Alan Porter's minimal net presence

Yearbook - a brief history of me

1968 Alan was born, much to the delight of the world.
Lived in Columbus, Georgia.
1969 Lived in Columbus, Georgia.
1970 Lived in Columbus, Georgia.
Learned to walk, leaving a "trail" of poops behind me.
1971 Lived in Columbus, Georgia.
Pretended that the tree in our yard was a helicopter.
1972 Moved to Griffin, Georgia.
1973 I cried when my mom took me to kindergarten.
I wanted a Winnebago camper toy for Christmas (and I got it).
1974 Moved to Clemmons, North Carolina.
Attended kindergarten at Clemmons Baptist Church.
Started 1st grade at Clemmons Elementary.
Teacher: Ms Beale.
Scott Smitherman moved in next door.
1975 2nd grade at Clemmons Elementary.
Teacher: Ms Lawson.
My teacher sat me in the hallway because I was easily distracted.
1976 3rd grade at Clemmons Elementary.
Teacher: Ms Rabb.
Standardized tests showed that I was bored, so I was moved to a "gifted" class.
1977 4th grade at Lewisville Elementary.
Teacher: Ms Bradshaw.
Started the "Gifted and Talented" program.
I broke my foot while jumping down some stairs (Scott pushed me).
1978 5th grade at Brown Middle School.
Teacher: Ms Lewis.
I signed up for band -- I took the drums because it was easy.
1979 6th grade at Brown Middle School.
Teacher: Ms Bradshaw (again).
I wished that I had taken the flute, much easier to carry than a drum.
1980 7th grade at Southwest Junior High.
Scott Smitherman moved away.
Ricky Kessinger moved in across the street.
I decided that I had no musical talent, so I dropped band class.
1981 8th grade at Southwest Junior High.
Won the school science fair ("Does Mr Clean Really Clean?").
My friend Greg Reid introduced me to the Apple II computers at the library.
1982 Freshman year at Kennedy High School.
Ricky's mom drove us to school, on the other side of town.
My friend Tim Hudson committed suicide.
1983 Sophomore year at Kennedy High School.
Spent a great deal of time in the library, using the Apple II computers.
1984 Junior year at West Forsyth High School.
Won 1st place in the Forsyth County "Computer Cup" Challenge.
Got my driver's license.
Rode to school each day with Ricky Kessinger.
On weekends, cruised Stratford Road with Ricky.
1985 Teresa King was my first steady girlfriend.
Senior year at West Forsyth High School.
Rode to school with Greg Reid and Michael Steele.
My study hall teacher let me play hooky for the whole year.
1986 My design was chosen for the high school year book (Crayola crayon box).
Graduated from High School.
Worked over the summer at Burger King.
Started at NC State University in Mechanical Engineering.
Roomed with Michael Steele.
Discovered the Internet (e-mail, usenet news, all text-based).
1987 Survived Freshman year at NCSU.
Worked over the summer at McDonald's and Piece Goods Shops.
Bought an Atari 800XL and an external floppy drive.
Moved to Alexander International dorm.
Roomed with Armando Pizzoni (from Italy).
1988 Met Foong in February, spent lots of time together.
Worked over the summer at Wachovia bank.
Moved to South Hall, roomed with Scott Stonefield.
Participated in Computer and Technology Theme Program.
Started using Unix-based computers.
1989 I spent the summer working at Jepson Burns, airplane seat manufacturer.
Foong graduated in the summer and moved back to Malaysia.
I moved into a single room in South Hall.
Decided to get a minor degree in Computer Science.
Sold my Atari 800XL and bought an Amiga 500.
1990 Spent the summer co-op'ing for Nortel.
I continued to live in the single room in South Hall.
Played multi-player war games on our dorm's computer system.
John Vestal and Lowell Speight tried to "convert" me to country music.
1991 Sold my Amiga 500 and bought a '286 PC (pieced together).
I graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.
I visited Malaysia for the first time.
Moved into an apartment with John Vestal and Rusty Soots.
Got my ham radio license (KD4DNU).
Started working at Nortel.
Bought a new Ford Probe.
1992 Went to England for six months to work on a Nortel project.
Bought a '286 laptop PC to use in England.
My room-mates visited me in May, and we had a great time in Wales.
Came home to find that my room-mates had trashed the apartment.
Sold my '286 laptop and bought a '386 computer, installed Linux (before SLS, Slackware or Debian).
