New Gig, Less Hotels

A few months ago, I decided to join ioBridge full-time. I will be leading the software development for a whole bunch of commercial products that license our technology. ioBridge will announce a few major developments in the coming weeks that made this transition possible. I am excited for the new challenges and look forward to working with a start-up company.

My first project with ioBridge was building a remote sensor network web interface on top of the Google Maps API. The sensor network allows for the real-time monitoring of tide levels. The project got written up on MIT’s Technology Review blog and the ioBridge Projects blog. You can demo the tide monitoring application at www.TideAlerts.com.

Change is not always easy. I had a great job and got to see all of the United States minus Alaska, Hawaii, and Idaho (yes, Idaho, I have flown all over you but never landed on you…). I got to design, maintain, pen test, and provide training for some of the largest networks in the US for utilities and telecommunications providers over a 10 year period. Yes, you can blame me the next time your call drops.

This also means I saw a lot of hotels and airports. I probably stayed at a Hampton Inn from 30 different states. I can’t tell you how many times I woke up to a USA Today being crammed under my door. For whatever reason on my first trip to a DSL testing company in Manchester, New Hampshire, I saved the room key. I know you are supposed to return them, but maybe in the excitement of it all, I kept it. This tradition continued with my next project in Lincoln, Nebraska and the next and the next. When I got home I would shove the room key in a box. I just dumped it out and could not believe it…Here’s a photo so you can see what I am saying…

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I don’t advocate stealing room keys, but this pile is  a quick snap shot of 1000’s of trips and projects and experiences. With the new gig, I will travel less and that might be good. I am looking forward to it and might even join a bowling league where I can actually make the games. I will keep you updated on the progress. It’s time to start-up (.com).

She’s Gotta have IT

I venture from the lair to meet up with the opposite sex from time to time. I had a date recently that turned from a romantic encounter to awkward tech support. Our evening started at an exotic and unique restaurant that just opened in my home town called Applebees. I had the riblets and Jenny had a couple of veggie wraps. I was killed by chocolate and she had a Weight Watchers dessert that only cost 4 points on her daily allowance. I have known her for a while and was attempting to make this transition into dating. I was going strong. We shared our dreams and passions. She wanted to be a lifeguard. I wanted to level up my RPG character. She has a cat. I have my mom. It was a bona-fide match as she uncomfortably laughed at some of my puns. The awkwardness reached a crescendo when we talked about our favorite books. I like William Gibson. She likes road signs. After dinner we had drinks at a local establishment where we discussed philosophy, economics, and the “flight” of humankind as she put it.

To my surprise, she asked me back to her place for a drink. I am sure I had something on my schedule, but I went anyway.

She opened a bottle of wine, put on the new Mariah Carey, and she sat beside me on her couch. We got closer as our conversation got deeper and the alcohol took its desired affect.

“I want to ask you something,” Jenny said.

I said, “(nothing).”

“My wireless router is dropping my connection from time to time…would you take a look?”

If this situation was in a movie, the song “Touch My Body” would have come to a screeching stop.

I fixed her router – I fixed it all night long. Well, I did fix her router even though this is where I didn’t want the night to end, but I made her WEP key easy to guess. It wouldn’t take Tommy Tutone to be able to figure out Jenny’s password. There probably won’t be a next time, but if she needs help with something she is going to have to submit a trouble ticket like everyone else.