My avatar and virtual persona I write a blog called mixing realities over at http://www.thoughtplasma.com/. I am very interested in the commerce side of SL and you often find me suited up in SL. I can often be found at Slackstreet near Multiverse Records where I work for Slackstreet Virtual and Multiverse Records. I love music and enjoy what we are trying to achieve at MVR where we are "prototyping the future of music" -- http://www.multiverserecords.com. If you are a musician and hang out in world or would like to perform in SL drop me a line at thought(at)multiverserecords.com Looking for live music in Second Life? Come check out the free Multiverse Mondays shows every Monday at 9 PM SL time (Pacific) on the Multiverse Waterfront Stage, located on the campus of Multiverse HQ on the Slackstreet/Shalida sim border, right across the water from the brand new Hipcast Conference and Expo Center. Click here for a map.
Recently participated in the Bar Camp in Second Life and did a presentation on 3D data visualization. I am very keen on how we can leverage SL and do overlays of data in relation to that environment. I am working with Machinima as well and trying to get the SL City Stages video put together, I am sorry ended up with about 20 Gigs of video and only a small part is usable. I am looking at using Frapers instead of the built in tools. I own a little island where I some times run away and build on or practice my scripting. I am a fairly new comer but I have lots of plans and have meet some really great people I look forward to SLCC where I can meet some of you face to face and avatar to avatar at the same time.
Check out my pix- http://www.flickr.com/photos/thoughtplasma/
Hello my name is John Anthony Hartman I am very happily married with a new baby and I try and enjoy life to the fullest. I am a technology freak and an ubergeek. During the day I am the Technology Evangelist for a company in California, but I live in Portland . I write for various blogs and record podcasts in my spare time, I also love golf and Wifi. I am a big open source proponent and enjoy solving problems and digging into code. I have a deep and abiding sense that we should do right by the world and that is part of the reason I work for the company I do (ManyOne). If you have not you should read the Earth Charter it is a great guide for how to live in the world. I am a registered Independent who is socially liberal and financially conservative. I have traveled extensively in my life and this has given me a good perspective on how people are different and yet alike.
Born in the south I spent some time down there but I can’t imagine not living on the west coast, especially the North West. I love Portland but have spent some time in Seattle I really enjoyed my time there but hated the traffic. I now live in what we have nicknamed "Pleasantville", Sherwood is a wonderful suburb of Portland that in my youth I would never have imagined I would live in. However with a child on the way and gray sprinkling the sides of my head I have mellowed in my ways and this town suite’s me well. I was very fortunate to have family that owned a computer store in 1981 this kindled the spark that now burns through out my life. From desktop to server and all the topology in-between I have worked the full spectrum of the Information Technology department. Prior to this job I spent the last 5 years as a Network Engineer which is where I took refuge from the dot com bust. The following is something I wrote to the CTO of Many One when I found out about them and it is an excellent break down of my last 10 years.
"It has been my dream for over ten years ever since I walked through VR World and caught a glimpse of what might be. At that point already having read Reinhold and following Lanier’s concept into the virtual spaces of tomorrow I started envisioning the UI that could be. I rendered and modeled my way into some little gigs and actually had clients who were very interested in the concept of location based entertainment.
So with hope and excitement I headed out to California to this conference put on by Meckler Media ready to strike. My head was spinning after the first day of hardware and software options. I still have the Virtual IO glasses I bought. Walking through the conference hall I stopped and waited in a long line to sit inside an F18 hornet simulator pitching and rolling on hydraulic arm shooting at the bad guys until I crashed into the ground. Then moving on to playing a video game where you strap into a set of spinning rings, remember Lawnmower Man, you used you body to guide your space craft across the desert planet and fired at the bug aliens, I was blown away. 3D stereoscopic display with my physical movement actually translated into the game awesome!
After stepping off this game I immediately wanting to purchase both units on the spot but then the cold reality started to creep in. The F18 Hornet simulators were hundreds of thousands of dollars and then you had to buy the control system and oh buy the way a 3 unit minimum was required for purchase. I knew that my clients did not have that kind of budget and saw my VR consulting days slipping away.
That night I sat and had a drink at the hotel I was staying at right near the convention and meet up with a lawyer who was at the show as well. We started talking about the show and I mentioned the spinning ring game and how great I thought it was. He proceeded to crush my dreams even more by pointing out the legal liabilities involved with this. The step coming out of the unit is too height and will get you sued in a heart beat as soon as some one falls. He also pointed out that the spinning actually affects your balance and the effect is like drinking two glasses of alcohol so if this establishment sold liquor then the liability for DUI is high.
Distraught I took my World Tool Kit and Virtual IO glasses home and played around a bit. As soon as my clients heard the costs they immediately started looking for the exit. This killed my VR consulting right then and there with no clients and some cool toys I moved to my other main interest in those days this new thing called the Internet.
I had been doing BBS for years, hell I remember my 300 baud modem days, but this was different. At one point in the mid 90’s I had 16 ISP’s at the same time trying them all out looking for the best one. Sixteen ISP’s got a little expensive and the lucrative VR trade had been a pan full of fools gold so I decided to go back to school and at night do something that would not take up to much gray matter, like work at a video store.
