Was introduced to BASIC at 13 while at the Talcott Mountain Science Center in Avon, Connecticut, and used it on a mini-mainframe to code an object to RA/Dec lookup tool for the centers' Tinsley telescope. The paper tape program is still around somewhere.
Grew tired of being told to "wait for the class" and quit high school for a term at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting
Was recruited by C.S.B. Asst. Director Bill "Billy Bones" Pearson for Tom Kelly's WSPR-AM
Moved to Dan Hayden's SuperStar Network killer WHCN-Hartford
WHCN-FM Hartford: The oldest continuously operating commercial FM in the world (beginning May 13th 1939). 105.9MHz from transmitters originally constructed by the Army Corps of engineers on Meridan Mountain, Meridan Connecticut by the legendary Col. ArmstrongHere's how to get a gig: duplicated Morning Guy Eddie Haskel's show on a radio shack reel to reel, sent the tape to Haskel, Eddie said: "There's something about your demo that I like" <g>Here's how to keep any gig
WHCN-FM Hartford: The oldest continuously operating commercial FM in the world (beginning May 13th 1939). 105.9MHz from transmitters originally constructed by the Army Corps of engineers on Meridan Mountain, Meridan Connecticut by the legendary Col. Armstrong
Here's how to get a gig: duplicated Morning Guy Eddie Haskel's show on a radio shack reel to reel, sent the tape to Haskel, Eddie said: "There's something about your demo that I like" <g>
Here's how to keep any gig
Created a Grateful Dead feature and went on the road ... till "In the Dark" hit big and it all got too easy.
Inspired by Gordon Weingarth's stories of progressive AOR, dove off the deep end and moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado to experience one of the last remaining free-formers: Roger Mayer's KFMU ... learned why format radio took over and designed one for them
Back to WHCN as Creative Director/Voice/Historian.
Won awards for Copywriting (commercial and promotional), Production (analog and digital) and Voicing
While producing the 220 hour 20th anniversary feature, met former WHCN Disc Jockey Mitch Kapor and got the advice that the smartest path to a career in computers was to forget Microsoft and start working with Apple.
"Friendly Uncle Mitch" was/is a very smart guy (after all, after teaching himself BASIC on a Radio Shack TRS-80 he founded Lotus Corp and created Lotus123) but, with sincere appreciation for his guidance, focusing on the platform where his real money was made seemed the better tactic <g>
Mitch & Smith, Radio to Software. Note that the audio is from a phoner used for bites, hence it does not have a natural conversational feel; it was not intended for airing as-is.
Click here to play
Figured out dBase3 on an XT and built WHCN & WZLX Listener Database Marketing systems.
Moved to Boston as Production Director of WZLX and used various advertising tricks to convince Marketing genius Samantha Ryan (now of Warner Brothers Games, not the Porn star ;0) to marry him
Was appointed Vice President of Creative Services for Larry Lakoduk's MediaCom International Consultancy, focused on Privatization of money-losing governmental broadcast groups.
Knowing that American Broadcast regulation changes would soon mean multistation ownership, went out and got the actual experience before the trend by serving as SVP Creative Services of the eleven station Singapore Broadcasting Corporation.
Because that group was using fully-computerized production and sequenced playback years before the same technology was even considered in the United States, it sparked a "free time" dedication to making software fitting industry-specific needs.
Sat on the Singapore Advertising Standards Authority Board (Odd for an American, but government work can be unconventional).
Returned to Boston to create powerful new Database Marketing software with the up-and-coming Win32
Kept Broadcast Industry street-cred by doing television network voicings and started a 9 year run as voice of HBO/Cinemax (hence the reason this site was originally named what it is) while at the same time...
Joined "The Selector People" Radio Computing Services as Marketing Software Lead designing and developing "RCS Winner" the forerunner of the current PrizeWatch program (Winner was a full featured CRM, contest asset and presentation control system along with having the prize inventory control features of PrizeWatch ... eventually the Radio Industry may get back to hot promotion schedules and have time to "get" CRM and then PrizeWatch will hopefully evolve back to Winner's features)
Left the warm fog of San Fran for the cool drizzle of Seattle and joined Drugstore.com for three exciting years as Senior Software Developer (back-end processing and internal HIPAA compliant Pharmacy tools development where the real guts were, not the web front).
Just knowing that this .Net thing in Alpha was going to hit big, architected and developed a system merging DCOM, ActiveX, .Net AutoDeploy, advanced Imaging and Remoting and did the bicoastal release on the day .Net 1.0 went RTM. A Microsoft Trainer came over to see it and mentioned that "No one on campus has been able to get all those pieces to work together." Last report was that that system is still running... guess it could be called Mission Critical if one considers getting pharmaceuticals out to patients with no errors to be a critical mission.
Accepted CTO position for streaming media startup LakeView Software Bellevue/Philly. Learned a whole heck of a lot about media streaming/codec-ing, DirectX and UX... but mostly how when you have a full YouTube written before YouTube is a company you really should keep pushing your CEO to either alter current course or at least spin you off before you lose the tradewind. This bubble company cut a lot of new edges and paid nicely all around till it just got typically VP-topheavy.
Returned to Drugstore.com for another 2 years, focusing on leading the .Net migration (personally migrating from VB.Net to C#... the big picture was .Net so to make the C++ folks happier it was a minor thing), started being called the XML guru after becoming WebService integrator for drop shipping and designing and implementing full roundtrip mass-but-personalized email systems against local and remote DWH systems.
"Hand picked" by Kal Raman for the new education-commerce startup InfiLearn.com (now publically GlobalScholar.com - demo here). A great time for being back in the pits with some of old, highly respected genius-level DSCM innovators and to hook up with some new workaholics :)
Figured out the most cost effective ways to provide realtime advanced collaboration between users worldwide ... using Java6 and AS2 - Sorry MS ;-). Released front end Flash applications with audio and realtime one-to-one and one-to-one-many support including full whiteboarding and switched audio backed with WowzaMediaServer. Figured out Java<->WCF and then even JS/AJAX<->JAVA<->WCF communication techniques that even Wowza didn't know their Java could do. Never seemed to see his wife and young son but put out real releases that leapfrogged over all competitor products.
Not bad when your very first Java/AS release ever hits the spot of international multiuser happiness just 4 months after first seeing the two divergent IDEs... and gets shown center stage on TechCrunch :).
Bored again. After so many years of 80-100 hour weeks more than full of 72 hour days, took a few months off from Java, AScript, C# and the rest to read the 3 foot stack of Physics, Astrophysics, Celestial Mechanics, Astrobiology and Space Politics books that had been growing since the first Cassini pictures made it so clear that we really are just on a big floating, and delicate and vulnerable little ball. So long as there was team and project depending on smith those books would have to sit second fiddle to books on the minutia of the computer work ... finally it came time to throw them out or get to them and getting to them was the decision.
On leaving day Kal said that "The only way I'll let you go is wth the understanding that if you don't find a job in Space you have to come back to me" , so at least there was a possibility of living if Space ended up having no future :)
Tired of being accused of being Bill Gate's secret lover by ultra-geeks simply because of being really good at Windows, jumped back into 'nix via Ubuntu/Kubuntu/OpenSuse/Apache/MONO.
(Not overly amazed by the desktop options but as a serverside guy I'm liking what's now possible. It's not bad, not bad at all.)