Monday, March 19, 2012

Chris Melissinos - The Art of Video Games at Smithsonian

Julie and I were honored to attend a VIP event at the Smithsonian American Art Museum event that Chris Melissinos was the curator and did and AMAZING job putting it together.

 Above is the logo for The Art of Video Games.

It was an absolutely first class event.   There were individuals from all walks of life.  We had a chance to talk to lots of long time friends from Sun Microsystems as well as Chris's mom Faye, dad Bob and Chris's brother Ryan.  Sue Walls, Steve Fritzinger and other Sun employees were there as well.  It was very cool to meet some famous people such as Tom McMillen of UMD Terps, Washington Bullets and a Congressman from Maryland.  Tom was the #1 high school player in the entire country when he signed to play with Left Driesell at Maryland.  A very nice and BIG man.  I should have got a picture with him, but I saw Chris and moved along.

Above is the first area of The Art of Video Games that describes Chris's journey with gaming.  Part of Chris's journey was at Sun Microsystems whe he was a sales rep and was considering sending in a proposal for Sun to get into gaming.  Chris happened to ask my opinion and I thought it was a brilliant idea.   Chris did such a fantastic job with this that Scott McNealy, co-founder, president and CEO of Sun, encouraged Chris to push forward with his proposal.  Chris did and was eventually named Sun's Chief Gaming Officer and the host of Java One.   I have never, EVER met a more passionate, creative or smarter individual than Chris!

Below is a short video of Chris thanking the contributors and the crowd for a great night while giving a very eloquent talk on The Art of Video Games.

Above is Chris and I at the event.   Chris was kind enough to give a key note at the [MC]2 MTConnect Connecting Manufacturing Conference I hosted in November 2011.

Above is me, Chris and my wife Julie.   We purchased Chris's book called The Art of Video Games which is fantastic.

One of the benefits of being Chris is that woman line up to get their photos with him.  The line went out the door, down the steps and all the way down to The White House 12 blocks away.   Chris is very fortunate that his lovely wife Michelle realizes that Chris is the Michael Jordan of Video Games and must be shared with ALL of his fans :-)

In the News
The Washington Post, March 18, 2012, “Critic’s Review: ‘The Art of Video Games’ at the Smithsonian American Art Museum” by Philip Kennicott
The New York Times, March 16, 2012, “An Exhibition in Easy Mode” by Seth Schiesel
BBC News, March 15, 2012, “Video game art gets the gallery treatment” by Jane O’Brien
USA Today, March 13, 2012, “Are video games art? Draw your own conclusions” by Mike Snider
Salon, March 10, 2012, Five-Minute Museum, “Video games as multi-player art project” by Emma Mustich
Metro Connection, WAMU 88.5, March 9, 2012, “Jumping Inside The Art of Video Games” with Rebecca Sheir
Smithsonian, March 2012, “The Art of Video Games” by Abigail Tucker
Smithsonian, March 2012, “The Art of Video Games”—Interview with Chris Melissinos” 

Below is Chris wrapping up his welcoming message and inviting the attendees to go up stairs to attend the exhibit.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lighting Up Your Booth and Sales With MTInsight IMTS Lite

