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About Tom Harrison aka Tomicles


More DevHouse Stuff

Tom Around the Net

 As one of the DevHouse organizers, I spend a lot of my time preparing for events and trying to keep others motivated to work on side projects that benefit our organization.  I also help get the organizers together on the weekends for mini hackathons to work on said side projects.  Our most recent side project was the development of our name badge system which has been a very useful tool at DevHouse.  To prepare for events I am usually to go to guy for figuring out what will be needed when and where.  I usually drive the trailer to the event with the other organizers and help with setup of the network, power and seating situations that may come up.  I spend some time during the events with Joel and others greeting people at the door to make sure things are running smoothly.  Once in a while my parents will let us use their house in Los Gatos.  Its an ideal summer location with a lot of out door space and a pool.  When I am not helping with DevHouse I spend my time working as an IT Consultant working mostly with Microsoft Networking and Linux stuff for small companies.  I am an avid cycler, both mountain and road and I really like sailing.  


My Primary Responsibilities:

  • Arrive Early with the Trailer (thanks to Sun Microsystems) packed with tables, chairs, power strips APs and routers.
  • Ensure network connectivity.  
    • We have toyed with many different forms of internet access sharing systems and have pretty much settled on having several Linksys WRT54GLs.  One is configured as a router and the others as additional access points.  At one event I had to re-crimp the coax cable feeding the cable modem and all issues went away.  These tools always live in my car.
    • We have used a custom built systems with a captive portal in the past, but found that it is way more complicated than the benefits that we received for having it.  The Linksys proved to be more reliable and a simpler solution.  People often also dont use our internet in favor of a more secure EVDO or 3G modem so the captive portal turned out to be a bad way to collect attendance information.  We now use our badge system to keep track of who attends.
    • At many of our locations, we don't make any network changes at all because we have been there before and the network setup is already adequate, we just show up and make sure that we can connect as expected.  These locations include Tom's house in Los Gatos, David's house in Cupertino, Sun Microsystems, and Sandbox Suites in SF.
    • I am to go-to guy during the event when we have network issues.  People come to me when the Internet seems to go down
  • Sometimes I get some free time to network with people at the event if everything is running smoothly.
  • Cleanup is easy now that we have the trailer. There is no longer multiple loading and unloading trips for the tables and chairs
    • Did I miss anything? Edit me!

What I do After a Dev House

  • We always have a meeting after cleanup with anyone who is left over at the end led by David Weekly to figure out what went well or not to make the event better next time.
  • Sometimes there is a late night meal involved after everything is done or an after party of some sort.