Laura McGaffey
Computer Engineer


Technical Skills

  • Operating Systems: Windows 3.1 - 10, Unix, DOS, CP/M, IBM 4680
  • Languages: C++, C, Delphi, Pascal, Basic, Assembler
  • Databases: Advantage Data Architect, dBASE II-IV, Foxbase, Foxpro,
    Paradox, Rbase, SQL, Btrieve, Crystal Reports
  • Internet Languages / Tools: HTML, CGI,  JavaScript, Adobe GoLive
  • Utilities: AutoCAD, Visio, OrCAD, EE Designer, Adobe Photoshop


  • Engineering Management
  • Object Oriented Programming
  • Software Engineering
  • Technical Writing
    • Specifications
    • User Manuals
  • Configuration Management
  • Training

Work Experience

Mentor Aerospace LLC, Pearce, Arizona
Software Programmer
January 2013 - Present

Designing and programming a Microchip PIC16F886 CAN Bus (Controller Area Network)
Skills: Microchip MPLAB XC8 C compiler.

High Desert Software, Pearce, Arizona
Computer Consultant / Website Designer and Programmer
2004 - Present

  • Design, creation, and maintenance of an online store for Battalion Defense LLC (
  • Designing, creation, and maintenance of a website for San Francisco actress,
    Linda-Ruth Cardozo (
  • Helping individuals with their home computers.

Automated Record Keeping Systems, Menlo Park, California
Computer Programmer / Consultant
March 1999 - November 2003

  • Developed modifications to the distributed, multi-user databases and reporting
    systems for the waste management contracts and wastewater departments of
    the City of San Jose, California. 
  • Worked with the end users at Spectrum Semiconductor in the writing of the
    specifications for the company-wide, multi-user, sales and inventory database
    system.  Developed, tested, implemented and maintained the program.

Computer Literacy, Sunnyvale, California
Editorial Content Administrator

Embedded HTML code in editorial documentation for uploading to web site. 

The Gap, San Bruno, California
Contract Programmer Analyst
April 4, 1996 - July 15, 1996

Coordinated with and advised the Business Analysts at The Gap Corporation in the
designand implementation of major changes to the inventory control system.  Wrote
the specifications for then designed and developed the software modifications and new
programs needed to implement the distributed system.

Topcon Laser Systems, Pleasanton, California
Contract Firmware Engineer
1995 - 1996

  • Ported the functionality of a C program documented in Japanese kanji to 8051
    assembler code. 
  • Designed, developed and documented firmware in C for an 80186 based LCD
  • Reverse engineered the infrared communications algorithms and protocols
    implemented in undocumented C code and created flowcharts and technical

Systems Control, Sunnyvale, California
Software Engineer
February 28, 1994 - May 5, 1995

  • Designed, developed, implemented, integrated, tested, and documented PC
    based software as part of a large, distributed transaction processing system for
    the automobile smog check industry. 
  • Traveled to Maine for onsite development and rollout of statewide system.

Plourde Computer Services, Dublin, California
Software Engineer 
1992 - 1993

  • Designed and developed software and embedded firmware for point of sale
    transactionprocessing equipment. 
  • Traveled to Chicago for opening of FAO Schwartz toy store - resolving hardware
    problems as the mayor of Chicago and other dignitaries launched the opening. 

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Francisco, California
Contract Software Engineering Manager
1989 - 1991

  • Supervised three accounting systems programmers as well as designed and
    developed modifications to systems. 
  • Improved productivity of group by 300% through the implementation of problem
    and enhancement tracking and configuration management systems, code revies,
    and a team oriented work environment.

Tritec Industries, Mountain View, California
Contract Software Engineer / Printed Circuit Board Designer                
1987 - 1989

  • Designed and developed a user interface, on-line context-sensitive help system,
    and graphics mode title screen, for a real-time pump control system. 
  • Used PC based CAD programs to design the layouts for all the printed circuit boards
    for the project.

McGaffey Engineering, San Jose, California
Consulting Programmer / Printed Circuit Board Layout Design
1986 - 1989

Operated a printed circuit board design service using OrCAD, P-CAD, AutoCAD, and other
software to capture schematics and layout PCBs for several major companies in the Silicon
Valley.  Interfaced with photoplotting and manufacturing vendors, taking a client's hand drawn
schematics and notes and returning completed printed circuit boards.

