Next move.

Today was my last day with kajeet. For a year and a half, I’ve been a part of a rock star engineering team, experienced the start-up life, launched a number of services, and most importantly made some really good friends. It was cool to see our product on the shelves on Best Buy and hearing from real customers how excited they were about the service we built. It was hard to say good bye but I thought it was time for my next adventure.

I’ve taken a job at Clearspring Technologies. They support syndication and tracking of widgets or, to describe what they do technically, apply the “Write once, run anywhere” slogan of Java to the web and widgets as “Write once, embed everywhere”.

I start this Monday and I’m excited for the opportunity to be working in this space and with this team.

Next move.

Social Matchbox DC

Last week, I attended Social Matchbox DC with Brent and Brendan.

We all thought it would be a showcase of startups around the DC talking about the cool things they are doing. To our surprise it was more of a job fair than a social gathering. However, they had free pizza so I can’t complain too much. Still, it’s refreshing to see there is a startup community in the DC area, where it seems like everyone and their uncle work for the government. Clearspring and Freewebs were both there. I tried out making a widget on Clearspring’s platform and making a web site using Freewebs a while back. Both are very cool companies.

Although the DC area is more of a Government Valley, I wish there were more venues that allow startups and hackers get together around the area.

Social Matchbox DC

Making regular deposits

Since I graduated college and got a real job, I’ve started to expand my knowledge around the world of investing. I opened up an account at Vanguard and started off with some mutual funds. The problem is I haven’t really put any more money in after that one-time lump sum for opening the account. I need to start making some regular investments through direct deposit or something. Get that dollar-cost averaging to work for me.

Making regular deposits

Fresh start!

After trying to keep a blog numerous times already, I am committed to keep this one going!

It took me awhile to get setup after rebuilding my slice (I am hosted by SliceHost). Most of the time was spent having to google the commands I had to run and figuring out missing apache modules since this is all new to me. It’s been a good learning experience though 🙂

But after 4 hours, I’ve setup the following

  • 256mb Ubuntu slice
  • apache2
  • mysql
  • subversion
  • php
  • ruby/rails

Next steps are to get Java and Tomcat installed, as well as a sample Rails app up and running.

Fresh start!

First post in 2007

Yes, I know. I’m a little late on the wishing of Happy New Years. Nevertheless, Happy New Years everyone! I hope everyone had a fun/safe holidays and new years.

The family trip up to Canada was awesome. I got to see the cousins and catch up on good times. It’s really cool to see how all of our lives are coming together. People graduating university, getting jobs, taking those next steps in life. I finally really noticed I see how hard my parents (really just mom) work to keep in touch with relatives even though we live so far away from any family. We better keep that kind of communication going.

Christmas was blast. Two most memorable moments:

  1. My 10 year old cousin spazing out, screaming “OOOH SANTA, I LOVE YOU!! SANTA! SANTA!!” when Santa Claus comes through the front door.
  2. All the young adults busting out doing hardcore math while everyone else is opening up presents. (I’ll post the math problem later)

New years was cool. I went out to dinner with a friend and we hung out all night. This New Years definitely sneaked up on me. My mind was on so many different things I didn’t even realize it was New Years Eve until people started asking what I was going to do that day.

Oh,’s just another day, right?

First post in 2007

Christmas time!

I’m glad it’s Christmas time again because that means I get some time off to go up to Canada to see family. Oh, and getting presents…that’s sweet, too. I must say, working in McLean at this time of year is not fun. The traffic is ridiculous with all the people trying to get in and out of Tysons Corner Mall. Tomorrow, I get to avoid most of it, but I’ll be fighting the crowd traffic inside the mall with my side-kick Sura.

Yeah, that’s right. I’m not done with the shopping of the presents. I think the past couple of years, I’m used up all of my good ideas for presents. In trying to figure out why I’m having so much trouble thinking/finding presents for the people I usually get presents for, I came to the following possible reasons:

  1. I am losing touch of knowing the people that matter to me, their wants and needs
  2. Industry isn’t being innovative enough to come up with the products worth getting anyone
  3. Everyone already has what they want/need.

