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My name is Dave Sag.

I write software, take photos, and write other stuff, as well as exhibit technology based artwork cycle, cook and travel. See my updated CV for a more concise summary of my skills and experience.

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I started programming professionally as a schoolboy in 1981 and set up my first business in 1983. I have found myself at the forefront of Internet software development since 1993. I championed the use of Internet video conferencing for live performances while most people were still amazed by Mosaic. I deployed web based Java robotics controllers while the others were oohing and ahhing over animated gifs and developed many core technologies for content management, automated publishing and virtual community building for Retail, Banking, Government and the Arts.

In 1998 I was awarded an Australia Day Council Award for services to Australian Business, and in 1996 was a semi-finalist in the GII Information Infrastructure Awards. For what it's worth, sometime in my 30's I was nominated as one of Australia's top 40 achievers under 40 years of age by the local paper.

I have worked in fashion, online retail, satellite-launch re-insurance trading, b2b and b2c. I designed the backend for a flash based routplanner for the city of Amsterdam that's still being used 8 years later and has never had a significant bug. I worked at the European Patent Office on a software-quality pilot-project. I have taught dancers to use iMovie and make short films, and I write short stories.

Since the clock turned 2000 and we entered the future proper, I have been working in various roles as a founder of Carbon Planet, while simultaniously engaging in a range of other efforts to make the world a better place. Pushing for better design is a start, but cleaning up the mess we've already left behind is the triage we need to perform on a citically sick planet.


Please offset your personal CO2 emissions at Carbon Planet using verified carbon credits.

Quick Social Media Links

Videos I have made


Older photo sets and photo essays

  • 20:02 20/02 2002: At 8:02pm on 20 Feb 2002, a digital clock in most parts of the world would show 20:02 20/02 2002. This was my contribution to a collection of photos taken at this time all over the world.
  • Koh Samui: I spent a week at Shambala on the Island of Koh Samui, in Thailand. 118 photos and accomanying text.
  • January 2002 Sydney Bushfires from the Air: The bushfires that swept through Sydney were clearly visible from the air.
  • Pembo and The Minister's Car: A good buddy of mine and I had the means and the opportunity - and the chance to sneak in under Parliament House and pinch a classic australian automobile was motive enough. Includes a short quicktime movie.
  • Cruising the Canals of Amsterdam: There are few better ways of seeing Amsterdam than by boat.
  • My Bike Crash: A young french tourist ignored my bell, my shout, but could not ignore my bike flying into him at full tilt. Strangely I was the one who got hurt. Includes a short quicktime movie.
  • A trip to Scotland 2002: We went to Scotland for a week. We hung out with the gang at the Edinburgh Film Festival then hired a car and drove around the Highlands.
  • A trip to Poland 2002: We went to Poland for a couple of weeks, hired a car and drove around.
  • Sailing on the Ionian Sea 2002: We went to Greece for a couple of weeks, hired a yacht and sailed around in the Ionian Sea.
  • Touring through Spain 2002: We went to Spain for a couple of weeks, hired a car and drove around.
  • A fast trip through the US West Coast: We went to California to visit my Brother Matt and to tour around a bit. We stopped by Yosemite Valley and climbed the falls.
  • Bulgaria February 2003: Caroline scored a job in Bulgaria so I went along to visit with my pal Sarah. After a few days wandering about in Sofia, we borrowed a car and drove south to Plovdiv.
  • Amsterdam Peace March 2003: The good people of Amsterdam held a peace march and I went along to take pictures, wave banners and generally have a good time.
  • Italy April 2003: We went to Italy for a holiday, starting in Rome and then heading south to the Amalfi coast. See also my diary entry for this trip.
  • The US Embassy in Amsterdam 2003: The Americans have been forced to cower behind a massive red wall of shipping containers because the Dutch are just too damn sacry.
  • Greece June 2003: I went to Greece with Mike to catch up with mates, chill on the beach and much on a roasted goat.
  • Singapore August 2003: Caroline and I went to Singapore to hang out with John for a weekend.
  • Australia 2003: Caroline and I then continued on to Australia.
  • Sweden 2004: I went to Sweden with a bunch of friends.
  • Australia Dec 2004 through Jan 2005: Caroline and I returned to Australia for xmas and new year.


I have not exhibited anything for years, having been busy with Carbon Planet and other crazy things. I'll get back to some pure art stuff later. The following works were done during my tenure at Virtual Artists.