Ascent, Mountain View, California
Software Librarian

Developed configuration management system.

Sorcim, San Jose, California
Software Librarian

  • Maintained configuration management system for spreadsheet software (Supercalc)
  • Maintained Supercalc software source code.  Integrated modifications forwarded by
    team members, tested modifications and generated listings.

National Semiconductor, Santa Clara, California
Contract Programmer

Designed and developed a program to allow replacement of the paper tape readers in the
production areas with VIC-20 Commodore computers.

Priam, San Jose, California
Contract Programmer

Designed and developed a program to supply several reports concerning the Disk Drive and
Assembly Department's daily operations, to be used by management to determine possible
procedure and personnel problem areas.


  • Northern California Chapter of the Reaction Research Society (RRS), 1998
  • Reaction Research Society (RRS) based in Los Angeles, California, 1996
  • NorCAD (OrCAD Users Group), Founder/President, 1988 - 1989

Copyrights and Publications

  • "One Small Voice" column, Voice in the Desert monthly newspaper, 2004 - 2008
  • Miscellaneous articles, Voice in the Desert and Ghost Town Trail News newspapers,
    2004 - 2012
  • "Sensory Deprivation – NOT”, High Power Rocketry, June, 1998
  • "Measures", software program, freeware, 1998
  • "PressCal", software program, freeware, 1998
  • "QuoteMe", software program, calculates charge for PCB design, 1988


  • University of California, Santa Cruz Extension (San Jose Campus), Computer Science coursework,1997
  • San Jose City College, Computer Science coursework, 1991 1992
  • San Jose State University, Computer Science coursework, 1973 1976, 1982

"One Small Voice"


Jul Sunsites Podiatrist - Kelly Stevenson
Jul The Pergola That Rob Built
Aug Private Concert - Dorothy Dinner
Aug Enchanted Etchings
Sep Side of Beef
Sep Rodeo Gal, Pam Sproul
Oct Many Hats, Brenda Leon
Oct Red Hot Chili Peppers
Nov Sunsites Medical Clinic
Nov Ralph Score - Media Wizard
Dec Fine Art Gallery


Jan Much More Than Produce at the Produce Wagon
Mar The Salvail Family
Apr Avon Calling
May Exclusively Hers
May Lola Baker
Sep Benson Family Dental Care
Oct Apache Hardware - Buzz Stop
Nov Want to be Healthy For Life?
Nov Great Apple Pie...and More
Dec Pearce-Sunsites Post Office
Dec Frank Vargas Landscaping


Jan Truth or Consequences
Jan Home, Home on the Web, Part 1
Feb Book Review: "Bad Childhood, Good Life"
Feb Home, Home on the Web, Part 2
Feb Chili Pepper Outpost at Oasis Show
Mar Coffee Robusta or Coffee Arabica?
Apr Oh My Aching Back Gets Local Relief
Apr Mary Farrar, Local Realtor
Apr Apache Emporium Opens
May Bonita Bean Company
May Victoria Singer, MA


May Bill Fisher, Shadow Mtn Grp Manager
May Wilson Hur, Fine Spanish Guitarist
Jun Benson Artist - Jessie White
Jun Cassie Livingston – Shadow Mountain Restaurant Manager


Jan Sunsites-Pearce Fire District Update
Feb EMS Services Provided by Sunsites FD
Apr Walker Family Medicine
May Ken Myers
Jul Richland Fire Station Guys and Gals
Oct Volunteers Donate Time and Money to Upgrade Fire Fighting Apparatus
Nov Open House at Shangri-La
Dec Taco On The Run


Jan A Happy Place to Make People Smile
Mar Book Review: "Shootout At Miracle Valley"
Jun Congratulations Dr. Amanda Bennett


Jul Javelina Rescue in Sunsites
Sep Larry's Healthmart Pharmacy


Jun Happy Anniversary, Food Basket!


Oct "It's Not the Camera, It's the Photographer" - Dirk Cowart, Earthtones Photography