Vocations in which I have engaged: Sound-board operator, typesetter, graphic designer, curriculum developer, imaging-center manager, professional granola maker, box-office manager, course manager, catalog manager, programmer, editor, conference planner, speaker, book-information expert, columnist, reporter, radio guest.
I was trained as a typesetter, one of the last such apprenticed in that profession, and have a degree in graphic design. I learned how to typeset and print on a letterpress in college, and in 2011 took a class to refresh and extend my knowledge. I worked on my elementary school, junior high, high school, and college newspapers, both as an editor and typesetter/graphic designer.
I'm a senior contributor to Macworld magazine. From 2000 to 2013, I wrote a column every two or four weeks for The Seattle Times about Apple stuff. From the 1990s to 2013, I wrote regularly at TidBITS, a Mac publication for which I was an editor and built the backend. For a decade, I wrote nearly daily at my own wireless data site, Wi-Fi Networking News. I published quite a bit at Ars Technica at times. Between 1998 and the late 20-oughties, I wrote at various points extensively for The New York Times, Wired, Popular Science, and Business 2.0. I have written something like 20 books, many of them in the Take Control ebook series produced by TidBITS Publishing, and all the rest by Peachpit Press. You may hear me at times on the radio: I regularly appear on APM’s Marketplace Tech Report for a few years, and have been a guest on All Things Considered, Science Friday, and To the Point. I worked for Amazon for six months in 1996–1997 and never regret having left when I did. I know more than most human beings on the planet about the vagaries of book data, such as page count and authoritative titles. My first computer was a 1979 OSI C1P. I love the smell of letterpress ink, looking at ladybird beetles, and eating goat-cheese fritters. There are probably other things I could tell you that would bore the pants off you. My old site is still reachable with outdated content at links like this and this, but I’m only maintaining it to avoid breaking a few useful static pages.