  • LOOM: The LOOM Project is an investigation into Threads; conversational threads and Java threads. Themes include evolution, textiles and Java programming as Craft. This exhibition has toured South Australia, Victoria and Queensland and may one day tour internationally.
  • Welcome to the Golden Age: Speculations on a nanotech future; renderings in gold. Writings on a burst eutopia.
  • March of the Photobots: Colour eating creatures that breed and learn on an individual as well as a group level. You have 25 images to choose from to feed the the bugs and when the picture runs out they start to feed on each other. Fascinating to watch over many many weeks. The original exhibition site is still online in Japan.
  • Industrial society and its future: The Unabomber manifesto read aloud by a Macintosh, converted to Real Audio. One day I'll update it to MP3s
  • Mood creation as a whim: My first exhibited work online. Its a set of very high rez images done during a dark time in my life. My favourite, titled Lest We Remember is the image of the little soldier standing atop a bottle of amyl nitrate that is in turn on top of a coke bottle. I took that photo one bad christmas day in the early 90s. The original exhibition site is still online in Australia.

Essays, Talks and Articles

  • 2005 'til now: Carbon Footprints is my 'work' blog, and I maintain an irregular blog at Shadow Over Griffith. I've given a tonne of talks in the recent years on carbon accounting, forestry carbon, climate change in a business context and so on.
  • 2004: I gave a talk at the 8th Jini Community Meeting in London in December 2004: See the abstract and enjoy the slides. Jini is cool!
  • 2002: (PDF Format) Monday: In July of 2002 I was held hostage by armed gunmen in my Amsterdam house. It took me over two years to actually put this essay online. Just reopening it now gives me the creeps. But people who have read it say they like it, although I have been criticised by real crime writers that I am not supposed to use a 'hard boiled' voice when writing from the victim's perspective. That aside, in retrospect it's a pretty amusing tale if you weren't there, so please enjoy.
  • 2002: Installing Tomcat for WebServices on MacOSX: A short 'how-to' for O'Reilly publications on installing the Tomcat server under OSX. Probably very out of date by now.
  • 2002: September 11 Proof Application design - Part I: First part of a 2 part Article for onJava about a method of building distributed, self healing applications based on mobile code, ensembles, Jini, Rio and COS.
  • 2002: September 11 Proof Application design - Part ][: Second part of a 2 part Article for onJava about a method of building distributed, self healing applications based on mobile code, ensembles, Jini, Rio and COS. Part 2 focusses on the DwgTaskTracker as an example Cos application.
  • 2002: Better HTMLExport Templates: Article for O'Reillynet about the template language used by the BetterHTMLExporter for Apple's iPhoto. Download the templates now.
  • 2001: Jini™ and XML: Article for O'Reillynet about The friction between the Jini and XML communities and our solution to it.
  • 2001: Jini™ as an Enterprise Solution: Article for O'Reillynet about building an enterprise strenght b2b exchange using Jini Networking Technology.
  • 2000: Beyond the 'Grey Goo': If the whole uinverse got turned into computational matter, then where would 'we' live?
  • 1999: A-Life: This is a talk I gave on a-life to the Ngapartji Multimedia centre. Has some neat, if possibly out of date links.
  • 1999: The future of narrative: Where is evolution taking the narrative form? Are computer programs stories? are they black holes?
  • 1999: On Language: Where did smilies come from? How has technology changed not just our language, but all languages at once... a meta linguistic change?
  • 1999: On Money: It's not money that's changed, but how it is able to be distributed. What about money that rots like fruit? Or breeds? Adding software behaviours to demoninated units could be an interesting idea.
  • 1998: A-Priori: An a-life world where humans can possess creatures, force their actions and thus assist in the creatures learning (or just confuse the hell out of the poor things.) Thoughts on such a game for the Rosebud Interactive Narrative Reaseach Group.
  • 1991: On the Inside: I spent a night in the local lock-up to cover my collection of outrageous speeding fines. A tale of youthful exuberance.
  • 1990: The second worst place I ever lived: I lived in a real shithole. What can I say. But that was so bad that I blanked it out of my mind, which left room for the memory of this place.


