tremendous changes in hardware technology have held my attention for many years. Prices have determined if I could buy, what I could buy, and what I should prepare to buy. I have collected data on prices over the years. The million dollar supercomputers of the 1980's are now outperformed by low cost smartphones which run more reliable operating systems, with much superior graphical capabilities.

And, now we get giant flatscreen TVs to hook our computers to. I remember when my parents bought our first 21" black and white TV in 1955, with access to one TV channel, CFPL TV. Now, besides broadcast and cable TV with uncountable channels, we have streaming services like YouTube, and Netflix, letting us watch what we choose.

In the old farm house where I was born, we only had a radio for electronics - no record player, no TV, and a hand crank telephone, where our number was two longs and a short. Technolgy has advanced quickly through the decades.

2001-present  Retired, living in Singapore and Bangkok
1998-2001 Associate Professor, National University of Singapore, School of Computing - Computer Science
1981-1998 Senior Lecturer, National University of Singapore - Department of Information Systems and Computer Science
1977-1981 Assistant Professor, York University, Toronto, Canada - Computer Science
1974-1977 Assistant Professor, University of Petroleum & Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia - Systems Engineering
1972-1974 NRC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada - Computer Science
1969-1972 Experimental Space Science, York University (Canada) PhD - Oct 1972
1965-1969 Physics (Honours), University of Western Ontario BSc - May 1969
1960-1965 London South Secondary School, London Ontario
1952-1960 Tecumseh Public School, London Ontario

Courses I Have Taught

My Publication List

Current Interest:
Price and Performance Changes of Computer Technology with Time:
Memory, Disk Drives, Flash Memory and SSDs,

424 Hougang Avenue 6
Singapore 530424

Thailand (vacation home):
21/15 Saladaeng Road
Saladaeng Colonnade, Unit 214
Bangrak, Bangkok
Thailand 10500

Last updated: 2023 November 16