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Great Lakes Geek

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 Featured Items
RIP Michael Heaton

So sorry to hear of the passing of Michael Heaton, former Plain Dealer writer and more. I did an interview with Michael Heaton in 2007 when his book Truth and Justice came out. It has some great stories and many Cleveland connections - Danny Green, Michael Symon, Frank Jackson, Joe Esterhas and the like. Some great stories as only the Minister of Culture could tell them.

Plain Dealer Minister of Culture and author Michael Heaton signing his new book

Listen to the interview with Michael Heaton

Rest in Peace Minister

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Keithley Gives Back

Clevelanders and beyond will know the Keithley Instruments company which was founded by Joseph F. Keithley in Cleveland in 1946. His first product, the "Phantom Repeater," amplified low-level electric signals so that they could be measured by more standard equipment. The device was used by physicists, chemists, and engineers in the development of hearing aids and amplifiers.

The company took off with the introduction of the second product - an electrometer. Now there are about 500 products with major product lines including testing and measurement products such as electrometers, voltmeters, signal generators, data acquisition, and production and benchtop parametric testers and analyzers.

In 1964 they moved to Solon and later (2010) was sold and then merged so it now exists wholly as a brand of Tektronix Inc.

The latest exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art is called Impressionism to Modernism: The Keithley Collection.

See photos and take a video tour of the Keithley Collection.

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Fairly Easy Problem

Your first guess/attempt will probably work. Can you solve it any other way?

Math problem

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Who would ever need 10MB?

10 MB PC

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Fan Expo Cleveland 2022 (formerly Wizard World)

Fan Expo (formerly Wizard World) was back in Cleveland the weekend of April 30, 2022. Billed as "the ultimate playground for Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, and Gaming. Three BIG days of citywide events, family-friendly attractions and world-renowned celebrities including William Shatner, Katee Sackhoff and many more.

William Shatner at Cleveland Fan Expo

William Shatner at Cleveland Fan Expo

The huge show floor had lots of vendors selling collectibles, original art, comic books, toys, games, clothes, gear, etc. There were also educational and entertainment sessions off the main show floor. As always the costumes of the vendors and attendees were the best part of the event.

COSplay at Fan Expo 2022 in Cleveland

See pictures and videos from Fan Expo 2022 in Cleveland.

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COSplay and other costumes at Fan Expo Cleveland 2022

COSplay and costumed characters at Fan Expo Cleveland 2022

Cool costumes at Fan Expo Cleveland

COSplay and costumed characters at Fan Expo Cleveland 2022

See lots of costumes from Fan Expo 2022 in Cleveland.

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Cleveland Tech History

Having come of age with many of the luminaries of Cleveland Technology the Great Lakes Geek has begun a series of episodes on Cleveland Tech History.

Chris Thompson -Journalist who changed Cleveland's Tech Scene

Chris Thompson is a former journalist who became managing editor at Crain's Cleveland Business, a weekly print publication covering business and business people. As he worked with a growing tech industry in an exciting era he devised an idea for something called CrainTech. Chris saw that there was a growing demand for an online platform alongside the traditional print publication.

As editor of CrainTech he reported the stories of the fascinating people and projects that were in Northeast Ohio. Projects like One Cleveland/One Community which sprung from the surprising find of large quantities of dark fiber under the streets of Cleveland. Or The Little Computer. Or Thunderstone who, before Internet search was even a concept, had their search technology embedded in companies like WordPerfect, Dow Jones, eBay and Novell.

He covered people like Packy Hyland Jr. of Hyland Software, Tech Czars Tim Mueller and Tim Moran, Baiju Shah at BioEnterprise, Chris Coburn at the Cleveland Clinic and Phil Wintering founder and CEO of American Cybercasting Corporation who built the first full curriculum for middle schools and high schools delivered completely over the internet.

In this video interview with Dan Hanson Chris will also talk about the role of Higher Education for tech and why Cleveland may not have taken advantage of all the available opportunities and resources. Plus, we'll see what Chris has been up to since the CrainTech days.

Ron Copfer - Serial Entrepreneur and Tech Pioneer

Ron Copfer is a serial entrepreneur having started 16 tech companies so far. He was also an early adopter and pioneer in the Internet and IT space. He was involved in the first onramp to the Internet in the world. He worked with Marc Andreesen and became a beta tester for the Mosaic browser. He then created the first website between New York and Chicago.

