Canta Forda Computer Laboratory

Computer and Consulting Services


Canta Forda Computer Laboratory (CFCL) is an informal association of consultants, providing services and solutions ranging from software design, development, and maintenance through technical writing and editing to system administration and training.

CFCL's primary consultants, Rich Morin and Vicki Brown, have decades of experience with Free and Open Source software, "Unixish" systems (e.g., BSD, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris). We are particularly fond of Mac OS X, which brings together a truly pleasant user experience with the flexibility, robustness, and security of BSD.

We are expert at combining rapid prototyping tools (e.g., GUI builders, scripting languages such as Perl and Ruby) with solid coding, testing, and documentation practices. This allows us to produce clean solutions which are comfortable, economical, and maintainable.

Our toolsmithing capabilities extend beyond the usual programming languages and into content management and mechanized documentation. We prefer to work with structured enterprise wikis (TWiki and Foswiki in particular), and have combined decades of experience in making these wikis do far more than simply "hold editable text".

We have edited and published dozens of books (most of them as Prime Time Freeware) and written hundreds of articles for industry publications. As a result, we are quite comfortable with fonts, document formats, and mark-up languages.

If you need expertise in Open Source, Unix, and/or Mac OS, web site creation; familiarity with publishing and/or scientific programming; data analyzed, processed or filtered; content management or tech writing; documentation reviewed or edited; innovative solutions, or (just) solid design, test, and implementation skills, please get in touch. If we can't help you ourselves, we'll be happy to refer you to other experienced consultants (e.g., DBMS, hardware, kernel, and networking wizards) as needed. provides web pages for assorted friends, family (including our cats) and projects. To reach any of those, please click here.

We get occasional inquiries about our name. In case you are wondering, it is a pun on "Can't afford a computer laboratory". (We have plenty of computers, to be sure, but the ideal computer laboratory will always be beyond our reach. :-)

Inspiration for the name was drawn from Walker A. Tompkins, a family friend and prolific writer (of adventures, history, and westerns). Mr. Tompkins used the name "Canta Forda Rancho" for his home in Santa Barbara, CA.

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