Highlights over the life of the site

2004 - 2008

Putting the final touches on the supercharger

Entrance to the Lyon GDC

Getting fuel in the middle of nowhere

The important thing is my fish is bigger...

You know you're legit when you have an acrylic sign

Here fishy fishy fishy...
The relaunch...

    As part of bringing the website into the future, a couple of things have been relegated to the past. Most are good things, but one of the ones I will definitely miss is the ListServer Legion. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, it was basically an email list that I would send emails out to once a week - it was most active when I was releasing apps all the time, so in the end of the 90's and the first part of 2000. It was much more of a friendly email than anything else, I would talk about whatever new things were released, put up betas, etc. The list has been growing and growing, and really it was its success that ultimately led to its downfall - I think it really started to be a pain once it crossed about 300,000 subscribers or so. The problem was that people would sometimes subscribe with bogus email addresses that were valid (for someone else) - normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but when you're getting ~16,000 new subscriptions a month, if 5% are bogus, that's 800 emails that bounce or angry emails from people who report the message as spam (which to them it is). In the end it just became too much of a hassle to send out the messages, and that was it - but because I took a bit of a hiatus, the site was still up and people could subscribe, etc even though I wasn't actively sending out the messages. So how many subscribers did it have at the end? 872,865! Just shy of that illustrious one million number, but still not too shabby.
    It's interesting that nothing sort of gives that same sort of 'membership' feel that a listserver did (in my opinion). I've thought about doing an RSS feed or something similar, and I still might at some point, but it just doesn't have the same vibe that the listserver did. I liked the fact that if you were a subscriber that you could get something that other people couldn't, and the longer you were a subscriber, the more things like that you'd get. Granted, it really wasn't that much, but I thought it was cool and more personal.


    In the tail end of 2008 I spend an inordinate amount of time playing around with my car - due in large part to me not knowing a whole lot about cars, and wanting to take the opportunity to learn. With the help of my friend Carlos, we proceeded to dismantle most of what can be taken out of the car - the first modification was to make it so that it was possible to hinge the entire back of the car to get access to the engine compartment. On paper it seems pretty straight forward (ok, maybe it doesn't) but it turned out to be a whole lot more work than I think either of us expected. Brimming with enthusiasm from our successful mod and undaunted by our underestimating of everything involved, we moved on to supercharging the engine. This actually turned out to be quite a bit easier than the first mod - and boy does it sound cool! :)


    In 2007 I left Solid in the hands of my partners - I think in that time we put together a great team (around 30 people) and a robust set of technology. My friend Tom, who was the first person I recruited for the company, took over the reins as CTO and helped further establish the company in the game development space.
    During the summer I had a fun helicopter trip from Victoria Canada to Truth or Consequences New Mexico with a friend of mine, Gary. Yeah, it takes a REALLY long time in a helicopter, but it's just about as scenic as it can get and you can always just land and stretch your legs if you need to. We deviated a bit and visited a friend in southern Oregon (and got stuck there a day because of weather), from there it was relatively smooth going down to LA and then over to Phoenix. From Phoenix to Chandler was a bit of a different story though, we had some strong winds going through the mountains which led to some hairy flying, but in the end we somehow managed to make it there and all was well.
    Finally towards the end of 2007 I gave a talk at the Game Developers Conference in Lyon about NAT penetration - the talk is actually available in the Articles section for those who are interested, but it's not for the faint of technologic heart. Lots of fun and met a whole host of great people, which is usually the case - plus went all over Lyon with my friend Risa on the Velo bikes, which was an absolute blast!


    The bulk of 2006 was spent around Solid, although I did get a chance to head up to Aikens Lake , pretty much the most awesome relaxing place in the whole world. I actually managed to convince Steve Gibson (GRC) to come and hang out as well, and he actually had a great time.


    In 2005 I founded a company called Solid State Networks with my partners at the time - the core idea was to provide an overlay network to existing content delivery networks that was peer-to-peer assisted, combined with a whole bunch of interesting back end things. I think we put together a great team and developed some great technology, but I left there in 2007 to continue my adventures in other arenas.


    In 2004 I did a fair amount of travelling, I did some scuba diving with Marco from Snapfiles down in Florida - Arizona doesn't exactly have the best diving, so I made him go out pretty much every day. I also went to China for almost a month, which was an incredible experience - quite a bit different than Europe or any of the other places I've had an opportunity to go to. I have to say that China is probably one of my favorite travel destinations, the people are friendly and everything is very different than the US, which I personally like - what's the point of travelling someplace that's the same as where you live? :)

1999 - 2003

Gardner Cole checking out my setup

Hanging with Leo on The ScreenSavers

Cool looking shot of gear in my old rack


    In 2003 I got a chance to delve back into the game industry a bit doing technical due diligence on game projects that wanted to get completion bonds for financing. It's something that the movie industry has been doing for ages and ages, but the budgets on games weren't big enough to make it viable before, but now the big titles have even bigger budgets, and it starts becoming more appealing. I ended up traveling all over the place in Europe and checked out a whole slew of developers - it was awesome getting a look at their process as well as what worked and what didn't.


    In 2002 a friend of mine introduced me to a friend of his, who owned his own helicopter and took me for a ride - while we were flying, he said "If you get your license, I'll let you fly it.". That wasn't an offer I could pass up, so for the bulk of 2002 I spent my time getting both my helicopter and fixed wing pilot's licenses. It was actually quite a bit more difficult than I had originally thought it would be, but I absolutely love flying.


    Although I had made many appearances before this, I was appearing frequently (for me) on TechTV - I got a chance to appear on The Screen Savers several times as well as Call for Help, including the crazy marathon that Chris Pirillo did over Christmas. I also got to do an appearance on Silicon Spin, which was cool since that was one of my favorite shows on the network. I also gave a talk at Gnomedex, which is where I met Steve Gibson, who became one of my best friends - so the year ended out pretty good for me. :)


    Towards the tail end of 2000 I left Aerocast and joined forces with a friend of mine, Rick Buonincontri, primarily helping companies that were having problems with technology. The timing was excellent, since it was right before the big dotcom crash, and we transitioned into working with companies trying to come out of bankruptcy (the largest of which was Visitalk, Inc). Very interesting time, on the one hand it was sad to see some of the companies go, on the other hand I got a chance to see first hand some of the crazy dotcom nonsense that was going on.

1998 - 1999

It began with this...


    In 1999 I met Nathan Raciborski, one of the founders of, a joint venture between General Instrument and Motorola - he enlisted my help to develop the core software the company needed, and ultimately I became Chief Software Architect for them. The company was primarily based in San Diego, so I traveled down there on a regular basis, and had the chance to work with some really great people.


    In 1998 I decided that I wanted a new name for my band - primarily because I did a search on the net and found another band with the same name as I was using at the time, and I didn't want to be confused with them. So, I had a couple of rules: first, I wanted it to be easy to spell, second I wanted it to begin with the letter A, third I wanted it to sound cool, and finally I wanted it to have 0 search engine hits so I wouldn't be using anything anyone else was.