What’s all this FirmWarez stuff anyway?

(RIP Bob Pease…)

Let’s do it FAQ style:

1) Who the hell are you?

FirmWarez. 937804 – ???.

I’m an electronics engineer. With an MBA. Expertise is embedded systems and techpreneurial start-ups. Been doing this for a while. Have held titles such as “Firmware Engineer”, “VP of Engineering”, “Director of Engineering”.

I’ve done some serious work on serious projects, and try to maintain a high level of professionalism in all my work; that said, I can be obnoxious, foul mouthed, and downright goofy.

2) Why the made up name?

I’m a self identified hacker. It’s something we do. Deal with it. It allows me to do things and make commentary that might or might not be proper etiquette for who I am professionally. Like any other name it serves as a fairly unique identifier for me among a certain social group.

3) So you’re an engineer? What have you designed?

Toys. Consumer items. Industrial equipment. Automotive devices. Medical controllers. Military hardware. Badges and badge hacks.

4) Highlights of your career?

First time I saw something I designed for sale in a store. Working on equipment that makes peoples lives better. Designing part of a system demonstrated in front of the secretary of defense in 2010. Doing things other people say can’t be done.

5) Low points?

Accepting a job for someone who flagrantly violates the Fair Labor Standards Act and isn’t big enough of a fish to fry over it. Yeah, that cost me a few grand. Exempt != hourly labor. Another: finally getting value from the stock I got as options from a start-up. Ten years later when the company was bought and everyone got to cash out, it was worth less than when I signed on to the company. Of course all the guys up top with preferred stock made out like bandits. Lessons learned!

6) How long have you been doing this?

Long enough to see junk I’ve designed and/or written code for being sold as junk on e-bay.

7) Will you help me design/build/code x/y/z?

Yep. Pay me. I have kids to feed, a mortgage, and incomplete personal projects. That’s not to say I don’t do projects for phun, of course I do. But, if you want me to add value to your project, you need to add value to me. Note that value need not be cash, barter may be acceptable.

8) What are you, some kind of bookworm nerd?

Sometimes. I also like the outdoors, camping, guns, rally racing, overlanding, machine shop work, firefighting (I am part of the 80% — of firefighters in the US that are volunteers), fun & spunky women.

Plenty of otaku nerd stuff too: EBM, anime, GITS, Gunsmith Cats, physics, Forteana, cryptozoology, analog synthesizers, rockets, lasers, robots, pwnies.

9) What’s with all the DEFCON references on your site?


DEFCON. Best damn hacker con on the planet. Thanks DT!

10) Why do you spell “fun” with a “ph”?

Really? Gimme a break…

11) Aren’t hackers evil?

No.

“We watch over you while you sleep.”

Well, not quite. We design your toys and your tools. We maintain your web pages, we answer your tech questions, we develop the machines that keep you alive in the emergency room. We made the internet and the information revolution happen. We’re employed by big companies, small companies, the military, and all sorts of government agencies you don’t even know about.

We’re often the guys behind the good guys, providing them tech, tools, intel and security. We do public things, and very secret things. This is our world now. We’re glad you are enjoying it.

Want to know more?

Shoot me an e-mail: firmwarez AT where-do-you-think.com. Frakking spam.

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