Steve Beach's Personal Page

Welcome to my world!  It's not quite as suave as  the Suckster's , nor as plugged in as  Sexychyck's , but it's mine and I'm quite comfortable with it.  In this incarnation, it has sections on my beautiful daughters, my job/vocation, and various other important things.  Please come back frequently, because my world, like my waistline, is constantly expanding.

The World's Most Beautiful Girls!

Yep, that's my Rose and Pearl.  Rose was born on July 10, 1997, and Pearl followed her out on August 4 1999, and they are both just the most perfectest children you could imagine.  But why take my word for it when you can see these actual, unretouched pictures for yourself!

Click  here  for more pictures of this adorable pumpkin.

My Work

When I'm not playing the doting daddy, I'm a grad student at  Penn State University .  Yes, we actually have a mission in the world other than playing football.  I'm in the  physics  department, working for  Jim Beatty , mostly on the  High Energy Antimatter Telescope (HEAT)  project.  Yeah, with a name like that, it must be neat!  We are trying to determine the energy spectrum of the antimatter that is constantly bombarding the earth.  No, antimatter isn't just something they through in on Star Trek to make it sound scientific, it really exists.  For good or ill, it is blocked by our atmosphere.  That way, there's a heck of a lot less radiation, but that means we have to fly our experiments on  balloons .  But at least they're big balloons -- fully inflated, they carry a 6,000 pound payload, and could fit two Boeing 747's inside -- nose to nose!

I've been working on the HEAT project since January 1997, and I got some good data in June of 2000 (third flight's a charm, I guess).  If all goes well, I should be getting my Ph.D. sometime in 2001.  If that comes true, I should be graduating somewhere around the year 2000.  If anybody wants to offer me a job then, let me know!


One of the main software packages we use for HEAT is called "root", standing for I don't know what.  It's an extremely powerful package for doing high-energy physics analysis, and it can be downloaded free from here .  One of the not-yet-perfect things about root is that it's still just a little rough around the edges, documentation wise.  In the hope that somebody will find it useful, I am publishing here my contribution to the root documentation, the ROOT CHEAT SHEET.  Click  here  for a gzipped tar archive containing the LaTeX source, or   here  for a gzipped  postscript version.   This is version  2.1, last updated August 18, 1998.

Free Software

In my copious free time, I do a little bit of coding of free software.  I've written a backup utility (zback) and a tool for modeling particle physics events over a network.  Click  here  to see my little contribution to the free software movement.  I've also installed Linux on my laptop, and have a  page detailing how .

My Links

There must be a law that any home page must have a set of links.  Not wanting to violate the law, here's mine.

 American Civil Liberties Union  -- Yes, I'm a card carrying member.  No, unlike Michael Dukakis, I'm not ashamed of it.  Join it.  It will save your ass.  If you don't believe me, see what happened in Oklahoma City .

I use Linux on my home computer.  Believe it or not, it's a free operating system.  It doesn't live up to Microsoft's standards, however -- it doesn't crash!  Because it is free, you can get it from a whole bunch of people, either for free or at a nominal price for the CD.  Some of the more popular distributions are  Red Hat  and  S.u.S.E.  (some weird German acronym).  Once you've got it installed, there is plenty of software for it.  For free stuff, see Red Hat or here  for general stuff or  here  for general applications or   here  and  here  for scientific software.  Now, if you would actually like to spend money for software (no, it's not a perverted thought), see the  Linux Mall For a more general introduction to Linux, see the  Linux Home Page  or the Linux Documentation Project. .

Note that the dancing penguins and the Linux logo are covered by the GNU public license , and can be downloaded from  here .  I forgot where I got the virtual brew, but I strongly suspect it's covered by the GPL too.

In my computer's spare time, I'm doing my best to convince the US government that encryption restrictions are pretty stupid.  How?  By showing them how easy it is to decrypt messages!  has already broken the 56 bit RC5 code, and is now trying to break DES (the governement's own standard) in a mere 25 days.  Give it a shot -- processors of the world unite!  You have nothing to lose but your waste!

Contacting Me

The best way to reach me is via e-mail at .  I generally check it at least every morning, and usually at night too.

By the way, this page was created with Netscape Communicator, version 4.7 for Linux.  To get the RPM package, see  the Red Hat web site.  Netscape works, but the occasional bus errors and shutdowns are kind of annoying.  But, and this is a big but, the rest of Linux just sails on.