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Who the heck is Eric Masson?

Who am I?

  • The proud father of four and grand dad of three

  • Canadian born and raised in Quebec

  • Started programming on a Commodore VIC-20 (in 1980) and never looked back. Learned 6502 assembly as Basic was too limited for graphic. Extended my VIC-20  to a whooping 32Kb. Moved to C64, then Apple, IBM PC and the rest is history.

  • Big American muscle cars fan, but deep down I am a die-hard Mustang guy, had four of them and consider myself a gear head in way.

  • Was lucky enough to travel the world and work overseas quite early in my carrier. Did it for more than a decade.

  • Speaks several languages and love Asian cultures.

  • Passionate about everything space and the mysteries of the Universe

  • Love good electronic music to the point of making my own and djing in clubs and after-hours. Visit my  Soundcloud page.

  • My love and passion for SGI and 3D started with Daniel Langlois’s SoftImage, and the rest is history.

  • Had the privilege to work with SGI and helped many companies with their interactive computer graphics and high performance computing challenges.
  • I love everything 3D/VR/AR/MR related and I still enjoy doing 3D modelling with Blender and writing code in C/C++ & Java.


Here’s  the "Official & Corporate" profile

(taken from my resume, cause I never that about myself at the 3rd person)

Eric Masson has established a solid reputation for himself in the fields of modern mission critical system delivery, SAP integration and Interactive Computer Graphics. Eric Masson brings extensive expertise associated with in depth software development knowledge, technical team leading/mentoring and international business affairs guaranteeing success!

Among the strengths of Eric Masson are a solid 23+ years of Java Enterprise Class Technologies, 20+ years in Enterprise level messaging technology, 25+ years of direct experience in pioneering real-time 3D computer graphics on SGI, OpenGL/X11/Motif/Qt.

Eric Masson has realized successful projects in the Finance, Banking, Insurance and Utilities/Energy Sectors. From investment back/front office connected to SAP, FundSERV, straight-through processing to world class stock-exchanges, to Life Insurance CITS/CLIEDIS data exchange and front & back office systems to illustrations.

Eric Masson has worked in Hong Kong for over nine (9) years at first for the massive Chep Lak Kok International Hong Kong Airport project and later for several international and local Information Technology Companies where he was designing, developing and delivering mission critical systems for fortune 100 corporations. Among those high profile IT projects are the Hong Kong Stock Exchange System (AMS/3), Citibank Online Share Trading, day trading portal and Hongkong Telecom Payphone System to name a few.


MaXX Interactive Desktop

I am the creator and author of the MaXX Interactive Desktop, referred by some as the SGI Desktop on Linux, 5Dwm or the Indigo Magic Desktop for Linux. I basically wrote it from scratch or by adapted existing open source projects to recreate the  SGI Desktop found only on IRIX systems.  It all started on the 15th of March of 2000, when Motif was released as Open Source. I finally had access to the core technology of SGI's Desktop and build my own. I was in Hong Kong back then and I can recall so vividly the countless nights and boat ferry rides to and from work hacking/adapting the OpenMotif code on my  Linux PowerPC black Mac PoweBook G3.  Didn't took long to reproduce the 4Dwm look and feel. Then I started to make my way into OpenMotif's widgets and adapt them to the distinctive SGI look. Maybe three/four months later, I started to work with SGI Hong Kong on some projects, the customer became somewhat of a solution consultant/partner.  The staff at SGI Hong Kong couldn't believe what they were seeing... A PC running RedHat Linux (with an accelerated X11+GLX) rocking Open Inventor side-by-side an Indigo2 MaxIMPACT with similar look and feel.  Of course the SGI box was dusting the PC, it was early 2000s.  

Soon enough the upper management at the SGI headquarter in California learned about me and my little endeavor... At that point in time SGI was looking into expanding into Linux  and to offer a Linux migration program for its customers.  It's not my place to say why SGI didn't do it themselves, but it must have been a complicated matter, and having someone from the outside doing it for them was easier.  After several back and forth with SGI lawyer,  I was given a special license agreement that allowed me to pursue my project while respecting SGI trademarks and intellectual properties.  An alliance was forged, it was early 2005. The license agreement in a nutshell allows me to duplicate the entire desktop user experience, re-implement (by myself) the required SGI APIs and duplicate the SGI look and feel. To be clear, SGI never gave or share with me code or technical information. It was all reverse-engineered by running the Desktop on my SGI workstations and from public technical publications.

As of today, it is my decision to comply to the rules that were established  in license agreement. The MaXX Desktop is currently limited to Linux (x86) operating system and I cannot release some of my source code in order to protect  some of SGI’s intellectual properties, which are  *still forcefully protected, trust me on that. 

Having said that, things are moving forward and my wish to share the restricted code to the open source community will soon become a reality. This will allow the MaXX Desktop to officially support other operating systems  on a variety of CPU architectures .  It is a complicated issue and I want to play it safe and by the book. 

Finally, I started the process (with some help for a good friend) of releasing the new code that is not bound by the SGI license agreement to our public GitLab repositories.  This will happen on my terms, my way and not under GPL. Something simpler and less crusader's wanna be... BSD licensing that is.