  • 2010 and on: Most of my software projects and experiments are now hosted on GitHub. I'm coding mostly in Ruby these days rather than Java, though I have also been dabbling in Objective C on the iThings. I'm a huge fan of jQuery these days too.
  • 2010: G3MS Lite: Built as a component to G3MS, G3MS Lite offers a low-cost, simplified web-tool for Australian small businesses to accurately calcualte their carbon emissions.
  • 2007: G3MS - Greenhouse Emissions Measure Manage Minimise Suite: I didn't write this but I was part of the overall team that made it happen. It's awesome. G3MS is a multi-user web-based carbon accounting platform. It not only handles all the calculations and emissions factors, but it handles the whole distributed workflow of how to find the right data, what data needs to be reported and how, and so on.
  • 2005: JSFHelper: I spent a lot of time that year working with Java Server Faces (JSF), having largely had left the world of Struts behind. I have abstracted out a quite simple MVC mechanism for 'handling' value objects in a standard way. I'ts probably been superseded by now. Contact me () if you are interested in a copy. Feedback is of course welcomed.
  • 2005: SMPPCommander: I was asked to build an SMS game for a freelance client, and it proved very simple to abstract a Command processor pattern into some code. What it does is maintains a connection to the SMPP server of your choice and processes commands as defined by you. All commands and their responses are plugins to the SMPP Commander so it's pretty trivial. I've been meaning to put this code up into either or sourceforge for ages but honetly have not gotten around to it. hassle me () if you are interested in a copy.
  • 2004: I Didn't write Teleport but I came up with the idea and suggested it to Julien Robert and he wrote it. Much easier. Teleport let's you treat your other Mac as a virtual screen. You can slide your mouse happily off the edge of one machine onto the other, type something or copy/paste and then just mouse straight back to your own Mac again. I find it very handy working with my iMac and my MacBook Pro. My name is in the about box for suggesting the idea which is nice.
  • 2004: Generica: As I go on developing Java Servlet based Web Applications it's become very obvious that many sites need exactly the same things. So I had been researching 'best practice' web app building and settled on a framework that uses Apache Struts and Hibernate / JDO as basic tools. I have started writing what I call the Generica package in order to bring all the common components of the various projects was working on working on back then into one central code-base. I never got around to posting the code for this either. Feel free to peruse the JavaDocs though and contact me () if you are interested in a copy. Note I have largely moved away from Struts in favour of JSF now so lots of generica is not needed. But many of the cooler objects, such as the Money and Currency Converter etc are handy. I am thinking about breaking all of this up into smaller modules. stay tuned.
  • 2003: Karajan: A clean up and refactoring of Cos (see below) now hosted at
  • 2002/3: RouteCraft - Amsterdam: Routeplanning application for davStudio in Amsterdam. They wrote the Flash front end that communicates with the RouteCraft XML server. I wrote the XML server in Java using Apache Struts as a framework. It plans routes for both cars and bikes.
  • 2002: DAWG TaskTracker: An open source peer-to-peer task allocation and tracking project based around buddy lists and the concept of bottom up project-planning. This project was formed as a prototype for other Cos Applications. Note Cos has been refactored to be Karajan.
  • 2001/2: Corporate Operating System (COS): An ensemble application architecture built on Jini™ and Rio for the secure coordination of service ensembles. Note Cos has been refactored to be Karajan.
  • 2000/1: Crudlet: A way for XML documents to query objects in a Jini™ accessable JavaSpace™, using Cocoon. Yes this is super nerdy, and the project is largely defunct now, having been superseded by Cos and Struts. Cos has been superceeded in turn by Karajan.
  • 1996 - 1999: The Virtual Community Engine (VCE): I Developed the first prototypes and then version 1 of this with Jesse Reynolds at Virtual Artists. It was one of the first comprehensive web based content management systems, and still drives a surprising number of sites.
  • 1996: The Robocam: Project done while at Virtual Artists (see above). We bolted the robocam to a pole in 1996 and then later to a wall in the same year. It moves in almost real time from pushes of small Java buttons. Unique in the world, it is the RoboCam.

Music - if you can call it that

  • ;-) Plane: An experiment in fractal music making. This is a piece of "lo-fi paranoid ambient" music. Encoded as MP3. See also this historical note.
  • Judit: Another experiment in fractal music making. This is also a piece of "lo-fi paranoid ambient" music. Note this is encoded in ACC format not MP3
  • Get On Plane: The entire albumb for download includes the above two plus some dancy numbers done in GarageBand. Note they are encoded in ACC format not MP3.
Music - that's not mine, but I like it and it's on sale thru iTunes.

Advisory Boards

  • Virtual Artists Pty Ltd: Virtual Artists was more what I was than where I worked. During my time there it provided untold adventures in the digital realm. We did everything from build steel rooms to support video projectors, to wire up circus tents to facilitate an internet enabled performance across three countries. VA remains one of Australia's coolest small companies, and is evolving. I remain on VA's board of advisers, providing techincal advice from afar.

Blogs and Journals


  • Shwing gallery exhibit by Mikhail Goldgaber: Mikhail Goldgaber drew this sketch of me while I was busy coding. It's not the most flattering pose, but I like it.
  • The HEMP Party of South Australia: I was one of the founders of the South Australian HEMP Party, and we ran several very successful campaigns in the mid 90's. It's all gone pear-shaped now. When will governments learn: It's not wrong to bong.
  • The Gyuto Monks: A group of Buddhist Monks from Tibet. A nicer bunch of blokes I've never met.
  • Womadelaide: This was the first ever commercial web site for Womad, the world music festival, built in January 1995 when there were no background colours but gray.

Search for me - go on, you know you want to

  • Google Search: Everyone loves google, well everyone but these people. If you want a free gMail invitation please email me at . I have tons to give away.
  • AltaVista Search: In 1996 I stood in the room at DEC that was AltaVista. I used to have a photo, but it went in the great hard drive crash of 1996.

Give me presents

  • My Amazon Wish List: If you want to buy me a birthday present, this could be the place to look.

The information on this page was last updated . Dave is roaming about in Canberra today. Send email to