My name is Harry Forsdick. In May 2004, I retired at age 56 after having worked for 30 years in the Internet business. In the first year of being retired, I discovered (like every other retiree) that there were a lot of things working provided me that I was missing. Sure we did a lot of traveling, which I love — but when we weren’t traveling, I needed more content and structure to my life.
During that first year, whenever I was immersed in a project in which I could use my knowledge of digital technologies, I was happy and felt productive. When I was idle, I felt uncomfortable, at loose ends. Sure, there are an infinite number of projects to do around the house, and as my wife, Marsha, reads this she is sharpening her pencil to add a couple more items to the ever expanding list. But these projects don’t have the same allure to me as projects to help others and which earn us money — perhaps, not as much as if I worked full time, but some. Thus, I’ve decided to set up a small business to pursue small projects that I can work on and help people.
During my career, I worked at four companies: 22 years at one company, BBN, where I was involved in the development of the Internet, 4 years at CMGI, where I founded Infomation Publishing and was CTO of several other CMGI startups. CMGI was at the epicenter of the .COM era and I had a wonderful time while the commercial side of the Internet unfolded. Finally, I spent 4 years at two companies, and Level 3, where as a refugee of the .COM era, I developed innovative illustrations of how to use the Internet. In these 30 years, I have always had the luxury of inventing new things — the process of seeing a problem and then figuring out how to solve that problem using a variety of existing and new technologies. I have always been a builder because I couldn’t convince myself that an idea was worth anything unless I could actually build it and make it work. My resume contains all of the details of my career. At one point, after I left BBN, I started to write an essay about major projects I worked on at BBN: Early Internet Applications
Along the way, I have acquired a lot of skills in the computer and communication
world. When not at work, I tried out my new ideas and things I built on my family. Most of these projects were in the computer and communication world. Along with the families of my fellow BBNers, we were usually the first on the block with things technical: a personal computer, a network, our own website, a set of web cams in our kitchen and basement, a wireless network, etc. I used computers for all sorts of things: [[http://www.forsdick.com/winter/|’‘’Christmas/Chanukah
cards and letters]] before they were commonly produced on computers, collections of digital music, photographs (pbase and webshots, and video, web sites that were tributes to my father, , my mother, Helen E. Forsdick’‘’,
and our dog Malcolm. Whenever we traveled, I combined my interest in travel with photography, and story telling, with my wife’s interest in history, and produce web-based accounts of our travels.
Pretty soon, I started offering help to my friends: first, by advising
them on what PC to buy, then how to set up a network, and then how to repair
their PCs that had become hopelessly mired by viruses and spyware. People
started asking me how I did some of the things I did in software and applications.
For example, a friend had seen a video I made of pictures of my mother (see
to the left) and asked me if I could help her produce a video tribute to
her father to be shown on his eightieth birthday. I was happy to help her.
She brought over her pictures, I scanned, cropped, resized, color corrected
and produced a draft of the movie. After several refinements, we had a very
nice presentation that her father was thrilled with.
My son informed me that I was a classic maven in the sense of the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. In that book, an expert is someone who knows a lot about a subject; a maven is an expert who is also an evangelist. For example, not only do I know a lot about PCs, but I am prone to take a friend by the hand to the store to help him or her buy the right PC…
Now, I have decided to set up a small business to offer my services to
others. To find out what I might do for you, check out the How I Work section and then the Work Examples section to understand the kinds of things I can do, and then the various sections in the Table of Contents in the left column of this page to understand my specific offerings.