Spending a week at Hilton Head Island

If you follow me on twitter you know I am in Hilton Head Island, SC. I have actually been planning this trip for a few months with my friend Adam. September is actually the perfect time to get away from Pittsburgh, as it starts to get cold right around now. We took the 10-11 hour drive down to the island and are staying at a condo that his family owns. The condo is part of the Palmetto Dunes Resort and is really nice and most importantly has internet. So I am able to still work while on vacation. Here are some photos of the condo itself.

The drive down was actually not that bad at all. Adam and I switched off and on driving and took a few stops to eat. One thing we noticed is that the further south you get the faster people drive. At one point it seemed like 80 was the normal driving speed for most people!

The condo is only 5 minutes from the beach so it a simple walk to get over there. Stay tuned for more posts from my trip! This is my first time at Hilton Head Island so I am going to be taking photos and blogging about it all! You can also follow me on Twitter to see what I’m up to.

Shooting the Sunset from the Hot Metal Bridge

As many of you know photography is a hobby of mine. I am no pro photographer, but I do enjoy shooting different things. One thing I’ve always wanted to shoot was the view down into the city from the Hot Metal Bridge. Many times I am driving across this bridge and look over and see the city and it just looks awesome so I know I had to capture the moment. Summer is coming to an end so I know I had to get these shots before it was too late, so the other night I went down there and took some shots.

All photos were taken with a Canon Rebel XT with a Sigma 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 lens. I think the shots turned out pretty well. I still want to shoot the city from a few other locations before winter, we will see of that happens. Check out the gallery below for all the photos!

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A Front Page Update to ThinkComputers

This year I have really been putting a lot of work into ThinkComputers. We are now doing video reviews and unboxings, we have community forums, a weekly newsletter and much more. One thing we never really posted much on the site was news. I just never viewed it as something important and I wanted to keep the focus on the reviews and articles on the site. For that reason the front page of ThinkComputers only listed articles and reviews. To see any news you would have to actually go into the news section, although there was not much of any news there.

Well a few weeks ago that changed. I have started to post at least 2 or more news stories a day. After talking with many people they all told me they like keeping up to date on industry news and they always go back to sites that have daily news. Doing this is going to require more work, but finding tech news is really not that hard at all and if posting more news will get more people to come to the site more often I am all for it.

So I needed to change the front page of ThinkComputers to display news as well as the articles and reviews. That was easily done with a simple WordPress plugin. ThinkComputers has 4 “featured” boxes at the top of the site. We used these to promote featured content. If I wanted a post to show up there it would be put in the featured category. Now I needed those 4 boxes to show the latest reviews, articles and videos on the site. I thought this would be easy, but when you want to display content from more than one category in WordPress it is a bit hard, especially since I really do not do any coding. After a few hours I had it working though (stay tuned for a future post on how I did it).

This is the first real “change” of the website’s front page in a while. I like change and it always gets me motivated to keep on improving. Also posting industry news keeps me up to date with things. I have some other big updates planned for ThinkComputers, but I first have to figure out the coding and the jQuery library.

Startup Drinks Pittsburgh

I really enjoy hanging out with people in the Startup community in Pittsburgh. It is always great to meet new people, talk about ideas and see the cool projects these people are working on. I had actually never heard of Startup Drinks before. The night before I was out and ran in to my friend Zach and he told me about the event and I was pretty excited to check it out. This event was held at the Apple Store in Shadyside.

The whole idea of the event is to bring people in the Startup community together to discuss ideas, get advice, and maybe even meet people you could hire or do business with. The event kicked off with a speaker, Dave Nelsen. Dave is a entrepreneur who has raised $70 million in angel and venture funding. Of course his talk was on funding. It was a really insightful and interesting talk. Definitely gave you a good idea about how funding works, how to get started and Dave’s own personal experiences.

After the talk there were a couple of demos setup from AlphaLab and PGH Tech Council. The only one that I really got to check out was Tunessence. It is basically an online teaching tool for musicians. Currently it only supports guitar right now, but I do believe they plan to add more instruments in the future.

The event continued across the street at Steel Cactus for drinks and conversations. Overall it was a great event and I hope there are more events like it soon. Remember if you want to stay up to date on what I’m up to you can always follow me on twitter!

Turning 28…

It seems like only yesterday that I was turning 27, now I am 28! Another year has gone by and lessons have been learned. It seems as I am getting older I always think back to even 5 years ago and those unforgettable experiences, meeting new friends, traveling etc. Missing those experiences really makes you realize you have to enjoy everything that life throws at you, because you only live once.

Thinking over this past year to me I think the thing I did the most was really concentrate on my business and myself. I had always had a girlfriend or significant other and that took up a lot of time and I would always be dealing with someone else’s problems rather than my own. Because of this I would fall behind on business, and feel overwhelmed. Well for the past year I have been pretty much single and honestly it is a great feeling. I don’t have to worry about someone else, my life is not a soap opera and at the end of the day I can smile. I don’t expect to be single forever but being single for this long has really taught me a lot and has made me realize that I should not settle for something that I do not deserve.

Enough about the personal life though, what about business? Business is going great! ThinkComputers is still my main business and we have really done a lot to take it to the next level and we are not stopping anytime soon. With new staff, new features, and great support from our sponsors I am very excited to see what the end of 2012 and the start of 2013 has to bring! I’ve also learned to be a lot less lazy with work and really step it up!

Lately I have surrounded myself with positive people and they are great to be around. Everyone is always in a good mood and there is never drama. I am a big believer in the idea of surrounding yourself with good people and over the past year I really have and I couldn’t be happier. These people have also turned out to be great friends and people who have been there when I needed them. As I look into the 28th year of my life I feel happy and I hope to take all that life throws at me over the next year!