Kickstarter Update #1

Hey, you fans out there!  Guess what?

This is the first major update on my official Kickstarter campaign.

I am totally excited because this project, which I’ll detail in a later update, is a sure winner.

I know you’ll love it.

But, before I launch the Kickstarter project, I want you to join me as I walk the path of a soon-to-be successful entrepreneur.

Success requires planning.

LOTS and LOTS of planning.

And research.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into some research.

Before we get started, let’s create a folder on our Internet-connected notebook PC and call the folder something fun.

How about “Kickstarter Project Xceed Xpectations“?:

New folder

A good place to store our research.
Easiest next step, conduct an Internet search for Kickstarter business plans:

Kickstarter business plan google search


Probably the most important point about launching a project on Kickstarter is actually knowing what kind of projects you can launch on Kickstarter.  Not exactly rocket science here but it pays to be attentive!

Let’s jump over to Kickstarter and read some of their basic requirements:

Kickstarter guidelines


Well, good news so far.  We can fit our Project Xceed Xpectations easily into one of the categories.

But what about a good Kickstarter-based crowdfunding business plan?

By now, the Internet is well-noded with suggestions about a successful business plan but let’s just stick to two videos:

The second one first, which can be boiled down to two important details.  Yes, two again.

  • First, 90% of crowdfunded projects have met/exceeded their goals after reaching 30% of funding.
  • Second, a quick list of important tips:
    • Have a pitch video
    • Offer three or more perks
    • Update your backers and followers every few days, preferably every day
    • Post media to our gallery frequently
    • Link to your other social media pages
    • Keep the campaign less than two months old

Okay, that’s enough for today’s Kickstarter update number one.  I’ll conduct some more research and come back to you with my business plan.

I might, just might, give you a hint about the project itself.  Who knows?!

Products I’m considering, in no particular order

Penzu — private journal software

Notes in Facebook — can limit viewership

Notepad/Wordpad/Word — I started out this way back in the early days of Microsoft Windows, along with the Macintosh version (MacWrite?), saving text files to local electronic media

Evernote — oh, well, I can’t trust them, can I, based on recent news?

Livescribe — if I can find my pen and recharge it, I can go back to paper, with searchable notes! — because simple is easy…maybe.

Other suggestions from

Well, I guess this is the last entry here — have a great day!




When there is a world of choices, what in the world do I do?

[Personal notes. Feel free to skip.]

My mother turns 79 years young tomorrow, her first birthday without her husband nearby in 55+years.

When I get down to it, I have hundreds of social network connections, mainly revitalised via the Internet, but no one (no human) other than my wife with whom I communicate daily.

I verbally communicate with my mother on a weekly basis just as I had communicated verbally with my father and mother weekly when Dad was alive, although he and I communicated more frequently through email, trading “did you know…?” facts and jokes back and forth (with me having to remind him not to send NSFW jokes to my work email account or check Snopes before forwarding inaccurate “this is the truth because a friend of a friend told me so” emails).

My sister, her kids and my extended family communicate by randomly posting comments/photos on social networking software but I wouldn’t always call that a conversational form of communicating, somewhere between email and voice calls.

I have always enjoyed writing and was often accused by my employees of bombarding their inboxes with more email than they could read so they’d set up a special folder called “Rick/Boss” that they knew were emails from me they could read at their leisure.

I guess I was a professional email composer if not a professional writer/author.

After retiring from an office job as an engineering manager, I sat down and completed a few books that had grown or festered in my thoughts during business trips around the world.

I finished writing the books I wanted to publish before I died, one of them reaching the “Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award” semifinal level along with a review by Publishers Weekly, achieving my goal of a professional book review, no matter how good/bad (or somewhere in-between), and ended up here as a journalist/diarist in the form of a daily blogger.

Now, I have reached a point, well into the second half of my life, where exploring writing styles is of less interest.

I am comfortable writing at a level understood by those proficient in reading a variant of the English language.

Could I sit here the next 50 years of my life and do this day after day?  Yes, I could.  Possibly.  But do I want to?

