Technology is a funny thing

I’d like to think that I have many passions in my life. Many things that I deeply enjoy putting my time and efforts into. Technology though, is a funny thing. As I’m sure anyone who’s worked in any sort of IT field can attest, if you know something about a single aspect most people presume you know about all of it. Too many are the phone calls I’ve gotten from friends, family, and clients expecting me to troubleshoot some unknown problem based on a less than informative description of said problem.

But I digress. I’m passionate about technology in it’s many facets. In fact it’s for all of those many facets that I find it so interesting. However, it’s also for all of those many facets that I’ve had such a hard time picking a focus. For a while I worked on hardware repair, but I found it to be small potatoes here locally. As I’ve said before though about 4-5 years ago I started using Linux, and exploring the world of FOSS. “This is it”, I said to myself. “This is something I can focus on”. Little did I know how expansive just those two topics were on there own. Nevertheless, I’ve stood by those ideals. I’ve found a specific(ish) part of technology and IT that I really wanted to be a part of. Fortunate for me there’s no shortage of information, and resources to help educate anyone that finds themselves interested and wanting to learn more.

Now I’m studying for my Linux Essentials certification and I’m working on learning my first programming language in Python. I’m really excited to see where this takes me as I plan on continuing on with the LPIC 1 within the next year, and expanding my programming knowledge as I go as well. That’s what our passions are all about right? They’re meant to get us excited. To give us a chance to better ourselves and/or others. That’s what it’s about to me at least.

A+

Yesterday I passed my certification exams for the CompTIA A+. It was a bit stressful, and that likely would have been mitigated a bit had I studied more. But c’est la vi. My biggest takeaway from it was the satisfaction of achieving something that I wasn’t guaranteed success in. Also the relief of not having to concern myself with any more work related studies until the end of the year.
Now I have the freedom to buckle down and study some programming books, as well as polish my electrical skills. It all makes for an exciting season in my life.

Passing the A+ was surprisingly rewarding, and has helped to give me that extra boost of confidence to tackle another challenge. My hopes are that by the end of the year I will be supplementing my income with some sort of coding work. Whether it’s directly building custom sites, or working on web apps through something like Django or Rails.

 

(copied over from my previous hoverboard.io blog)

Typewriter Laptop

Earlier this year RS Electronics held a contest on Twitter to win 1 of 1000 anniversary editions of a Raspberry Pi. They asked for creative ideas on what people would build with it, and I won. I’ve got to be honest, I was pretty excited. I’m sure you’ve already guessed my project from the title, but I’ll give you a bit more of breakdown. First though a little back story, simply because I love telling stories.
Sometime last year I came across www.usbtypewriter.com, and loved the idea of being able to convert an old mechanical typewriter into a usb addressable input device. But still only dreaming of doing things like that I wrote it off as a “maybe someday” thing to do. Then earlier this year as I was perusing a local second hand shop, and saw one of those old mechanical typewriters. Instantly it all came together in my mind. I had already bought my first Raspberry Pi a few months back, and remembered the conversion project. Upon further reflection I expanded the idea to mounting a small monitor to it, and finding someway to integrate a mouse. And so I submitted that idea to them and and won.
Fast forward to this past weekend, and I’ve finished the first stage of the build. My 60’s era Royal Custom typewriter can now be plugged into just about any computer and used as a usb keyboard. I’m not going to lie, it was a bit daunting of a task. But with the help of my buddy James I pulled it off. I suppose next I’ll be looking for an appropriate monitor for the project. I also have a Pi Supply coming in from their Kickstarter campaign that I’m considering integrating for the sake of having a power switch. That’s it for now though. Pictures to come soon.

(copied over from my previous hoverboard.io blog)

Here I am…

starting down this road to doing something new. That’s really what draws me to technology. The idea that you can make something new, that you can make something better. Though I am part of the generation that has grown up the rise of the personal computer, it has only been in the last 4-5 years that I’ve turned my focus to technology. Sure I would help the random friend or family member “fix” their computer, but that rarely amounted to more than swapping out a stick of RAM or making sure they were running a decent anti-virus/firewall setup. But clearly there is so much more out there. So many things that are converging and offering people the opportunity to do more. To do something new.

It was around that time that I came back to my hometown. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do in college, but I knew I was going. As my interest grew with technology though I didn’t feel that my local community college was able to offer me the skills that I needed to jump in with the the emerging tech on the web. I promptly stopped giving them my money and time. Fast forward a few years, and I’m working as a server technician. Not quite what I want to be doing, but I’ve learned plenty. I also made the jump and switched to Linux a few years back, and that has helped bring me further than perhaps anything else to date. Mostly because it opened my eyes to an entirely new area of technology, Open Source. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe a worker is worth their wages. I don’t demand that everything be given freely, and I’m happy to either pay for something with a price tag, or donate towards development. That being said though, I deeply appreciate the existence of (F)OSS, and what it has meant for innovation.

That brings me full circle to my desire to do something new. I firmly believe that (F)OSS, and Open Hardware are my road to that. I’ve started with Linux, and carried on with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and dabbling in various programming languages. I’ve tried a little of HTML/CSS, Ruby, and Python. I’m excited about this journey, and to have to opportunity to share it somewhere. I’ve already built a few things that I hope to post up here soon. And I’m about to start a new project that I’ll either chronicle here or certainly link to. This being the platform that it is though, I ask for a little grace. I’m certain that I’ll make mistakes as I go along, if I haven’t already. I am always open to constructive criticism, and of course suggestions on informative resources and new technologies.

Here goes nothing.

(copied over from my previous hoverboard.io blog)