31 December 2010

HOW TO: Your Get Your Old PC Running Like New Again

HOW TO: Your Get Your Old PC Running Like New Again

05 July 2010

2010 Update

Wishing everyone a happy 2010 -- at the mid-year point. As usual, it's been about a year since any updates here. I haven't made too many changes at the site … and many things are similar for 2010 about me, but I'm trying out a few new things. I'm still in Mountain View while the parents are in the East Bay. You'll see the occasional Facebook post from me if you need more frequent updates…

I'm still at TrialPay as the IT Manager -- busy as ever. We moved into a larger office in late 2009, so we're still expanding. I was quite busy during that time -- working some 16+ hour days getting everything in order (thank goodness things have now calmed down…) I'm still involved in the South Bay Spanish Conversation Meetup group … so that's something that keeps me away from the office.

More importantly, however, I've decided that I should do a bit more traveling this year. It's really just a lot of long weekends (and a few extended vacations here and there), nonetheless, I'm seeing places I haven't been to in years or never been. I've racked up quite a few Delta SkyMiles (and gotten Elite/Medallion status in the process -- e.g. no luggage fees, airport lounge access, occasional first class upgrades, etc.) As of this writing, I've flown nearly 30,000 miles this year -- not a lot by some standards, but still a personal annual record (and still more coming for the second half of this year.) Places so far include New York, London, Boston, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Alaska (Anchorage & Denali.) See details in the Photo Album Viewer. I'll try to keep this up to date when I finish my trips…

Some folks will always ask me about my technology upgrades … I did get a MacBook Pro 15" last year, but still have the iPhone 3G -- but planning on the iPhone 4 shortly. And I'm tempted by the iPad -- but on the fence as I already have two MacBook Pros (one is for work…)

Look for a new full update again in Summer 2011 -- have a great year until then!

13 June 2009

2009 Update

Hope you're all well. It's been over a year since I've updated this site... play around with a few links on the right side of the page, and you'll see I've made a few tweaks/changes -- but nothing overly significant. I did jump on the social network bandwagon (read: Facebook) this year...

I'm still at TrialPay, though now as a full time IT manager. I decided that advertising account management wasn't my thing, and as I saw my company need a dedicated person relating to IT/technical issues, I jumped in. My job responsibilities still fall all over the place -- from procurement (read: ordering) to managing the helpdesk, I keep quite busy. Be sure to take a look at our news section for all the press coverage we've had from major news outlets.

The other major activity I've been more involved in is a local Spanish Conversation Group via Meetup.com. It's a once a week activity that helps me not forget too much Spanish...

My parents are still here in San Ramon (East Bay) and I check in with them on a regular basis. We visited Kau'ai in March of this year (see the Photo Album Viewer linked on the side.) And there's always the occasional trip into SF or Napa, or elsewhere down or up the scenic Highway 1.

On the technology side for me, I still have an iPhone. I did upgrade to the 3G last year, but due to the high upgrade cost this year, I have no plans to get the 3G[S] (someone at my office said that name reminded them of the Apple IIgs.) Nonetheless, in the coming month or so I think I'll upgrade my first generation MacBook to one of the new 15" MacBook Pros. I also got a TiVo earlier this year; that thing is much better than the Comcast DVR ... and cheaper in the long-run!

I'll try to put a few brief posts on the site as the year progresses so I don't procrastinate in providing a full update. I'll probably update the photo album viewer most often... at least I hope to! Happy rest of 2009!

30 May 2009

Odd signs

Watch out... there could be a disaster in replacing the water bottle.

Hmmm... what am I supposed to do in this case if I see this?

21 February 2008

Hello in 2008

I'm still working (and living) in Mountain View, California (home of Google) at the same startup. I've recently hit my one year anniversary at the company, and we keep growing stronger and stronger. I started early; now we're nearly at 50 employees. From my initial title of Advertising Associate, my duties at the company have become more and more varied. That job title no longer accurately reflects everything I do at my company...I manage Desktop/End-User Technical Support, maintain the telephone PBX system, as well as deal with international advertisers in Australia, Italy, France, Spain, and other countries. And that's a real high level overview of my duties of my busy job! (For that, I really do use my iPhone to keep in touch!)

In fact, our company was recently featured in the New York Times. We've got other good press, including past articles in the Wall Street Journal and San Francisco Chronicle.

