Gabe Wollenburg

Gabe Wollenburg

Somebody's Daddy

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am a recovering cynic — don’t laugh, I mean it! I try to make the world a better place through sharing experiences and creating things. I write poems about the human experience, some of them about nature. I tell stories, many of them are true, but some of them are not. I believe multi-media experiences can happen around a fire located deep in the forest hills. I have horrible taste in music. I like my media sharing-positive.

As a long-time member and part of the secret cabal that organizes the event, I try to keep Web414, Milwaukee’s monthly meet-up for technologists, honest and fun and on-line. I try to make sure BarcampMilwaukee happens every October. I believe that when people gather to work on creating an experience that is worth having, it almost always is. But what gets me out of the bed in morning is this: I am a daddy. Gaia is far and away the greatest kid ever and I thrive on inflicting her on as many people as possible. From day one, I’ve worked on helping her to experience as many things as possible so that she gets every chance to view the world as a catalyst for awesome. So far, so good.

What hardware are you using?

My fine employer keeps me in OSX, where I labor as a media strategist for a behavioral health hospital, I primarily use a 24-inch iMac with 4GB of Ram, some of which is permanently relegated to running Windows 7 in a VMWare wrapper so I can get my work emails. I also have a Dell Inspiron 510 that runs Ubuntu 9.10, on which I do most of my text editing. And I use a white plastic MacBook when I’m on the road. My personal gear is all Windows-based and not-exciting because I have dogs and kids and furniture and a house and two cars and a dream, so I can’t afford nice electronics. I have an 8GB 2nd Generation iPod Touch. It is a fantastic iPod, but a horrible substitute for an iPhone. For a phone, I use a Tracfone because it is important to me that I be cooler than my phone.

And what software?

Man, I love software. Especially software that only does one thing, but does that one thing really well. And in a lot of cases, I use different software for doing different things that I want done differently. I use gEdit when I edit text because its what comes standard on Ubuntu. I use Bluefish from time to time, because one time Cory Doctorow said he used it. I also use TextWrangler on OSX. I use Notepad++ when I’m on windows.

As a writer, I have peculiar tastes when it comes to word-processors. I’ve been using Celtex because of its multi-platform prowess, but I much prefer Scrivener for writing and editing manuscripts. Pages is severely under-rated as word processor and typesetting platform, but I love Microsoft Word. But I never use it on the Mac. Google Docs will not be a serious contender until the Goog implements a way for me to distinguish between carriage returns and paragraph marks.

I prefer Gnome/Ubuntu flavors of linux, but will use Flux if conditions dictate.

If you’re using PowerPoint, you’re not giving presentations, you’re torturing audiences.

What would be your dream setup?

Health, happiness and prosperity.

But if you’re granting wishes, I’d also take the biggest baddest MacPro with a pair of 24-inch screens and some kind of butler to swap drives for me when they fill up with data from my Canon G1 kit. Attached to that MacPro, however, must be a Microsoft Naturals wave keyboard and a Microsoft three button scroll mouse. And the resource to replace all of them. And a pony.

I also dream of a time and place where I pay rate for data services and get to use those services on my devices. Can’t we end this silly distinction between the channels? Voice, Data, Television: it’s all bits. What does the intention matter?

Photo by Bob Paxton licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Question format and CSS borrowed from The Setup under the Attribution-Share Alike license. Photos subject to their own copyright/licenses.