Well, that’s why I’m here today.

I have played with computer technology for most of my life.  My formative years, not so much, unless you count battery-powered electromechanical toys as rudimentary computing devices because computers were mainframe monstrosities that my father used at work and I saw on television so it influenced my thoughts but was not part of my everyday life like kids today with computers in every room of their house as smartphones, smart TVs, smart appliances, smart homes, smart cars, smart toys, and PCs/tablets.

I tinkered with open source software, programming computers like a handbuilt Intel 8085 system in the 1970s, the Timex-Sinclair 1000 in the 1980s and so forth up to the Arduino in the 2010s.

I’ve played with a variety of operating systems in the process.

I post blog entries from iOS, Windows, Linux, and Android, for instance, but not in that order of frequent use.

I am used to a QWERTY keyboard but have tried a one-handed Matias keyboard and the DVORAK keyboard layout.

I am not used to thumb typing on a smartphone but have grown accustomed to swiping and pinching on a smartphone/tablet screen.

I observed the set of shorthand acronyms that first grew popular in BBS chatrooms and moved on to SMS but I never used them extensively myself.

I’ve watched minitrends of communication styles come and go in social media on the Internet over the last two decades, just like they bloomed and died in newspapers, pamphlets and magazines for hundreds of years, and wall art/graffiti for millennia.

With less than 50 years of my life left, statistically at this point in the affordable body rejuvenation market, what do I want to do with the rest of my life?

Do I have any skills the world wants and/or I want to share with the world?

Are there any new skills I want to develop?

Can I conservatively live on my accumulated wealth within the socioeconomic web I have financially supported and expect to be rewarded in kind as I grow older?

My days of listening to and buying [into] every pop culture product out there are behind me or fading away.

Or so I think because I look around me and see that the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the bed I sleep in, the computers I use, the cars I drive and the TVs I watch are covered with labels of commercially popular brands.

In other words, either I am comfortable with the brands I use or the brands are neutral/unimportant for the types of products I buy at a reasonable cost for my lifestyle/standard of living.

I am frugal to some extent but not extremely so.

I am content eating a banana and a handful of potato chips for lunch but I will just as easily go out and spend $100 on a meal if I’m in the mood.

My wife and I average a new car every 10 years for her daily driver.  My primary vehicle is a 1995 model, a BMW, not a Kia.

The fact that we own and drive cars says a lot about our standard of living and expectations, along with a digital cable TV subscription, Internet data subscription, landline phone subscription, wireless smartphone subscription, and monthly bills for food, entertainment, electricity, water and garbage pickup.

We don’t pay country club or homeowner association fees.  We don’t belong to a wellness or exercise center of any sort.  We don’t rent furniture or appliances on a weekly basis, either.

We are two people, two cogs, in the wheel of life we call civilisation.

Soon, we shall have no more responsibilities for my wife’s ancestral connections, leaving my mother as the sole responsibility for a child to his/her parents, although my sister shares the responsibility.

If I throw everything away in this room — from the computers (TI-99/4A, Timex-Sinclair 1000, Macintosh II, Mac Plus, Macintosh 6100/66, iMac, Kaypro 2000, etc.) to the toys (model rockets, balsa wood airplanes, plastic model car kits, Hot Wheels cars, Pinewood Derby cars, stuffed animals) to the books (college textbooks, novels, comic books, business books, instruction manuals, how-to guides, coffee table books, ruled notebooks (both empty and used)), posters, photo albums, framed pictures, furniture, boxes of miscellaneous junk, etc. — will my wife and I be free to lengthen our list of choices?

When there is a world of choices, what in the world do I do next?

Between here and fraternity

Am I any better today than I would have been had I no simultaneous access to notebook PC with second monitor and Internet connection, portable phone connected landline with Caller ID, and mobile smartphone with Internet connection and variety of apps?

These devices feed my brain’s wiring more than the rest of my body — I can’t eat the phone(s) or computer very easily and wouldn’t get much nutrition if I could.

These devices help generate income for myself and those with whom I communicate.

