Michael Bartlow

Our Founder and CEO, Michael Bartlow, discovered Our Vision, then captured it in Our Guiding Motto:

"Making Computers Useful
For People Who Don't Like Computers".

With this humble but radical departure from the Overly Hallowed Conventions of Software Development, being a process all too often defined by Marketing, limited by Project Management and determined by Engineering, with each group operating in combat mode, computing useful to the software's user became a practical possibility, not for the first time but pretty close.

Project Manager:
Michael Bartlow


With a background of over 25 years and more than 90 projects, working in companies including Bally/Midway, Apple and Electronic Arts, providing overview and coordination to teams with member counts ranging from a few to a hundred, Mr. Bartlow is a polished craftsman and experienced artist in the technical, financial, scheduling and human sides of project management and team motivation.

He has successfully managed development spread within, across and between groups, specialties, departments, companies and continents.

Facilitating communication between experts with very different vocabularies, trainings and interests is actually very enjoyable to him.
He has gotten quite good at it, settling only for detailed, enthused consensus between all parties.

And what is his trick to arrive consistently at such a universally shared consensus, that generates the enthusiasm, that helps define and motivate every effort, that makes a team happy, productive and cost-effective, that makes a great product, that Michael settles for?
Simple: universal ownership of the plan, with an equal share of universal respect for each contributor's role.

How? Make a social device of Project's timelines and the discussions on resource estimating needed to make those timelines realistic. For both human and information purposes those discussions need to open the door to the planning process to everyone who is to commit their time, effort, ability and reputation to the product's development.

By the end of the project design phase, there in the timeline is every contributor's role, as described by the contributor and visibly well positioned in an informed, targeted process matrix.
With that, every member of the team can see that his effort is an acknowledged, valued, essential part of the team's drive to the final result.
With that, every bump along the implementation way has a shared context for discussion and secure modification of the drive to the result.

When every contributor sees that their work matters, and that the whole team sees it that way, everybody can work with energy and passion toward the same positive goal, a truly great product.

Michael Bartlow


Our programming staff, Michael Bartlow, has created, debugged and shipped code in over 80 products, with a ridiculously low bug count and an equally odd high count of extremely profitable products.

He has written in more than 30 languages, from embedded code running at the lowest level right on the silicon typing that code directly into In-Circuit Emulators plugged into custom serial logic hardware, coding drivers in many processor and DSP assembler languages, operating system calls and developer tools written in Basics and C, and right on up to lofty application 'tongues' like VBA, SQL, HTML and Java. Mr. Bartlow currently has a thing for jMonkeyEngine.

Responding to something a user just did, his code has varied the sounds of an elf's sigh, a boxing uppercut, machine guns, plane crashes, bursting magic orbs, squeaking basketball shoes, many engines both real and imagined, chanting monks and stadiums, bings, boings, bar shoot-outs, nail-guns, the death of a few planets, and 12,000 other sound effects and samples he created for the user's fun.

To please its user his code has dynamically rearranged his own musical compositions including a pentatonic mummy blues dance, several hundred tunes in the classical, jazz, regular blues, C&W, medieval, stone age, stoned age and rock varieties, and a pulsing suite of sci-fi birds and dinosaurs moaning along with their jungle latin percussion section.
Here's some YouTube links to our programmer's music and sound work: a Madden '92 moment with his music, Road Rash (his music up to 3:50) and a few minutes of B.O.B. on the Super Nintendo, all music and sound done by our Mr. Bartlow.

His code has managed the timing of inter-system DMA communications, updated databases, figured the tax on a candy bar and flagged neonatal genetic problems from the counting of molecules.

His code has done quite a few other things in between the items just listed.

His code has run and is running in billions of dollars worth of products world-wide.

"Getting the basic design right to start with is the trick to being able to deliver flexible, responsive development with minimal debugging issues," reveals our Mr. Bartlow.
To guide his coding contributions, he prefers to know as much as possible of the product's ultimate real-world usage, along with all relevant business and technical considerations.

User Interface Designer:
Michael Bartlow

"The user interface of any software product is as critical a technology as the software or hardware," affirms our User Interface Designer, Michael Bartlow. "All three must be interdependently designed and balanced to best serve the product's real-world goals."

As an active UI contributor on over 80 product teams that generated successful games, applications, developer tools, research efforts and famous operating systems, he has come to see the success of the UI as the ultimate target and test for every product development effort.

It is the integration of hardware, software and UI, each designed and refined by continuous balancing as a group to deliver the best possible user experience, that pulls together all the technical, artistic and business specialties involved in software development.

That integration is the only way to grow great software.

Alright, Useful Computing, LLC is a sole proprietorship, with a staff of one.

Also it should be noted that until this page was published, our staff member has never before, in any professional situation, been referred to as "Mr. Bartlow".