These planning pages (circa 1999) are kept here for reference. The ongoing project is now here.

The main person behind the Oscomak project is Paul Fernhout (

His comments on this project:

I want to create a database of all human manufacturing knowledge and an accompanying simulator for trying out that knowledge in various ways. The principal intent (for me) would be to use that database/simulator in designing self replicating space habitats (and the simulator would have a heavy emphasis in that direction). There would be lots of near term benefits on Earth as well (especially for education and design).

I've wanted to do this project for over a decade, and I see my work so far as sneaking up on this project as best I can given limited funds. I always try to approach this project in such a way that each step makes sense on its own. Our garden simulator is an attempt to better understand manufacturing technology with regard to food, but gardening better and learning science are good in themselves. Our StoryHarp product is an attempt at a text-based entertainment product which could offer training about and simulation of space habitats (and two of the examples are in that direction), but entertainment and education are also usually good in themselves.

A DejaNews query on "Paul Fernhout" and space (especially in the old database) will give you a feel about my beliefs about technology and this database/simulator project.

For the past several years, I've been funding this effort by developing unrelated projects for the major corporations about half my time.

I try to find things to do that cause little harm, that have both short-term and long-term benefits, that I can do well, that I am interested in, that advance the prospects of humans living in space with style, and that don't entail expecting that the world owes me a living.

Paul received his B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University and his M.A. degree from the Ecology program at SUNY Stony Brook. He has done some Ph.D. graduate work at Princeton in Civil Engineering and Operations Research department. He has been programming for nearly twenty years (starting in high school) and has developed six nationally distributed software products. Paul's programming experience is mainly in Smalltalk, Delphi and C++, though he has worked in a wide variety of languages and environments (like Forth, Lisp, Occam, Assembler, Visual Basic, and Python). He also has experience in robotics, electronics, language and compiler development, graphics, and embedded systems. Besides providing informal mentoring for clients while developing applications and architectures, he has also taught object-oriented programming and simulation at the college level to biology majors.

[Previous: Tools | Next: License]