Vocations in which I have engaged: Sound-board operator, typesetter, graphic designer, curriculum developer, imaging-center manager, professional granola maker, box-office manager, course manager, catalog manager, programmer, data-entry clerk, editor, conference planner, speaker, book-information expert, columnist, actor in anti-smoking videos, reporter, radio guest. I was once paid to write high-quality gibberish—literally.
I was trained as a typesetter, one of the last such apprenticed in that profession, and have a degree in graphic design. I learned how to typeset and print on a letterpress in college, and in 2011 took a class to refresh and extend my knowledge. In 2017, the School of Visual Concepts hosted me as their first designer in residence, where I honed my letterpress skills and printed a book of my reporting. In 2019 and 2020, I created the Tiny Type Museum & Time Capsule, an edition of around 100 sets of printing and type artifacts, with the accompanying book, Six Centuries of Type & Printing. I worked on my elementary school, junior high, high school, and college newspapers, both as an editor and typesetter/graphic designer.
Things I did: In high school, I acted and made callbacks for the movie Stand By Me, and appeared in local anti-smoking education videos. ✴ I helped broadcast a feature film for the first time over the Internet in 1995, Party Girl. ✴ Between 2010 and 2015, I wrote about 400 blog posts for The Economist; I've written about 100 other articles for them since 2005, including a U.S. edition cover story and many print features. ✴ I was the editor of the The Magazine from 2012 to 2014, a digital magazine for curious people with a technology bent and eclectic tastes, and owned it from mid-2013 until it was shuttered after subscriptions fell. (We made a hardcover anthology you can still purchase.) ✴ During the same period, I produced and hosted The New Disruptors, a podcast about creators finding their audiences directly. ✴ From 2000 to 2013, I wrote a column every two or four weeks for The Seattle Times about Apple stuff. ✴ For a decade, I wrote nearly daily at my own wireless data site, Wi-Fi Networking News. ✴ Between 1998 and the late 20-oughties, I wrote at various points extensively for The New York Times, Wired, Popular Science, and Business 2.0. I have written dozens of books, many of them in the Take Control ebook series. ✴ You may hear me at times on the radio as a guest on national programs like All Things Considered, BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5, Science Friday, and To the Point. ✴ I was a weekly tech pundit on KUOW for three years. ✴ I worked for Amazon for six months in 1996–1997 and never regret having left when I did. I know more than most human beings on the planet about the vagaries of book data, such as page count and authoritative titles. ✴ My first computer was a 1979 OSI C1P. ✴ I love the smell of letterpress ink, taking close-up macro photos of bees and ladybird beetles, and eating goat-cheese fritters. ✴ There are many other things I could tell you that would bore the pants off you. ✴ My old site is still reachable with outdated content at links like this and this, but I’m only maintaining it to avoid breaking a few useful static pages.