Lighting Up Your Booth and Sales With MTInsight IMTS Lite

Mar 14, 2012
Woody Allen once said, “90 percent of life is just showing up.” Unfortunately, that philosophy is exactly the type of thinking that some exhibitors have about preparing for trade shows. In 2012, we are seeing a major change in how exhibitors prepare for IMTS with the game changing MTInsight app called IMTS Lite. Just showing up is not nearly enough anymore.
Exhibitors have long realized it is not about the quantity of attendees showing up at their booths, but rather the quality AND the quantity.   IMTS has such a well-established and proven track record regarding attendance, that the critical pre-IMTS marketing question comes down to a simple question:
  • How can my company drive the most qualified attendees to my booth at IMTS?
If you attended any of the IMTS Exhibitor Workshops, you know that there are a number of great answers to that question, but I would argue that the best answer to that question for IMTS 2012 is the MTInsight IMTS Lite app.
I want to share just a little bit about what IMTS Lite is under the covers, but first let’s take a look at what IMTS Lite does to help IMTS exhibitors.  IMTS Lite can help you promote your booth in the 2012 show using contact information from 2010 registrations. In addition, IMTS Lite can:
  • View visitors to your booth in 2010 (Leads)
  • Find out who was at the show but who did not visit your booth (Opportunities)
  • Look at all visitors to the 2010 show (All IMTS)
  • Filter by geography, industry, product interest, buying role, job function, and plant size to narrow your results
  • Use Contact Search option to look for specific individuals or companies
  • Export your results to use in your own company database or marketing campaign
  • Import IMTS registration data directly into your CRM
Data is growing at a 40% year-over-year rate for as far as the eye can see. Jobs for those individuals who understand how to sift through and manage that data are commanding top dollar.   Business and market intelligence efforts are seeing quantifiable ROI using data.  Running applications in the cloud is starting to become the norm and not the exception. These facts are worth just a second to understand what is under the covers of the IMTS Lite app.
AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology has built IMTS Lite as an industrial class application that runs in the cloud.  Because it runs in the cloud, we can say, for all practical purposes, IMTS Lite has unlimited scalability.  If we had 1,200 exhibitors sign up for IMTS Lite tomorrow, it would be no problem whatsoever in terms of handling the requests.    Why?  We designed MTInsight from the ground up to run in the cloud.
In addition, we have teamed with a business intelligence company that runs in the cloud, and we placed all of the data in the cloud as well as all of the MTInsight applications. This cloud allows us to scale storage and processors to dynamically meet demand. We don’t need to “tell” MTInsight or the IMTS Lite app anything – it simply grows with the workload. We also ensure security by using https — the protocol that encrypts the data between your browser and the site you are speaking to. It’s used by websites that handle financial transactions, as well as other sites that want to protect their data. Sometimes you see a small lock appear on the browser bar when you are using https. 
But the real secret sauce to IMTS Lite is the decades of experience that have gone into what IMTS Lite needs to accomplish. The requirements came out of Peter Eelman’s Exhibitions Department (which was co-championed by Michelle Edmonson), AMT’s IMTS Show Committee, Mark Kennedy and Kim Brown from the MTInsight Sales and Marketing Department, as well as countless others inside and outside of AMT.  The voice of the IMTS exhibitor was heard loud and clear throughout the entire process. Pat McGibbon, AMT’s Vice President of Strategic Information and Research (SIR) and his extremely talented SIR department led the development and deployment team. This diverse group put IMTS Lite together along with a small team of consultants.
The data sources are managed by Pat’s team, which is made up of manufacturing industry experts who are statisticians, economists, researchers, mathematicians, database experts, programmers, and experts in BI. These are the talented individuals who write the analytic software that create the MTInsight dashboards, charts, reports and graphs that you see.
What is the bottom line with any show like IMTS?  Driving more qualified individuals to your booth that in turn will drive more sales and/or services for your company.   What is the best way to do that?  In my opinion, it is to sign up and use the IMTS Lite app – today!
Let MTInsight help you start your pre-show marketing campaign for IMTS 2012. to learn more and subscribe. For questions, pricing, or to schedule a live demonstration contact Mark Kennedy ( or 703-827-5220) or Kim Brown ( or 703-827-5223) today!

Dr. Dave Dornfeld Receives Charles F. Carter Advance Manufacturing Award

Huge congratulations to Dr. Dave Dornfeld of University at California at Berkeley (UCB) for receiving the Charles F. Carter Advance Manufacturing Award last week at the Manufacturing Technology Forum.

As is stated on Berkeley's site:

Dr. David Dornfeld, Chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability at UC Berkeley, has received the Association of Manufacturing Technology's Charles F. Carter Jr. Advancing Manufacturing Award. Dr. Dornfeld is specifically recognized for his research toward advancing the understanding of burr formation and prevention, sustainable manufacturing, micro-machining, precision manufacturing and chemical-mechanical planarization.

Dave was the first professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department to become involved with MTConnect and was a huge contributor.   He is a brilliant man and a very nice guy as well.

Dave also coined "Dornfeld's Law" that I thought was so incredibly brilliant and funny that I had to blog about it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

God Bless Brian Carney and the Carney Family

This a very, very sad post to write.....

Brian Carney passed away suddenly in the early hours of Thursday March 8th of a heart attack.  There was not a nicer or smarter person that I ever knew.   For all of us who knew Brian, this is a great loss.   It was a real shock as Brian was in tremendous shape.  We went on a 50 mile bike ride together just a year or so ago and I specifically remember thinking that I need to get in shape like Brian.  Brian was also a black belt in karate.  He took this up in his 50s which was just amazing to me.

I can honestly never remember Brian being in a bad mood or ever being short with anyone.   As Tim Smith, long time Sun Microsystems employee said in an email to Jim Fiori and me, "Brian was one of the nicest people I ever worked with. Quiet competence w/ no ego. Very rare combination."   Tim was absolutely right.

John DiCarlo and Dennis Govoni have been keeping folks updated.  Ann Carney called my house last night and I spoke with Ann today.  She asked that we get the word out.   Marie O'Brien spoke with Ann.  Ann told Marie that Brian's phone and computer were all password locked, so it was difficult to find out all the contacts.

As the Washington Post reported:

On March 8, 2012, of Alexandria, VA. He is survived by his wife, Ann Sursa Carney; daughter, Allison Palmer Carney; two sons, Evan William Carney and Patrick David Carney. Also survived by his mother, Ann C. Carney; brothers, Kevin, Michael and Dennis; sister, Ellen. Friends may call Monday, March 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at EVERLY-WHEATLEY FUNERAL HOME, 1500 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria, VA. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, March 13 at 10 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 1427 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria, VA. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.
Please share this information with those who knew Brian. 