Income, or labour/investment credit, buys us opportunities.

Now that we have virtual communities with virtual money, what do we do with our virtual opportunities?

The perpetrators and victims of cyberwar don’t care about gender or sexual preference.

This notebook PC doesn’t know if I’m a cybernetic organism typing on the keyboard.

As always, the tree outside has no idea what any of this means, breathing in the air and soaking up the nutrients that we share with it in our planetary ecosystem.

If a bunch of people sat together with robots and remotely operated mining gear on this planet, the Moon, Mars or an asteroid, how do we profit?

What is the value of friendship between us, in other words?

How much material on the International Space Station is never used?

How much material on a remote mining outpost is no longer usable?

Hundreds of millions, billions, of dollars represent the investment in space probes that no longer work on the surface of the Moon and Mars.

A single drop of an astronaut’s urine has intrinsic value, does it not, its investment in research, development, training, maintenance and nutrition worth more than its weight in gold?

What is a single drop of your blood worth to society?

What is it worth to you?

Two points: one past, one future

PAST: We often miss the future right in front of us.  Several decades ago I remember computer programmers using video projectors and projector screens (hidden in the ceiling above their desks when the programmers weren’t using them) as giant, virtual computer screens where multiple GUI windows could be viewed simultaneously, much less expensive than a big-screen computer monitor/TV at the time (and just as effective as long as the window shades were closed and overhead lighting turned off), leaving their desktops clutter-free.

FUTURE: Now that gesture-based electronic device interaction is becoming the norm, will we see QWERTY keyboard “air typing” contests in the future that will be like the “air guitar” contests of old?


After playing with my new test version of the mini iPhone, I use the embedded phone in my ear canal and my new iGlasses to talk with my friends while using gesture control to play hike-n-seek chase games with my friends across a series of apps — how long will it take you to tag me when I’m online as one of my avatars?

Catch me if you can!

What you say about his company is what you say about society…

Hallelujah! I got my Christmas present early this year!

An official upgrade of my non-rooted AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3:






Oops!  Needed to reboot computer after upgrading Kies, it seems…

Rebooted computer, restarted the Samsung Kies software and started the firmware upgrade:













Everything is right with my world today!

The Process of Developing A Story

Have you ever sat down to write a story?

Any kind — fiction, tall tale, business case study, autobiography?

And, with the thinnest of plots, started writing, regardless of plausible outcome?

Or did you pause, chronicling the writing process itself for fun?

Friends of mine gave me a new device to play with.

Combining  a modified through-the-wall radar unit, microfacial/skin movement detection webcam software routines, and a black box they won’t tell me what it contains, I can, while looking rather geeky wearing a  fanny pack, walk down the street and read people’s thought processes, not just feel their “mirror” neurons firing in sync with mine.

But how do I know if the device works as my friends promised?


Try it on myself, of course.

If I look at myself in the mirror, I am a woman about 5′, 8″ tall, 125 lbs, brunette hair and green eyes.

I have a great personality which makes my ordinary looks more appealing than the average bear.

Oh, I forgot to tell you.  I am a woman bear with higher-than-normal intelligence, thanks to my “parents,” who programmed my genetic material to create a humanlike child in personality inside the figure of a brown bear.

Anyway, I set the device in front of me and let it read my thoughts.

According to the device, I am thinking about writing a short story, my back itches where I can barely reach it, there’s an almost imperceptible buzzing sound in my ears and I’m hungry.

But wait!  That’s not all!

I can see the early sketches of the short story taking place, with snippets of previous conversations flowing through my thoughts, images both real and imagined merging into background scenes for characters studies I haven’t formulated yet.

Ah-ha!  My right ear is buzzing much louder.  My boyfriend wants my attention and, thanks to long-range wireless enhancement of my “love/sympathy/mirror” neuron network, he can get it.

Talk about fuzzy logic!

What is love if we don’t immediately respond when our loved ones really need us?

Oh well, gotta go.  I’ll complete this short story another time.  I need a good doorframe to scratch my back first!