Joined a new group at Nortel testing a poorly-designed ACD system.
My friend David Robinson helped me keep my sanity in that group.
1993 Second trip to Malaysia, asked Foong to marry me (she said "yes").
Moved to Charlottesville to work with my friend Patrick at GE Fanuc.
Patrick and I shared an apartment as well.
The engineers at GE Fanuc became very close friends.
1994 Third trip to Malaysia, to bring Foong back with me.
I took a new job at Chickway in High Point, NC.
Foong joined me in High Point, and we got married.
I traveled to Canada a lot for work.
1995 I became the lead engineer for the "touch screen" product at Chickway.
I went on 13 trips to chicken plants to install touch screens.
Foong's mom visited us and we went to New York.
We bought our first house, and watched it being built.
Foong left me alone for a month while she went to Malaysia.
I bought a dog (Maggie) while she was gone.
It snowed that winter (Maggie loved the snow).
1996 I went to Germany (without Foong, just the boys) for vacation.
I interviewed at Ericsson, but did not get an offer.
Foong and I moved back to Raleigh.
I started working at A4 Health Systems.
I made plans to go back to NC State for a masters degree.
1997 I started graduate school at NC State.
Spring class at NCSU: Algorithms.
We went to Germany/France/Holland for vacation.
Summer class at NCSU: Operating Systems.
We bought a house in Cary.
Fall class at NCSU: Java, Data Structures.
I quit my job at A4 to do some contract work with my friend Robert Ryals.
1998 Boring contract work at Nortel doing database programming.
Spring classes at NCSU: OO Systems, Real Time Systems.
Vacation in San Francisco.
I started working at Ericsson.
Summer class at NCSU: Computer Architecture.
We went to Ottawa for Labor Day weekend.
Fall class at NCSU: Human Factors.
Joined the Triangle Amateur Robotics club.
1999 I wrote a real time operating system (called Presto).
Spring class at NCSU: Computer Networks.
I finished my first project at Ericsson, an FM-radio/phone prototype.
We went to Connecticut for a robotics contest.
Vacation in Malaysia.
Summer "video class" at NCSU: Compilers (put me to sleep, so I dropped it).
We went to Boston for Labor Day weekend.
Fall class at NCSU: Wireless Communication.
2000 Spring class at NCSU: Internet Protocols (dropped to go work in Sweden).
I spent two months in Sweden working with the WAP team.
Foong's sister visited us from China, so we all went to Disney World.
Fall class at NCSU: Network Security.
We found out that we were going to have a baby.
I graduated from NCSU, with a Master of Computer Science degree.
2001 My second project at Ericsson was cancelled (an instant messaging phone).
We moved to Singapore so I could work at Ericsson's Cyberlab.
Audrey was born on July 4th.
Wrote an article for Dr Dobb's Journal (not published yet).
2002 Budget cuts at our Singapore office, so we moved back to the US.
Last-minute vacation in Shanghai.
My company changed to Sony Ericsson, a 50-50 joint venture.
Started working on a mainstream phone for the CDMA market.
Bought a house in Cary.
Sydney was born on November 23rd.
2003 I was laid off from Sony Ericsson, spent next 9 months looking for work.
Met lots of other job hunters, David Robinson became my job-hunting buddy.
I spent some time making my "Presto" RTOS more robust.
I formed Cape Fear Scientific, Foong formed Park York International.
Daryl Moore let me fly his aerobatic plane over rural North Carolina.
2004 My article was finally published in Dr Dobb's Journal (February issue).
I started working at TMIO, which I affectionately call "the oven place".
I immediately recruited my friend Robert Ryals to join me at TMIO.
Foong and the girls went to Malaysia for 7 weeks, I joined them for 2 weeks.
I abandoned Microsoft Windows completely and switched 100% to Linux.
Foong and I celebrated our 10th anniversary with a hot air balloon ride.
I bought a new Mazda 3s, and I donated my '91 Ford Probe to charity.
2005 I went to Las Vegas to show the TMIO oven at the Consumer Electronics Show.
As the oven project progressed, I learned a lot about networking.
We went to Montreal and Quebec City for vacation.
I started taking flying lessons at the Wings of Carolina flying club.
I had surgery on my eye to fix a blocked tear duct.
2006 TMIO started shipping ovens.
Foong and the girls went to Malaysia for 8 weeks.
