Businesses / Websites

My Handyman work (which includes yard work and assisting people with moving appliances, furniture, etc) is what keeps me busy most days.

Handyman tasks: Attach shelves, etc. to walls; Build shelving, storage spaces; Install curtains, drapes, blinds; Assemble furniture (eg. Ikea);
Repairs: Plumbing (clogs, leaks, drips);Appliances and furniture;Windows, doors, closets;Bicycle tune-ups, repairs, customize
Technology: Computer help (Windows, Mac, Linux); Phone help (Android, Apple, others); WiFi, printers, other hardware; Websites (HTML, Wordpress, JS, PHP)
Other: Moving (boxes, appliances, rent UHaul); Painting (walls, trim, objects); Wiring lights, change flourescents; Gardening/landscaping; and many other things

Because I've always tried to archive my own life and adventures I decided to create a business based on the concept of helping others do the same by digitizing photos and mementos, creating a timeline of their lives, and uploading the results to the cloud where it can all be safely stored and viewed by others.

Do you have boxes full of photos from your life? Do you have precious letters, journals, diaries, and memories you want to preserve and pass on to others? Are you worried that all these valuable artifacts could be ruined in a fire, a flood, by mold, or most likely: simply forgotten and thrown away? Then you need a Personal Archivist! I will make high quality digital images of every important photo, document, letter and memento from your life and then save them on USB memory, upload them to "the cloud" (the unlimited storage available on the internet), present everything in an easy to access website, or create a fascinating video which can be shared with others and passed on through the generations. You will never have to fear losing these important records of your life! Wouldn't it be wonderful to have every photo, letter and memento online, easy to browse, easy to search, and easy to show to others? I'll help you accomplish that. Preserving memories and creating life narratives has been a passion of mine for decades.

VungTau.Online was a guide to Vietnam's beautiful coastal city of Vung Tau (about 100km east of Ho Chi Minh City). I photographed nearly 7,000 businesses of every type (shops, services, education, government, etc.), then they were mapped and entered into a MySQL database which could be searched by name, address, phone number, business type or keywoard. The site also provided slide shows of various highlights of the city, weather forecasts, an events calendar, classified ads, and a social forum. All of this information was freely accessible by anyone who visited the site, either in Vietnamese or English.

Businesses in the VTO system could become a "member" of VTO for a one time charge of only $10. Members got a one page website and their own subdomain (Name.VungTau.Online). I created the initial web page (it could be edited by the business) using an easy to use drag and drop web page designer. Like NTOM (see below) I handled every aspect of the design, coding, marketing, etc. Unfortuately most businesses didn't really understand the concept of having their own web page, and it proved extremely difficult to recruit reliable, skilled staff, so VungTau.Online is no longer active.

NTOM ('Nhat Tao Online Market') was an e-commerce site for bringing the >900 shops of Saigon's Nhat Tao Electronics Market online by providing free websites, online ordering, and parts pickup and delivery. NTOM handled all aspects of dealing with online purchases, so the shops could sell worldwide with almost no extra effort.

NTOM was a solo programming project, written with PHP, MySQL, Javascript, and HTML/CSS. The Vietnamese/English site was launched July, 2014. Sadly NTOM was ahead of its time: shops were wary of the internet and didn't want to join (for only $10/month), and Vietnamese people are still reluctant to purchase items online. As a result NTOM is no longer active.

P.Bio ('Your Personal Biographer') is a Java application released in August, 2008. By tracking your online actions, banking, photographs, and phone activity it automatically creates a timeline of your life. Jump to any day to see the pictures you took, the friends you contacted, where you were, and more. It has a powerful search feature to find people, places, and other items from your life history. It comes with 30 beautiful themes.

P.Bio was a joint project, written in Java with one other developer over two years. We invested approximately $250,000. Unfortunately we could not get venture capital or other investment to fund a good marketing campaign. So after selling only a few copies we had to close the business and return to our engineering jobs to pay off the debt.

MusEdit is a powerful music notation editor, pricipally for guitarists, for writing treble/bass music, guitar tab, rhythm notation, chord diagrams, and lyrics. It has many features such as translation from standard notation to tab, transposition, accurate playback, professional quality printing, and a 284 page manual.

MusEdit (a solo project, written in C++) first went on sale in 1997 and went through 14 years of upgrades, with a price ranging from $35 initially to $79 at its peak popularity. As of March 1, 2011 it has been offered free of charge. Over 5,000 copies of MusEdit were sold, mainly from the website.

Yowza Enterprises

This is the parent company (a sole proprietership) for VungTau.Online, NTOM, P.Bio, MusEdit, and my private contracting work, and my development of a few proprietary inventions. It was established as a registered business in California beginning in 1997 and became an LLC in 2006 (as "Yowza Software"). It is now also a regsitered business in Vietnam (as "Yowza Co. Ltd.")