He got involved with the largest law firm in the world, Jones Day, and provided graphics for trials. He created the first online catalog taking it from a paper catalog to CD and then put it on the Internet with Cold Fusion. He got involved with wearable medical devices by cold-calling a firm in Israel and flying there showing up at their door. Big Data, CRM, SaaS, etc. - Ron was involved with every bleeding edge technology that came along.

He has also been involved in every Cleveland and Northeast Ohio tech organization including NEOSA, Nortech which led to BioEnterprise and JumpStart and others, One Cleveland/One Community, Digital C and others. Ron explains how he was able to build companies and then transition it to his team and move on to something else. He tells how curiosity, persistence and enrollment are essential for an entrepreneur. This video will give you a taste of why we call him the most interesting man in the world. See what Ron is up to know at the in the Rebuilder's Xchange. Watch the Cleveland Tech History Interview with Ron Copfer.

Jim Cookinham - Godfather of Cleveland Tech Industry

Jim Cookinham has lived and worked all over the world. (See stories and photos from Jim's experiences . After the Naval Academy and working on nuclear submarines Jim eventually ended up in Cleveland. In 1981 when the IBM PC came out Jim and his wife Cindy started IPCO which became the first publication for the IBM PC and the first to include a disk with each copy.

Jim met with other community tech leaders in an organization called CRITA in Salt Lake City and his 14 pages of notes led him to create the Northeast Ohio Software Association (NEOSA) when he returned to Cleveland. Jim created a thick directory of thousands of tech companies in NE Ohio. He was able, with the help of Crain's Cleveland Business and others, to educate the community that while there may not be a plethora of Silicon Valley type tech-focused companies in town, the IT departments of Progressive, Cleveland Clinic and others still counted. Jim and NEOSA developed many innovative programs to promote the advancement of the tech community and IT industry.

He challenged Mayoral candidates on their tech plans and when Jane Campbell became Cleveland Mayor she followed through and appointed the city's first Tech Czar, Tim Mueller. When City Hall's PCs were found to be outdated, Jim created an AdoptAPuter program that provided new PCs for the Mayor and 20+ others. He started an Angel Network to get funding for startups. The NEOSA Tech Thursdays (NETT) were held at Great Lakes Brewery and brought together tech industry people in an informal setting over great beer. He created an Entreprenerd (he used my word!) Boot Camp and brought in CIOs, CEOs and other leaders to help startups. The NEOSA CIO Symposiums exposed the tech community to the leading CIOs in town. NEOSA's Future Forums brought in brilliant minds to look ahead 5-10 or more years.

Jim is in Colorado now so this video was recorded remotely but you will see some of the major contributions made by Jim Cookinham to Cleveland Tech History.

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Great Lakes Geek Calendar

With the pandemic dwindling and hopefully leaving for good we are bringing back the Great Lakes Geek Calendar of Events. The Calendar features virtual and in person events about technology, business and science.

We are honored to have the technology leaders of BlueBridge Networks as a sponsor of the Great Lakes Geek Calendar of Events.

BlueBridge Logo

Submit your open-to-the-public event (it doesn't have to be free, just open to all) and we will post. You can also sign up for the free Great Lakes Geek eNews which includes upcoming events.

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Special Offer from BlueBridge

While software and hardware keep changing at an exponential pace, most IT challenges will remain the same in 2022; a secure backup is still a must have, hackers will keep pounding on your systems, and a fast connection reigns supreme over a slow one.

Here is a special offer: Let BlueBridge Networks run a free initial phishing test in your company. Our initial phishing test is simple: each employee of your organization receives an email with a realistic phishing scenario. Emails are a very common starting point for hackers; they do this to steal your login credentials. Once they have the keys to your kingdom it’s often like a walk in the park for them.

With three simple steps you will get a good idea of what is going on in your ranks. From our experience, around ? of employees need additional training. You don’t have to take my word for it, test it yourself. It’s free!

This is how it works:

  1. You make a list of your staff's emails
  2. BlueBridge sets up the campaign
  3. Together we will analyze the results.

