At CodeStock ...

§ June 24, 2010 21:12 by beefarino |

It's 6am and I'm sitting in the lobby of the Hilton in downtown Knoxville.  Michael and Cicelie just dragged another box of welcome kits out of the elevators and headed across the street to set up the registration desk (I'm assuming).  The drive in was beautiful and easy, and I forgot how much I love this area. 

I had trouble sleeping, some small rock under my mind kept my thoughts from settling in.  I'm nervous about the talks, but not overly so.  The Arduino talk is my biggest worry, simply for the fact that I've never delivered it before, and the number of failure points possible in the demos.  So I drifted off to sleep running through all the connections and code for the demos.  I thought through all of the hardware I brought with me.  I eventually did sleep, but something was still eating at me...

I realized what it was when my alarm went off this morning.  I have every device, every connector, except one: the USB cable to connect my Arduino to my PC.  *sigh*.  Well hey, on the bright side, of all the things I could have forgotten, I picked the one thing that I could actually buy at a local store.  I failed in the best possible way!

So I spent the last 15 minutes Googling the local Best Buys so I can run out after the keynote tonight and pick up the USB A/B cable for the talk tomorrow.  I'm just glad the talk isn't today, so I don't have to scramble and miss any of this morning's sessions.

I'll post more in a bit, time to grab some grub and joe....

Hard Reset of Career and Life

§ May 26, 2010 00:01 by beefarino |

The best way to predict your future is to create it. -Peter Drucker.

So I've been MIA for a while.  At least here.  I thought it would be best to jot down the happenings of the last 5 months, as things have changed dramatically for me in that time.

In March of 2010, I made the decision to become self-employed.  Well, technically speaking I work for the company I own.  I had lots of reasons for doing this, but it basically boiled down to making a living vs. living my life.  The facts: I was not satisfied with my full-time employment situation and wanted a change; I found myself in a very rare and positive position, with enough freelance work to sustain me and my family for a year; I have some personal projects I want to get up and running that require significant personal investment.  This is something I've wanted to attempt for some time, and I simply could not imagine a better opportunity to do so.  My new venture is Code Owls LLC, website forthcoming.  That's my logo there, thanks to  And I'm happy to report that after only two months I'm already having to turn away work.

Last Thursday (May 20, 2010) I presented an hour session to the Charlotte ALT.NET group titled "Distributed Version Control using Mercurial".  Reception was good, despite a botched example and the seemingly endless command-line pounding.  I plan to post a summary of the talk as a blog post soon.

I'm also excited about the upcoming CodeStock community event.  There are so many awesome sessions and panels to attend, choosing a schedule will be very difficult.  I'm also presenting two sessions, one on PowerShell as a tools platform, and another on getting started on the Arduino platform.  A big Thank You to everyone who offered their votes to my sessions - I apparantly earned an "Elder Award" by getting both sessions voted into the top 20!

I've also jumped in to a new local community in here in Charlotte, NC: the Charlotte Arduinophiles.  This is a group of local evil and benevolent masterminds that love to hack using the Arduino hardware platform.  Special thanks to Brady on getting this rolling; we are presently getting organized, and at the moment most of our activity is focused at, where we share our hacks and projects and look for feedback.  Rumblings from the current participants seem to point to organized hack sessions and contests; e.g., maze-solving bot design evenings.  If you are interested in joining us, regardless of your experience, drop me a note.

So there you have it.  Big changes but a much happier me.