Randall

Creator of things and @post404_mag screeds. @nokiadeveloper champion & Ambassador co-organizing @NokiaDevNorthTX. Focused on creative communities like @MakeDFW

Jan 282015
 
I keep running into this term “life hacking” without actually knowing what it’s supposed to mean, but on the surface it sure seems to fit what I’m embarking on this year: a personal reboot.  That includes an overdue divorce.

I haven’t started the actual divorce process yet– been very busy preparing to prepare for it though.  I envy any couples who are able to walk away from each other without any major difficulty.  My adult sons aren’t a factor, but years of accumulated crap has sure become one.  Hopefully the fact that I want free of it all, including our house, will help. Continue reading »

Jan 232015
 
The last time I assembled a home-built PC was over ten years ago.  I’d won an Opteron CPU at an AMD event at a time when those babies were very expensive and among the most powerful workstation options, so I decided to begin there.

Impatient and lacking in funds, I got real resourceful at finding deals.  Many items were of their previous generation; new enough to work for me but often heavily discounted.  Ebay was, unsurprisingly, a great place to shop.  So was Pricewatch. Continue reading »

Jan 222015
 
As some of you know, I’m separated from my wife of over two decades and preparing to divorce.  At first I couldn’t even think of getting involved with someone else, but after a year of not seeing or hearing from your ex, well, those inhibitions tend to dissolve.  I really do miss the company of others, especially the fairer sex.

A former coworker and longtime friend recommended I try Match.com, a site she swore had worked for her.  I was leery; I’d seen too many online-instigated romances fizzle or even explode.  But she ultimately convinced me and I created an account. Continue reading »

Jan 142015
 
A buddy and I had a brief exchange recently about twitter follower counts, and at one point he expressed admiration for mine.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit I don’t get it.  Sure, I used to perform work that drew in quite a few of the curious, but lately I’ve just been bellyaching about my health and taking potshots at politicians.  You know, typical cranky old guy stuff.  You’d think the crowd would have gotten off my virtual lawn by now. Continue reading »

Jan 072015
 
This morning my twitter feed was greeted by yet another tired, loaded question asking if Windows Phone is dead, this time from Venture Beat’s Chris O’Brien .  I like Chris, and odds are his headline is borne more of frustration than click-baitiness, so I’ll spare him my usual snarky reply and take a cold, sober look at the situation. Continue reading »

Jan 062015
 
Last year was tumultuous in many ways, both general and personal.  Filled with the sort of challenges that make a society question where it’s at and an individual dig deep for strength.  Definitely a make-or-break run of 365 anything-but-boring days.  I’ll steer clear of the macro stuff for now though and just vent about my own situation. Continue reading »

Oct 162014
 
I lamented in a previous post about how the Dallas-Fort Worth area lost out on an advanced manufacturing research center, and noted that there would be more such opportunities.  Many more.

Sure enough, the White House just announced the next step in the series:

As part of the effort to build on the progress made and highlight the need for continued investment in American manufacturing, the President is announcing today a new competition to award more than $200 million in public and private investment to create an Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute, led by the Department of Defense, and the second of four new institute competitions to be launched this year.

Continue reading »

Oct 082014
 
I mentioned a couple of articles ago that our local maker foundation was dissolved and that I would share more later.  It’s later, so here’s the more.

If you’re looking for a steamy expose on what can go wrong when a bunch of creative strangers start an organization, I’ll have to disappoint you here.  But you might pry it out of me over a drink offline.

Instead I want to share the Big Gotchas that derailed us, in hopes that the knowledge can help someone else.  I’m sure much of it will sound familiar to other organizers and leaders. Continue reading »

Sep 112014
 
Lately I’m working on a collaborative book project; three authors, one editor, and a small collection of raw content contributors.  It’s an exciting prospect but have to say, when it comes to co-managing a project like this sometimes little things become surprisingly big.  Like platform preferences.  Everyone has their pet tool and trying to get consensus on one easily reduces to finding the Least Worst Overall Not-Quite-Hated solution.  We’re working through that, but…

In our first conversation, Charlene the editor she asked me something about iPhones and the conversation went

Me: I wouldn’t know; I use a Windows Phone
Charlene: Oh, I’m sorry

So many ways to go with that… but suffice to say that from my perspective it proves how much more convincing a distortion field can be than reality.  I’m in no way impugning Charlene– she’s definitely sharp or I wouldn’t have started following her in the first place.  But Apple and others have done a spectacular job at misinforming even the discerning public.

Microsoft is included in that others category. Continue reading »

Sep 102014
 
Well, I’ve posted a few times here about work/life changes and how they’ll affect my writing here, but given more recent developments I want to narrow that further.  Warning: this gets personal.

I’ve historically held a variety of interests and usually found the time and energy to manage those most important.  I’ve always taken that for granted.

However, the past several months have truly tested that.  A negative turn to my marital situation, oldest son leaving for the Navy, and ongoing health and other issues have all contributed to pulling my “eye off the prize(s)”.  Not that I view my son’s choice as a bad thing per se; I just miss him when I could use local support. Continue reading »

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