Ideas, Tips, and Rants on Home Technology,
Future Trends, and whatever is on my mind.
Hi there and welcome to my Blog.
My name is Dave Hanford; I am the president and a founder of Harmony Solutions, LLC.
The past decade (plus) has been an exciting one for technology. I am delighted to be a part of it.
The next several paragraphs will tell the tale of my trek into home technologies.
I am the guy who my family and friends call when they are looking to buy a new computer, when their laptop suddenly stops communicating with their wireless network, or when their computer gives them some crazy error message they don't understand. With the blurred lines between home PC's and other home media (TV's, stereos, speakers, etc.), I have also become the "go to guy" for advice regarding consolidating remote controls or picking an MP3 player. Everybody has a home tech support person: a friend, a kid, a co-worker, or an overly friendly salesperson at their electronics store of choice. This is the story of how I came to expand my support to include more than my neighborhood.
After spending my early professional years in human resource management, I decided it was time for a change. Computers, software, and networking had always been a hobby and passion of mine (Starting with my trusty Commodore Vic20). The time eventually arrived when what I enjoy became what I do.
I started at the bottom as a PC technician for a small computer consulting firm, answering help desk calls and installing desktop systems all over the state of Texas. As my skill set grew, I moved into the roll of Network Engineer. In this position I was able to get my hands on all the latest and greatest technologies as I built large computer networks for companies and school districts.
After a few years of banging on boxes and crunching code, it was time to get back in touch with the human race... Management. The next several years played out like any "climbing the corporate ladder" movie. For me the climb would reach its pinnacle when I became national director of service for a billion dollar electronics and network solutions company.
In my position as director, I had a chance to see what all the major companies across the country were doing to make life easier and work faster for their employees. This included the introduction of wireless networks, network attached storage, and voice over IP. It didn't take long to notice that these same technologies were starting to make their way into the home.
People at home started to have more then one PC, and they wanted to share files and printers. This required them to install networks. Then came the rocket fuel for home technologies: broadband internet. No more beeep, hissss, pop, bong every time a person got online. The internet became an integral part of every day life. With this bandwidth came the ability to download music and movies, not to mention unlimited long distance calling for a flat fee.... take that Ma Bell.
With all of these corporate technologies moving into the home, one piece was missing: No IT department. Where is your help desk when the network goes down? Who is going to handle making all of the different pieces talk to each other? Heaven forbid that a new technology come out to add to the already complex nest of wires under the desk.
This is what launched me out from behind my director's desk. I may not have had a red cape or the kung fu to thwart a zombie onslaught, but I was hell bent on making home technologies easier to use and more fun for the non-uber-geek.
This mission included the creation of several software applications to bring disparate home technologies together in a simple to use, family-friendly environment. However, even with simple software solutions, there were still many unanswered questions coming from friends, family, neighbors, and random people in the grocery store. How do I plug this in? Which one of these should I buy? I bought this a few minutes ago; and now it will not work with this new format, now what?
I certainly believe one person can make a difference, one person at a time. I also believe that if that one person with something to say has a megaphone, he can reach a lot of people much faster. My megaphone of choice is the internet. I hope to help those masses that love the benefits of technology but bristle at the thought of reading manuals and sorting through all the techno hype.
This is the purpose of my blog.
Not only am I an avid user of technology, but also I am the sort of person who can't imagine spending tens of thousands of dollars to have someone do something for me that I could do using products straight off the shelf from my local retailer. (However, I do pay to have my lawn cut... everyone has their limits)
This blog will be a discussion of how, what, and why I do the things I do with home technologies. Topics will be anything from the best way to organize a music library to how to set up an audio/video distribution system using a home PC, iTunes, and a couple of cables.
As with any solution, there are a dozen different ways to get to the same goal. Each solution will have its own zealots, and every opinion will have a counter opinion. My blog is focused on the solutions that balance price, ease, and fun. Most importantly, these are the solutions I use in my own home, so my family, friends and I live with them every day. (and we like to have fun... anyone for a dance party?)
Take a stroll, read the tips, and let me know how you do it. Ask me about the stuff that you want to do that you haven't quite figured out yet. Together we can make some sense of all the hype, and perhaps get us all one step closer to George, Jane, Elroy, and daughter Judy.
Thank you for stopping by.
Harmony Solutions LLC. Copyright 2009