Dad. Husband. IKEA Chair Test Pilot. Maker.

 
Me at NotConf: I made those sign posts. :D

Me at NotConf: I made those sign posts. :D

Hi!

My name is Andy and I am a maker. Enough about me. How are you? What did you have for lunch yesterday? Have you made anything cool lately?

OK, back to me: I like to make things, with or without purpose. Clocks, shelves, machines that turn themselves off, homemade circuit boards, etc. I love to learn how to manufacture stuff myself. I also love to take things apart to see how real-world products are engineered.

I have a wonderful and beautiful wife who is VERY tolerant of my endless tinkering. She may roll her eyes when I run out of the workshop yellimg, “Honey! Look at this thing that does blah blah blah!” She doesn’t always encourage it, per se, mostly for safety reasons, but I’m pretty sure it has some entertainment value for her and she does brag to her girlfriends about how handy I can be. #winning #loved

I have a silly daughter. Where the silly came from I have no idea. Yes I do. #BestDajerEvvar

I love to work with my hands and I will at least attempt to make something myself if I think I have any chance of making it nice and usable. Heck, I’ll try it regardless. If it doesn’t turn out, lesson learned.

I love electronics. I’m a total newbie at it. I think it’s a total hoot to build your own electronic gadgets. I’ve been teaching myself to build my own circuits, circuit boards, gadgets that use microcontrollers… Pretty much anything I can purchase from Mouser.com, Digikey.com, Adafruit.comSparkFun.com, JameCo.com or Newark.com is fair game for integrating into something fun or useful. Been doing that for the past 7 years or so in earnest.

In the late 1980's, I learned C programming in high school (on my own, since programming courses were pretty much non-existent at that level at that time). While I worked at a computer store in college, I stepped up to C++, thanks to one of the techs who used to burn the BIOS EPROMs for our own brand of computers. I wrote programs in C and C++ on early Linux distributions in the 1990's and early 2000's, which helped keep my skills up-to-date, thankfully. I have put that experience to good use on the Atmel chips I use all over my projects. This experience would ultimately make it easy for my work on iOS and Mac apps.

I've also learned TIG welding (on aluminum) at Local Motors while they helped build the chassis for the Office Chairiot. I still need to purchase a welder for home, but already received an auto-dimming helmet and gloves as a gift from my wife.

By day, I am the “Business Strategist” for meltmedia (http://meltmedia.com) in Tempe, AZ. meltmedia does “enterprise level mobile and web application development… and interactive design.” We are a software company masquerading as a digital agency, as my work wife, Ron Barry puts it. The office is fuh-fuh-fun and inspires HUGE sums of creativity. It may be hard to believe, but meltmedia all but encouraged me to build the “Office Chairiot™,” request that I come up with a bathroom busy status system which gave us “iPotti™,” and they LOVED when I gave them a custom “useless machine ever” (the “UME Mark II™”) for their 10th anniversary.

I’ve been in Information Technology for nearly 30 years in roles ranging from Network Engineer to Software Engineer to CEO/Owner. I’ve always been entrepreneurial, but as I’ve gotten older, I’m more analytical about risky moves, of course. That bug never goes away, which is cool. Throughout my career, I’ve flip-flopped from software to hardware because I love them both. I’m as comfortable at the command line in Unix as I am connecting routers and switches in a 19-inch rack. I can even terminate fiber optic cable (whether or not that cable would be operable in production environment is another story).

I write Mac and iOS software. I have a few iOS apps under my belt at my time at meltmedia. In 2015, I’m starting work on an iOS app focused around bourbon geeks. I’m working on a Mac desktop app, iOS and Android apps for communicating to my AVR or Arduino projects, especially the world famous Office Chairiot Mark II. I’m constantly relearning JavaScript (I was a guru at it when it was in its infancy back in 2009, when I was a very proficient web developer) for the new iPotti #2 app, complete with RESTful API and responsive web app using AngularJS.

Executive Summary: I pretty much tinker in many things.

Please feel free to interact. Leave me comment or questions. Free exchange of ideas is GOOD.

 

 
Our backyard DIY liquid propane fire pit complete with tank-cloking mini outhouse and feather rock lava stones to help radiate some of that magnificent clean heat

Our backyard DIY liquid propane fire pit complete with tank-cloking mini outhouse and feather rock lava stones to help radiate some of that magnificent clean heat

Custom made printed circuit board with 32 inputs using shift registers for managing buttons and switches with only 3 GPIOs on a microcontroller

Custom made printed circuit board with 32 inputs using shift registers for managing buttons and switches with only 3 GPIOs on a microcontroller

Me piloting the Office Chairiot Mark II on a Sunday drive on the desert back roads south of Phoenix on a gorgeous Arizona morning!

Me piloting the Office Chairiot Mark II on a Sunday drive on the desert back roads south of Phoenix on a gorgeous Arizona morning!