About the Web Log

This Blog will focus primarily on Linux, Information Technology, and Data Science.

About John

I have tested, developed, and researched areas of technology for many years, and have loved using (and as you will see below sometimes just fantasizing about) tech for even longer.

One of the first times I really got excited about tech was when I was a little kid watching an episode of Nova. It was at the time of the Arab Oil Embargo and alternatives to fossil fuels were on people’s minds (even little kids!) They featured the UCLA Hydrogen Car, a modified AMC Gremlin, which ran on – used guessed it – H2. I was so impressed that I had to try to contact these guys and so I wrote a letter to the UCLA Chemistry Dept. and asked for more information. (If I was smarter I would have contacted the School of Engineering, but at the time the only Engineers I was aware of were the guys that drove trains!) Fortunately, a very nice person who read the letter took mercy on me and I received a nice note basically saying “Yes, it says UCLA on the car, and yes, there is Chemistry involved, but those guys aren’t in the Chem Dept.; however, we know them so we are forwarding your request on to the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena.) Two weeks later I received all kinds of amazing pictures, data and, well, all kinds of great stuff. Much of it I couldn’t readily understand but that just motivates more study. I will never forget the kindness of Joe Finegold for sending me a treasure trove of materials which kept me occupied for weeks and weeks … and weeks.

Unfortunately, and I was upset about this at the time, my plans to convert the family lawn mower from boring old Gasoline to H2 were never approved. In hindsight, this was probably a good idea since I was to young to cut the grass.

Nevertheless, I was hooked. The excitement that comes with innovation is intoxicating, whether the original work is your own or others. I always like to be inspired by others to then go out and do my best! It is critical to create an environment which nourishes and supports that innovation and excitement, with a healthy dose of humor.

Although I did think about it, I decided to not pursue a career in the automotive industry and instead focused on both the lighting and the computer industries. After some number of years developing light sources (Xe Arc lamps and IR emitters) and X-Ray medical imaging equipment, I joined Apple Computer to develop and integrate the first active matrix TFT LCD into a laptop computer. After a number of years there, with a break for graduate school, I went to HP as a Mfg. Dev. LCD Engineer, and later to lead the development of the first LCD based monitor with a dual analog/digital signal interface, which won a number of Editor’s choice awards. Later, I went to Philips where I focused on LCDs, development of LED based backlights, and later was a Program Manager where I managed the product development of a Tablet style computer. I then spent a number of years as a consultant and also developing my own products, including a deer crash avoidance system. I did some consulting for a very small startup in the chartered aircraft services industry, and much to my surprise, Flite Logistics, Inc. (FLI) quickly made me an offer to become an employee. After a year and a half as an IT specialist, I was promoted to Director of IT and Social Media.

I really enjoyed working at FLI and the tremendous flexibility I had allowed me to be a part time Caregiver for my parents. But business had changed a lot for FLI the last year. I, along with others in late 2017, were converted from employees to Consultants they would call as needed. The timing, much to my surprise, became quite fortuitous, for my part time Caretaker role quickly became far more than a full time position in early 2018. Being a Caretaker demands every ounce and then some of the individual. Now that I have fulfilled my role and been there when my parents needed me the most, I am ready for the next series of challenges, wherever those might reside.