By Adam Doud | September 1, 2013 2:02 AM
Pocketnow Insider isn’t just about video. It’s a collection of posts that offers a glimpse behind the scenes of Pocketnow – and a brief look into the lives of the people behind it. This new recurring text series offers you the opportunity to get to know our editors better, outside the scope of their work here on the site.
Thus far, we have seen the fly-by-night life of Jaime Rivera, the necessarily high-tech life of Joe Levi, and we learned the background of mystery man Stephen Schenck. Before that we got to know the many faces of Michael Fisher, the busy and exciting life of Adam Z. Lein, the life story of Managing Editor Anton D. Nagy, and the self-proclaimed “uneventful life” of Taylor Martin.
For our eighth installment of this series, we’re turning our attention to Contributing Editor, Adam Doud. You’ll find out about his background, and how he got to where he is today – and a bit about his duties here on Pocketnow as well. We hope you enjoy this new series documenting the lives of the people who keep the site running!
When I originally took pen to paper to write this bio I wrote 1500 fantastic words about how I came to be the mobile technology dude I am today. I wrote about my first computer, my first internet experience, etc, but I then realized I was missing the point. This is the Pocketnow INSIDER. This is not about my life with tech. This is about my life. So here we go with take two.
First a disclaimer – my life is boring. Really boring. I’ve had three government workers file for early retirement just from reading my boring emails and facebook updates. I have not worked with topless models, nor hob-knobbed with celebrities while toting MS credentials, nor ever appeared on TV – well except once.
I’ve lived all my life in the Chicagoland area and, up until 2 years ago, I lived in the same neighborhood for 34 years. I’ve been out of the country exactly once – a day trip to Baja Mexico when I was 12 or so. I’m talking mondo vanilla. But things picked up around college or so. So let’s start there.
I graduated college on the 5-year plan, having changed my major 3 times. My first major was Criminal Justice. I quickly turned off of that field of study because I realized two things – 1. Working in a law enforcement capacity was way too political for me, and 2. When push came to shove, you did NOT want me behind the M16.
My next major was music. I had recently formed a band for which I was playing bass and singing. So I figured, “Hey, I know this music stuff, so that’s what I’ll do.” As it turns out though, music went a lot deeper than just playing it. You had to be really, really good at it too. I wasn’t, so I moved on.
Finally, I settled upon my true extroverted calling – Speech and Performing Arts – aka, the closest thing my Alma Mater offered to a Theatre Degree. I really found my calling behind the scenes (though I did take to the stage a few times as well) as a Master Electrician for my school’s theatre for two years. It was a great time of spotlights and programming and learning about mixing, and lighting.
But then my college advisor informed me that, in order to graduate, I needed a minor. Oh. Crap.
So I went with Criminal Justice. I had already taken a few classes, so I had the credits. I used them. On a side note, during my senior year at a Christmas party, my aunt asked me what degree I was graduating with and I said “Speech and Performing Arts, with a minor in Criminal Justice.” When asked when I would do with that (as a career) I responded simply with “Probably something in computers”
Also, in college, I met my wife online – before it became cool to do so. It’s rather a long story involving chain letters, insults, trash talk and the other foundations of a solid relationship. After a few months, it got tedious so we both turned down our a-hole meters and after a while of exchanging emails that didn’t relate how much each of us sucked, we decided to meet up. Again, making an online connection IRL before there was the term “IRL”
Seven years later, we got married. I have no idea why she ever said yes, but here we are with two great kids, a house and a dog – the American Dream!
As I mentioned before, I was in a band. Money Grubbing Bastards was a heavy metal band in which I played bass and sang. I assembled a great group of musicians and we played all over Chicago for about 12 years. Eventually we all went our separate ways, but I still play every now and then and I still love the two CD’s we made.
Music and theater both helped me develop talents with sound editing. I love cutting sounds together, shortening songs, and sometimes making mashups. I’ve even been known to still record a song or two for giggles.