Contact Kevin Goodman, Managing Director for more info and to sign up.

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Rebuilders XChange
Geek Business

Rebuilders Xchange RBX sign

Rebuilders Xchange (RBX) buys and sells construction material from ordinary to extraordinary. RBX is in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood in an organized, 50,000 sq. ft. warehouse. (The address is 5401 Hamilton but it's easier to go North on East 53rd - their webiste has clear directions).

On the supply side, they work with local contractors and individuals who have access to overstock, new or salvaged building material. RBX inventories, markets, and sells dropped-off items. Once an item sells, RBX cuts the 'consignor' a check at the end of the month for 50% of each sale. Instead of dumping, donating or storing usable material; both businesses and individuals finally have a streamlined solution for making money.

On the demand side, they are open to the public 4 days a week! Customers have access to an ever-changing inventory of over 1,000's of new, unique, and vintage items.

Jessica Davis and Ron Copfer

Jessica Davis and Ron Copfer

Pictures, video and more of Rebuilders Xchange

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Fun with Maps - Latitude and Longitude

There has been a lot of math and science in developing the systems of latitude and longitude and the time zones and related items. From early astronomers and mathematicians to Ptolemy and Galileo and others the creation of instruments like the pendulum clock, quadrant and sextant were brilliant innovations.

In this special episode of Fun with Maps with Dan Hanson instead of looking at one particular area, he look at some items that affect all the maps of earth. These are the terms latitude and longitude. Using those coordinates you can pinpoint any place on earth. They are essential for ship captains and pilots and others.

Maybe this will be a refresher course or maybe it will be new for you as we discuss latitude, longitude, the Prime Meridian, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, the Equator, International Dateline, Greenwich Mean Time, Time Zones and more.

And we explain how you can be at a spot on Earth where it is both today and yesterday.

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Other Current Items
Murder in the Cultural Gardens
Geek Whodunit

"It just didn’t seem right to DJ. A body found bludgeoned in a place known for “Peace through Mutual Understanding.” But there she was, crumpled behind a bust of composer Franz Liszt in the Hungarian Cultural Garden. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed 911. “What is the nature of your emergency?” the dispatcher queried. With a suddenly very dry mouth DJ managed to get out, “There’s been a murder in the Cultural Gardens.”

That's the beginning of the recently published first novel by Dan Hanson.

Murder in the Cultural Gardens book cover - Franz Liszt statue

The whodunit, titled Murder in the Cultural Gardens, takes place in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens and all 30+ gardens are featured during the mystery. You may even recognize some of the characters.

Click the link above to learn more or to purchase in paperback or Kindle version from Amazon. Or contact Dan via the Murder in the Cultural Gardens webpage to have a signed book delivered.

What the Great Lakes Geek is reading
Geek Book

The Great Lakes Geek just finished reading (listening to actually) Make Your Bed - Little things that can change your life by Admiral William H. McRaven (US Navy Retired)

On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university's slogan, "What starts here changes the world," he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better.

Read the book review of Make Your Bed

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Bob and Dan's Adventure to the PC Graveyard
Geek Blast from the Past

Computer techies (OK, geeks) Bob Coppedge and Dan Hanson used to take groups to various places of interest to computer professionals (OK, other geeks). They called it Bob and Dan's Excellent Adventures.

This video from 2004 was just unearthed from some old DVDs. This was a different adventure as Bob and Dan visited a cemetery and visited the graves of some old technology - from dBase to Win 95 before facing their own demise.

Watch it if you dare.

See more PC and Tech History

It's Baaaaack
Geek eNews

By popular demand (really, would we lie to you?) the Great Lakes Geek is bringing back the free Geek eNews. It will be sent via e-mail whenever we have something really good to share. Not too often, we promise.

So sign up and look for the news, tips, puzzles, contests, special offers and other information that only the Great Lakes Geek can bring you.

Great Lakes Geek free eNews Signup Form

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Geek Domain Names

Order Domain Names, e-mail accounts, web hosting, SSL certs and the usual menu of Internet items for great prices at Great Lakes Geek Domains. Follow the link at the bottom of the nav bar (under search) or click to visit

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Certified Partner News
Magnum News

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Website Disclaimer
Website Disclaimer

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