My parents also sold their home in Farmington Hills last May in a record 7 days. They soon moved out to California, and are now in the east San Francisco Bay suburb of San Ramon. My mom still continues with tutoring students (though working with less) while my dad substitutes (like before) in the local school district. I'm about 40 miles away from them -- it's a 45 minute jaunt by freeway. As long as I'm not driving during rush hour.

I was back in Michigan last May to help my parents pack up. I haven't been back since. It's especially nice not having to deal with the harsh, snowy, cold, winters. I've heard and read that the Michigan economy, unfortunately, is still having a very trying time. Things aren't perfect in California now either, but I am happy to experience a different economic climate out here.

Over the holidays, however, as a family we went to Vegas (I put in 25 cents and doubled my money) and visited some family we haven't seen in eons in Southern California. Though it was a whirlwind trip, it taught me a drive on I-5 isn't really that exciting and I see why most folks prefer to fly...though it was a good thing to do once. I've still never been cross-country by car...

In terms of my Spanish -- well, I use it a bit at work but not enough to keep it up. I've gotten involved with a local Meetup.com group to initiate conversation hours at a local coffee shop. It's really been a wonderful opportunity in 2008 to meet new people and speak Spanish.

Overall, reflecting over the past year, I've had quite an experience. My first full time job, the first time living out of Michigan for a truly extended period of time, and many other firsts. For those that aren't local, feel free to give me a buzz if you're ever in the area! A belated Happy 2008!

04 March 2007

Hello from Mountain View, California

It's been so long since I've written. And so much has changed. I now live in Mountain View, California (same city that Google is located in.) I have a new job with a small Silicon Valley startup as an Advertising Associate (more on what I do below). And this weekend, even though I've been in my apartment for about a month, I have finally finished putting everything together and (generally) in its proper place. The place is generally finished with IKEA furniture (the store is only about 10 minutes away) and it's a small studio, but nevertheless, meets my needs.

For the people who follow my computer habits, I have a new laptop from work as well, so you know the tech startup I work for means business. As I mentioned, I work in advertising at small (so far) Silicon Valley startup.

We allow consumers to get a product by purchasing another product or trying a web based service. Instead of buying it directly from the merchant (which you may not want to do), you can take advantage of an Advertiser's offer and sign up for that. My company gets payment from the advertiser for sending along a lead to them, and then shares that revenue with the merchant. I work on the second half of the equation -- making sure everything with the advertiser part of the equation is in order, and from time to time creating new advertiser offers on our system. That's the best I can explain my work in a nutshell.

Who knows whether it will be lead into a future career direction. Many of you might be asking where my Spanish language skills come in. In reality, the company already has some international advertisers, and they want me to help with both Latin America and Spain. Once that gets into full swing, things should really start getting interesting. And I'll again have more to write.

(Note that as of this writing a lot of the links to other pages on my site are out of date. I hope to be updating that in the next week or so.)

22 December 2006

December (graduate) update!

I'm back for a brief post and some pictures from graduation. All went well and had a lovely party after commencement with family and friends.

I have had a few interviews with local and Northern California firms, nothing definite yet, but there are a couple of opportunities that will perhaps turn into something more definite.

Until I have a bit more time in the next few weeks, some parts (notably the About Me page) will remain out of date. I should be able to make the necessary changes soon. Some links will also be changing soon on the site, but the main URL (http://www.michael-smith.us) is not changing, due to some hosting changes I will need to make.

More to come next week.

23 October 2006

I'm back...for now!

Most of you know that I don't usually keep my promises on updating websites on time. No exception here. But at least I'm finally posting.

First half of the semester now over (and all the SpaceShare stuff finished at the end of July successfully, even signing up an event to use the system), and one of my minicourses (1 credit) has finished. 7 credits to go until December graduation...not very far away now. I'm busy looking for jobs, and had an interview with Google last week in Sales and Online Operations. We'll see how that goes, but it's one of many possibilities for the future with companies. At least they invited me to play pinball with them this week (no joke).

I've been on a buying spree (well, not quite that much perhaps), partially due to the recent Google checkout promotion ($10 off $30 purchases). A couple new pairs of headphones and headsets. Plus in August came a new 32" Samsung LCD TV. From Meijer came a $75 DVD+/-RW recorder for the TV. Those are the major things...

Hopefully I'll be back here within another month or so to update on my life from my Ann Arbor apartment...but I'm not going to promise anything...

01 August 2006

Subject: AirAlert - Spare the Air and Spa
Spare The Air Thursday July 20 - Free Commutes

20 July 2006

Subject: AirAlert - Spare the Air and Spa
Spare The Air Friday July 21 - Free Commutes