Sentosa Corporation opened for business.
I completed my private pilot's license in September.
I discovered geocaching.
With the TMIO project completed, I moved to Tekelec.
2007 Attended Geo-Woodstock, just as my interest in geocaching was developing.
The "summer of toys": our family received a new (old) jet ski.
Vacation in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong.
2008 Found 500 geocaches in 500 days.
Bought an Asus EeePC, the first "netbook" (before they were cool).
Spring vacation in Washington DC.
Elected to the Triangle Linux Users Group steering committee.
Foong broke her leg while riding a bike, we spent the summer healing.
Vacation at Disney World in Florida.
2009 The year of "trying new things online": paperless banking, twitter, facebook, others.
Bought an Apple iPhone and a Mac Mini, wrote my first iPhone app.
Three-week vacation in Malaysia.
Attended Hack-In-the-Box in Kuala Lumpur.
Joined YMCA "Indian" Princesses with Sydney.
2010 Took Sydney to "Spring Outing" with her Indian Princess tribe.
Vacation in New York City.
We saw the Space Shuttle Atlantis launch (STS-132).
Foong's sister visited us for three weeks, and we had a great adventure.
I moved to a new group at Tekelec, doing web applications.
Some friends and I launched a "near space" balloon to 120,000 feet.
2011 The girls and I built some projects using an Arduino microcontroller.
Vacation with Mimi and Pops in Hawaii.
Summer trip to Asheboro, fishing and camping with friends, and the zoo.
After 16 years with our family, our dog Maggie passed away.
Audrey and I got to see President Obama when he came to NC State.
I got a Kindle e-book reader, and I started reading a lot more.
Audrey and I built an Arduino project to monitor our hermit crabs.
We finished off the year with a trip to Hong Kong and Macau (to be continued in 2013).
2012 We started the new year with a trip to Malaysia and China.
Wrote an iPhone app for a friend. It's called "Three Wishes for a Meaningful Life".
Built more Arduino projects: a garage door monitor and a stoplight Halloween costume.
Read the Harry Potter books, visited Universal Studios, dressed as Harry for Halloween.
Winter trip to Washington DC.
2013 Bought a MacBook Pro, my first non-Linux "primary" computer since 2004.
Spring vacation at Colonial Williamsburg.
Took the family to see a real rock concert, Rush.
Summer road trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto.
Oracle bought Tekelec.
2014 Went skiing in the mountains of NC.
Tinkered with home projects using a Raspberry Pi.
Attended CocoaConf (Apple developers' conference).
Summer vacation in Philadephia and Boston.
Started running before work every morning.
Started playing ukulele, played at IBMA Wide Open Bluegrass open mic.
Fall vacation at the NC Outer Banks.
Left Tekelec (after 8 years) to join Lancope.
2015 Learned cloud/web programming, Java, REST.
Bought an Asus laptop to return to Linux as my primary OS.
Studied digital music production using open source tools.
Vacation in Hilton Head Island with my brother and extended family.
Christmas vacation in Malaysia: Penang, rafting, Chee-Kong's wedding.
2016 Cisco bought Lancope.
Summer vacation in London and Paris.
New job at BitSight Technologies.
2017 New electric car: Chevy Volt.
Bean, the pineapple conure, moved in with us.
Both girls started attending the same high school.
New Lenovo Thinkpad laptop (running Linux, obviously).
2018 Started taking violin lessons.
Audrey went to Europe with her school chorus.
Audrey went to NC Governor's School.
My sister-in-law and nephew spent the summer with us.
Summer vacation in Yellowstone and surrounding Wyoming.
I celebrated my 50th birthday.
2019 Audrey and Sydney got a new (old) car.
Sydney worked as an intern at a small film production company.
Summer vacation in California: San Francisco, Yosemite, Los Angeles.
Audrey started college at UNC in Chapel Hill.
I learned how to ride a unicycle.
2020 We planned to go to China and Malaysia in the spring, canceled due to "COVID-19".
Covid... ugh... we stayed home a lot.
I "got my act together" financially, consolidating mutual funds.
2021 I bought a used electric guitar, because it looked like a lot of fun to play.
2022 I started taking self-paced online guitar lessons At "Justin Guitar".
I attended eight concerts at Walnut Creek "Music Park" (Amphitheater).
We planned a trip to Puerto Rico, but it was canceled due to Hurricane Fiona.

The best is yet to come...
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