This is the website where you can view details on the services, sign the guestbook, upload a photo and share your thoughts.   I am sure Ann and the kids (they are adults now) would appreciate your thoughts and any photos, as well as signing the guestbook.


Monday, March 12
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM  

Everly Wheatley Funeral Home
1500 W. Braddock Rd.
Alexandria, VA 22302

Get Directions →
Funeral Mass
Tuesday, March 13
10:00 AM   

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church
1427 Braddock Rd.
Alexandria, VA 22302

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Me and Joe Gibbs at Manufacturing For Growth Conference

I gave three talks at two different conferences in Orlando yesterday - two on MTConnect and one on MTInsight.

The highlight was absolutely meeting Coach Joe Gibbs.  Below is the photo of me and Joe Gibbs before lunch and after he spoke to 1,500 people.  I told Coach Gibbs that he was a real hero in the Edstrom household.  We spoke for about 5 minutes.  I asked Coach Gibbs with individuals such as John Riggins and Tony Stewart, did he need different set of rules for those individuals.  What Coach Gibbs said was, "no, the rules are the same, but there are different ways to motivate individuals.   For example, Ernest Byner would run through walls for me and I never had to ask him anything."    It is amazing the success Joe Gibbs has had with the Redskins and NASCAR with Joe Gibbs Racing.  It was GREAT to meet Joe Gibbs in person!

Below is a photo of Coach Gibbs discussing when he went to John Riggins farm house to convince John to come back to the Redskins to play in Coach Gibbs first year.  When Riggins accepted he told Coach Gibbs, "IF I come back, I will make you famous."  Coach Gibbs thought, "this guy is a fruitcake!"  He said to himself, "I will have to trade this guy if he accepts my offer to play for the Redskins."

Below is Coach Gibbs drawing out the most productive play in Redskins history - "Charlie 10 Hitch".   Charlie 10 Hitch averaged 9 yards PER PLAY for the Redskins.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Steve Fanning Grand Marnier Expert

Last night Julie and I had a great dinner with Steve and Deborah Fanning in Annapolis, MD at Carrol's Creek Cafe.  It is hard to beat Annapolis for just a very cool place to hang out with friends for a tremendous dinner.    (The last time I ate there was with Neil Groundwater, Mike O'Dell before we left to bring Mike's super yacht to Florida). 

Steve is President of Path To Progress.  Steve and I are the two primary consultants on the business intelligence platform at AMT called MTInsight.

In the video below, Steve compares an $8 glass of Grand Marnier to a $25 glass that is 100 years old.  Steve knows his Grand Marnier!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Motor Trend 100% Correct On Grand Sport's Poor Tires

I have had my Corvette Grand Sport for over a year now.  I can honestly say that the decision to only offer the Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar Generation 2 tires on the Grand Sports is just plain stupid.  I tried to go with the Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires when I purchased my new Grand Sport, but was told that the Goodyeasr were the only options.  If it is below 40 degrees or raining it is like driving on ice.  The notion from Chevrolet that Corvette owners ONLY drive in the summer when it is blue skies is INSANE.

Yes, Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar Generation 2 tires are GREAT in perfect conditions.  Unfortunately, I live and drive on planet earth.

I subscribe to Motor Trend and I was really glad to see the article comparing the Grand Sport to the Porsche 911.  Motor Trend is a great magazine.  I disagree with idea that a car that is almost TWICE the price should compete directly with another car.

Grand Sport $72,130 Porsche 911  $131,760

The one point I do agree with are about the choice of Goodyear tires.  The athor  Jonny Lieberman really nails it when he talks about the stupid choice that Chevrolet made in FORCING Corvette Grand Sport owners to go with the Goodyear tires.
"A quick note about the Corvette's complete and utter failure in the wet: I admire the Porsche greatly, and it shows that Walter Roehrl went up above the Arctic Circle to help Porsche develop it. But I'm an American -- dammit -- and we have to stop making excuses for the Corvette. For instance, I've already heard this a few times since last week, "Yeah, sure, it's undriveable in the wet. But no one drives his Corvette in the winter. They garage 'em until spring." But here's the thing: That's stupid. Beyond stupid, it's not an excuse. It rains in Detroit. It snows in Detroit. I go there every single January, and if the ground isn't covered in snow, it's soaking wet and freezing cold. The Corvette was abysmal in inclement Southern California weather, whereas both Porsches were not only great in the rain, but fun -- and the 991 was downright impressive. And these are the 2WD models! The difference, like the excuse, is inexcusable. And if you're still scratching your head, in the wet, the Corvette was unable to keep up with the Porsche 991 at 42 mph around a sweeping bend. Pathetic."
 I am going to put the $2,000 into new Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires in the next few months since I hear it might rain this summer....

The Current Economics of Manufacturing

Russ Robert's host of EconTalk has a great segment on manufacturing.   Russ Roberts interviews Adam Davidson from NPR’s Planet Money about a article Davidson wrote on Greenville, SC and Standard Motor Products.

This is an hour long podcast really captures the realities of the current state of manufacturing.