Frank D. Smith, MCSE was born in downtown Los Angeles in 1966, and while a product of the 60s, is a child of the 1980s. He has always been strongly influenced by science fiction, as speculation and analysis of desirable and undesirable future paths. He was attracted to both disaster movies and cyberpunk books.
Coming up during the final gasps of the Cold War shaped many in his generation, himself included, to become interested in all things apocalyptic. After all Road Warrior makes it all look so cool, right? Not really. Actually, a more formative book for Frank was A Canticle for Leibowitz by American writer Walter M. Miller, Jr., first published in 1960.
He had already become a skills and knowledge pack rat, but like the folks keeping books who were inspired by Fahrenheit 451, he became inspired to collect skills. He is a lover of all technology, and feels that the mesmerized run to the bleeding edge leaves many valuable skills and technologies in a bin called "obsolete". Some of the most interesting innovations of our time are coming from the blend of older principles (say Electric Era old) with the latest advances in materials science.
He has been a digital artist and 3D modeler as well as a glass blower for 12+ yrs. He finds the blend of Art and Science to be more interesting than either alone.
Frank currently operates a sole proprietor technology consulting firm, Underbrain Industries Inc., specializing in computer graphics, web design and administration, and personal training in various areas of the tech arts. These activities are supported with a small webhosting company, catering to the Art and Science community. His focus is primarily in bringing a good sense of aesthetic and particularly to improve the user interface and overall user experience.
He has recently been expanding his operations into alternative energy and sustainable systems. His company is developing a mobile electric power station, for onsite power after disaster or to support remote research activities.
Due to his family upbringing, Frank got an early start in technology. He had paid and unpaid technical positions during high school, which gave him the basic soldering skills, cable construction, and troubleshooting methods that became the foundation of his further career. He was also introduced to art during the same period. The paternal side of the family is a collection of art and math nerds, going back generations. He also developed a strong interest in gaming and game design (Generation 1 AD&D).
In 1987 Frank entered the United States Navy, and was trained as a General Electronics technician. He also received further specialty training in cryptographic equipment for radio communications. Once aboard ship, he was sent for training in systems analysis, test equipment calibration at Mobile Operations Technical Unit 11 (MOTU11) in Long Beach, CA. He also participated in an extensive overhaul of the ship to which he was stationed. This involved installation of new equipment, as well as meeting certain extremely firm deadlines.
In 1994, he acquired a position as a research and development technician in a mission critical, live money networking industry. This industry is the gaming industry, and by this he means the gambling industry, specifically wagering machines for horse racing. He was instrumental in the test and implementation of new touchscreen operated automatic wagering terminals. This was some of the most satisfying electromechanical R&D he has done, and was his introduction to "live money" mission critical networking.
The majority of his time working for Autotote Ltd. was spent at the Los Alamitos race course, which is the hub of all off-track betting parlors and their communication to whichever track is actually hosting the racing meet.
Frank assisted in the setup of the Rincon River Oaks Casino in Southern California. He was responsible for the installation and configuration of over 140 video poker machines. He was tasked with hiring 10 technicians and then supervising them in this installation.
In 2001 he moved to Southern Illinois to further his glass blowing studies and other artistic endeavors. The experience was pivotal in his decision to return to university and a lateral skill set shift from network engineer and into systems analysis and design, computer programming, and more powerful web design and administration skills. He has operated a very limited consulting business in various aspects of the technology industry during his entire time in school. He also owns a small nerd related T-shirt/gift shop, powered by CafePress. He was fortunate to be chosen to design the official emblems for science fiction author David Brin's Uplift Universe.
Frank met his wife and stepdaughter in Southern Illinois in 2002, and his life was complete. They bring him such joy in existence, that it has focused his desires to see our species avoid any of the more unpleasant paths he has read in story or considered in his thinking. He sees that we have an opportunity to utilize sustainable systems, based on a blend of various technologies and social solutions, to transition from an economy of scarcity to an economy of abundance. He is proud to add his efforts to the Lifeboat Foundation's goal of improving humanity's chances of success in these areas. And if some cataclysm did occur, the farther you fall is the farther you have to climb back up. Frank aims to shorten that climb if it comes.