So with my new job at Hollywood Video I embarked on my quest to finish my degree. After working at the store for less than a week my manager informed me that I had a job interview lined up at the corporate headquarters. I had fixed more computer issues in four days than they had resolved in four months and so he had mentioned while at meeting there that he a computer wiz kid working for him and well they needed bright young yada yada… So the next day dressed to the nines I went in for my interview. I got the job at corporate and a mighty hefty raise however this required a 9-5 with 24 hour support leaving little time for school. The rest is as they say history. So having hooked up with Hollywood Video I then proceeded to get involved with Intel beta testing some of the first web servers.
I created one of what I have to guess were the first Intranets linking documents and forms; I seem to remember writing a search engine in Perl. As I sat working with this Star Gate server that you never closed the management console on, if you did you had to reboot because for some reason it would not launch with the HTTP daemons running, I had an epiphany about video on demand over the Internet.
I was supporting the Networks at the stores and testing the web while trying to convince management to create the relationships and data base to sell movies over the Internet. I was met with great skepticism when I suggested this concept of selling a video on demand over the net. "At 14.4 it would take forever to download a movie" they said. I tried in vein to convince them it would take them quite some time to digitize all this media and work out the contractual agreements with the studios etcetera and that by the time we were ready for market that the Internet would be much faster and bigger.
Alas in my youth I did not yet have the realization that one must wade through middle management and get to the real meat of a company or leap head first in the owner’s arms to actualize ones vision. So I floundered in Dilbertville with my gold mine collecting arsenic and resulting in only slag offerings from the lower entities in the corporate food chain. Business lesson number one learned I headed to Internet World to sit at the webmasters round table and caught a glimpse of the future.
Disheartened I left the company to go back to school. I was headed to Seattle to get my Multimedia design degree and from there to design the most amazing 3D interactive environments the world had ever seen. You see I had just discovered a new language called VRML at Internet World. WOW! An actual code for my vision, could it be true I joined Cybertown and was ready to roll.
At first life was grand I had clients left and right. I was taking the school by storm and all was right in the universe or so it seemed. Business lesson number two never let your partners control access to the clients, always be involved in meetings and keep your eyes on the ball. After learning, months after the fact, that one of my partners had pissed off all our high paying clients. I watched a steady income of 30 hours a week while I went to school dwindle to 3. I found my self in a very precarious situation. The other two partners had decided to move into another "marketing venture". Broke and still having real world bills from my previous life I came to point where the school would not allow me to return until I paid my back tuition.
Switching gears I formed my own consulting firm and moved back to Portland. I had quite a few clients but my main client made me a Y2K offer I could not refuse. So leaving the other clients on the back burner I traveled the country assuring the world was safe for four digits. Coding for two digits to save a few K unreal, I just saw a 120 GB hard drive for $59 but I digress. One thing lead to another a client whom I was doing work for benefits cut me off and another offer was made to have me come to work for the big client full time. So for the last 5 years I have been a cog in the corporate wheel. Doing things like building there Active Directory structure from the ground up, working with the FAA to run two systems in tandem for flight operations while getting the new system blessed by the feds and other things that I could go on adnausium about various projects and duties with my previous employer. They have 12 major companies and multiple subsidiaries everything from air craft to hazel nuts so it has always been very diverse. However I slowly shifted into the grind. One of my joys in all that was being on the Board of Directors of the Michael King Smith Kid’s Fund. We granted loans to Kids to start there own companies. I have always loved kids and even studied education early on in college and considered it as a career before the binary call of silicon got in my blood.
I had settled into the hum drum when what should I come across but ManyOne. All the old feeling immediately rushed to the surface and I realized what am I doing? My quest to try and find the answer as to how we were going to move beyond the flat world interfaces had been locked in some unexciting corporate comma. I had settled but it seems that the passion was still burning coals just waiting to be stoked by the winds of change. With ManyOnes philosophy of social awareness and dedication to education as well as the universal browser and other media concepts everything just seems right. I do not know how you will take this , as a rant or a testament but I felt this was a quintessential moment in my life and if I did not express myself in great detail that I would forever regret it."
So that’s it I now work for ManyOne doing all sorts of cool things like helping to design our system to do data visualization to assist with disaster relief and reconstruction, using ManyOne’s Digital Earth and 3D browser. I am also doing allot of other very cool things I can not go into yet, but to give an Idea I will quote the ManyOne web sites future section.
"Imagine an Internet experience that lets you fly over an accurate, photo realistic virtual Earth to:
Visit San Francisco to plan your next vacation or business trip, switching between street maps, satellite views, and pointers to local attractions.
Fly to Mars to explore the Valles Marineris canyon system, over 2486 miles long and up to 5 miles deep.
View the effects of the Asian tsunami — before and after images of the area hit by the tidal wave and future images that track the rebuilding efforts.
Imagine flying through the human body to:
Learn how your heart works.
Explore the brain, even the infrastructure of a memory.
See a blood cell re-oxygenate as it travels through the capillaries in the lungs.
Every stop in your voyage will be accompanied by the web’s best information, relevant to your travels.
This is the Digital Universe, powered by ManyOne."
I enjoy writing as you might be able to tell by the length of this bio and hope you enjoy it as well.
"As a writer one must experience moments of utter frustration and cathartic moments of bliss." — John Anthony Hartman