November 19, 2016

After reading the book "The Man Who Invented the Computer", I have been compelled to review how my life experiences have been guided by my interactions with computers. Even though I do not consider myself to be a "computer geek" there is no way to ignore the evidence that my life is completely woven into the development of computers, as well as this sense the it is my destiny to assist the world to make the transition for how this "technology" is being utilized for our collective evolution. There could easily be a long essay for this introduction, but I suspect this is going to be a work in process. So, without further ado, I will get to the outline which I was inspired to write in my journal the last few days.

1980 - used first desktop computer of Kurt Diesch, my sister Kari's husband
1985 - purchased my first IBM compatible computer for use for college work
1992 - purchased Apple Macintosh and laser printer after finishing my Master's degree. Had moved to Austin, TX.
1993-1997 - worked extensively with a PowerMac with Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept., running the TPWD Gift Collection, a mail order catalog
1996 (approx) used the "Internet" for the first time with David Parsons in north Austin, TX
1997 - with assistance from TPWD "Web Master" developed website for the Great Texas Coastal Birding Classic bird tournament. Began to conceive the creation of a database (eventually TRAPSS), to organize disparate information sets while conducting fundraising strategies for the Classic (used Hoover's Online for listing of Texas Corporations). Also, at that time Travelocity, had opened a "Travel Store" on 6th street. As I remember this was the same person who created Hoovers.
1997 - started PhD with Dr. Jim Kimmel at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State Univ., San Marcos). Taught myself web programming (html) using the online course provided by Page tutor. Interestingly, when I was working with the hyperspectral sensor project at Texas A&M, I was inspired to begin to make inquiry into the idea of "lack", especially around money and energy, wrote the following essay, Is there a lack of energy, which concluded with a link that my friend Tom Dooley had posted about what does a trillion dollars look like. This sketch-up presentation was created by the creator of Page Tutor.
1997 - created my first website for the Center for Nature and Heritage Tourism,
   - also some online courses, or supporting web pages for Dr. Kimmel's tourism courses.
   - working with Jim Kimmel on "Interpretation" (telling the story of places), which lead to the creation of a number of programs, and short courses after I went
      to Texas A&M University Cooperative Extension
1998 - with CNHT was hired by the Texas Historical Commission, as per Dr. Kimmel to develop "regional
" for the commission. Our first concepts defined by Mario Sanchez (Los Caminos Real) were morphed into the current version called the Texas Heritage Trails. Our original Vision, to create a "hub", information and support center was abandoned, by the cumbersome model that was ultimately developed. This project ended in a number of interesting experiences and frustrations over the years as the project became completely bureaucratic, although in 2006 it received national recognition by President George W. Bush, as John Nau was the Chair of the THC (also the largest Budweiser beer distributor in the world from Houston, TX). In 2004, when I was deep in the development of the TxDOT, WiFi/kiosk project, the THC received $4.1M to develop 3 of the Heritage Trails. (this story can continue, but it is time to move on).
1999 - with my ex-wife Yongxia Xia, a brilliant GIS, and computer programmer we developed TRAPSS (Texas Regional Analysis Planning Support System). Yongxia was able to get Arcview to communicate with the Microsoft Access relational database, specifically to be able to "map" spatially the results of the database inquiries.
1999 - for a GIS, Spatial Analysis, project for Dr. Rudnicki, we were able to successfully show a spatial representation of a set of queries conducted with TRAPSS, specifically the idea of locating a new park in West Texas based on a set of parameters (e.g. distance from road and river and other parks/historical sites, elevation).
2000 - assisted with the Texas Landfill Inventory Project
2000 - 2002 - Completed PhD Dissertation "Nature Tourism in Cyberspace: and examination of its geography and character in the network.", and provided deep assistance to Yongxia Xia for the completion of hers too. In fact, the idea of examining "user experience" of the Great Texas Coast Birding Trail, and a virtual tour was based upon my experiences and involvement with TPWD while Ted Eubanks (Fermata) and Madge Lindsey (TPWD) has created the Coastal Birding Trail, and supporting printed map. My dissertation utilized two "theories", Co-Evolutionary Perspective, and Actor-Network Theory. Yongxia's theory was Optimal Experience Theory (Flow theory), and the use of structural equation modelling to determine effects of users at a Virtual Tour.
- Nature Tourism Information System
- Market Match
- Online Surveys
- TexBox
- Texas Sweepstakes
- Texas Education Vacation
- WiFi, TxDOT and Vestivo
- Journey Builder, True Journey
- Online courses (NT Entrepreneurship, Jim Kimmel, Interpretive Guide Training, statewide broadcast)
- Internal grants at Texas A&M, with Xia
- AdventGX
- Big Bend Study
- Texas Friendly (hospitality training)
- Introduction to Zoom Information Systems, Mike Fritsch, Jack Dangermond
   - school/library of the future
- I (EYE) Am Sharing
- Mariposa Paradise
- Guillermo Entrepreneurship
- Vision Book
- HOME Communities
- Digital books
- Global Breath Consciousness Institute, Reverence for Life University
- Kingdom Network
- Crystalline Reflections, Glassmen, doing Glassworks, Bus tour
- QC Collective
- Recommended Reading
- Yep It's Rocket Science
- Micoy
- Banking, The Breath Way, Groundswell
- Green Loaded Tablet
- Walkin' Talkin' Green pages for travelers
- Voice of the People Radio, Greg Miller
- 3D Dome, Noah Isreal
- Healing dome
- Global Hemp Guild
- EcoGreen Paving Solutions

Troy Dillinger
Dustin Evermore
Ed Osenbaugh
John Murphy
Casey Jensen
Aristo Setiawan
Chris Richardson
Niels Lundsgard

Michael Francis