I’m a huge sports nut. Baseball and Ice Hockey are my sports of choice. More specifically, the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Blackhawks are outlets for love and stress. My original twitter account was dedicated to the Chicago Cubs, and later the Blackhawks. It’s not difficult to imagine a Cubs fan also being a webOS fan. Both are waiting for something that will likely never happen, yet both brim with enough optimism to make a kindergarten teacher vomit.
I’m also an avid geocacher. Geocaching pretty much occupies all my spare time when I’m not working (or sometimes when I am- shhh) I’m always planning cache runs, trips, working on puzzle caches, and the like. As of this writing, I’ve found around 4,000 or so, and hidden about 100 – mostly puzzle caches, because I have a twisted mind.
It’s not uncommon for me to suddenly drop everything and dash out the door in search of an elusive FTF or First to Find. Being the first to find a geocache is a bit of a badge of honor for geocachers, and for many an obsession even greater than the hobby itself. Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time to go geocaching as I used to, because now I work for this darn website keeps giving me stuff to write about. Anyway…
During and after college, I worked a number of jobs as most of us do – construction, various retail “opportunities” and most notably I worked for 10 years at a web design firm. Once college was over, the web design company didn’t have enough business to keep me full time, so I had to find my true calling – technical support.
I started off working for a dial-up ISP. I found that I was very good at being a technical supporter. I could explain complicated technical terms simply for the laymen and I had a knack for troubleshooting and diagnosing. Two years later, my company sold their ISP business to China, and I found myself at my current home, still working in Tech Support, but this time for a school.
During my interview in 2005 I was asked “How can you tell what version of Internet Explorer someone is using?” And I responded, “Would you like the easy way or the hard way?”
Intrigued, they responded with “Both.”
So I told them, “Well, the easy way is to click on Help -> About Internet Explorer. The hard way is to have them go into Internet Options, either through Tools, or via the Control Panel and have them read the names of the tabs.”
“How does that help you?” they asked.
“Well, in Internet Explorer 4, there is a “Connection” tab as opposed to “Connections” which didn’t come around until IE 5, and Internet Explorer 6 has a Privacy tab. So if they say “Privacy”, it’s 6. If they don’t, but they say “Connections” it’s 5, and it they say “Connection” it’s 4.
They responded with “When can you start?”
So now I work in technical support for an online university. We actually have a bunch of schools – online and brick and mortar. So, that’s a lot of support. One day, I hope to transition out of this life and into writing full time, but that’s more of a long term plan. *Fingers crossed* In the meantime, it pays the bills, and unnecessarily keeps me out of the PocketNow weekly. *Sad Face*
What got me into mobile technology in general is a bit of an interesting story. I’ve actually already told it once, but I’ll give you a recap.
A long time ago, I decided I wanted a phone with a full qwerty keyboard and mp3 playing capability. I ended up with a taco.
Years later, I discovered Palm. Years after that, I discovered webOS and I fell in love. I started up a twitter account for all things webOS, because I like to keep my twitter life compartmentalized. I took on the name DeadTechnology as a joke. At the time, an iPhone fanboy friend of mine would mockingly mutter “I have dead technology” whenever webOS or the Palm Pre was mentioned. Turns out it was more prophetic than we all hoped, but the name stuck.
Over the years, I became somewhat of a webOS expert, or go-to guy. I even found myself on a twitter list entitled “Prominent members of the webOS community” – “Prominent”?!?! Alrighty.
I was eventually made a “Veer Peer”. As a veer peer, I was given a veer and told to go forth and tweet/blog/video about it. So I did. Then I became a webOS Ambassador. As a webOS ambassador it was my job to arrange monthly meetups for my local Chicago webOS community – all 20 of us. So I did. And we still meet to this day. #NoOneSaidStop
I have met some fabulous people through that ambassadorship, and through webOS, and since through Pocketnow. None of those people will get me into nightclubs any faster, but they’re all great people and I’m better for knowing them. It is my hope that my journey which began with a taco phone can eventually lead me to hanging up my tech support headset and writing about technology full time.
For now, life keeps me happy and geeky, so I can’t complain. Unless it’s about mobile tech. Because I do that. A lot.