I feel that in the past couple months, I’ve been in a sort of a funky state-of-mind, disassociated from family and friends. I don’t know if this was because of work or not but when I realized this, I didn’t like it. Which brings me to my New Years resolution is to renew past relationships and refresh current relationships. I don’t usually do New Years resolutions, but I figure now is a good time as any to set those things called ‘goals’ in my life.

Looking around the mall, I don’t see a lot of “Oh, My God I Gotta Have That!” things I want for myself or anyone else. Even with the explosive popularity of the iPod, I really just saw a CD player that could hold more songs than before. I guess it has to do with the way I listen to music. I always just play my music collection with Shuffle/Repeat on. I like not knowing what song is coming up next 🙂

I think today’s technology has got to a point where it allows us to do things we do everyday faster than yesterday. Moving forward, I’d be more interested in using technology to define a whole new way to do something. It’s not a matter of making something faster, it should more efficient. These two concepts are not one in the same. Building off of the iPod example, Apple didn’t define a new way to listen or organize music. We still use headphones/earplugs to listen and organizing music under genres and albums/tracks was not novel to iPod. ID3 allows us to easily describe our music and media players like WinAMP are able to organize it. Sure, I can do things faster on an iPod than I could on a CD player such as look for a specific song. In this case, technology introduced a fad. It doesn’t take away from the fact that the mp3 players like the iPod are great products. But other than the visually-appealing ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’, there isn’t a feature in the iPod that differentiates it from anything else we’ve had in the past 10 years.

What would turn the mp3 player into a “Oh, My God I Gotta Have That!” thing for me is the ability to add social learning to it. Let’s call this new product the ZweeVoo. As an owner of the spankin’ new ZweeVoo, I can say I want to chill out. The ZweeVoo will start playing music it thinks is ‘chill’ music and if I don’t like it, I skip it and the ZweeVoo knows that the song is probably not what I want to be listening to when I’m chill mood. Repeat this for when I’m feeling happy, sad, mad, frustrated, sleepy, indifferent, etc. The more I use my ZweeVoo the more it knows about it’s owner and the type of music to play when I tell it how I’m feeling at the time. I think this would be an awesome feature to have. Something like for the portable music player focused around user state-of-mind or emotional state versus user preferences.

As for the last reason why I’m having trouble finding presents for people, I made that one up because I thought a list of only two reasons was lame and I needed a third. Everyone wants and needs at least something. Once they get it, there’s will always be a new thing to want. Probably a ZweeVoo.

Christmas time!

First post!

Hey, everyone. If you’re reading this, you probably was told to check this out by me. Alas, there is not much to see yet.

If you don’t already know, my name is Theo. I’m a twenty-something year old software engineer. I would describe myself as someone who has yet to define himself. I’m not one thing or another. I would say I’m different from those are different. In some ways, I chose to be different, in others, I had no choice. More about this at some other time. In the mean time, welcome to my blog and I hope the readers can use this blog to gain some insight into who I am and maybe even inspire some other thoughts or ideas.

I’m a big believer in whole chain-reaction of thoughts. If I can say or write something that influences someone else’s thoughts which inspires a new idea, I think that is one of the best things in the world.

I previously tried to do the whole routine blogging thing but life gets in the way. Here’s my third try at this with a brand, new twist! Not only will I blog about things in my life but my personal goals and thoughts on interesting subjects (at least to me anyway) .

Some topics I have in mind:

  • Jobs
  • Finances
  • Movies
  • Books
  • Programming
  • Life

Not that I’m an expert in any of these topics, but I think I can at least share my experiences and thoughts about them. If anyone has any suggestions as to what they want me to ramble about, please let me know.

Till next time…sooner than later I hope.

First post!