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Factotumo is about music, technology, and code.
I’ve been a musician since I was a kid. I heard one of my friend’s older brothers playing Metallica on a guitar through a practice amp in his bedroom one day. I think he was playing Seek and Destroy from Kill ’em All, and it sounded completely awesome. I immediately wanted to play guitar. I figured if he could do it then I could, too. So I practiced a lot and got to be a pretty good guitarist.
I learned scales and chord inversions and jazz standards and went to college to study music technology. I got to be a better musician and started learning about digital music. I was more into the music than technology at that point, though, and focused more on guitar and jazz theory than computers.
Then I graduated. I played in top 40 bands, jazz bands, and taught guitar lessons. And I had a day job. I worked in a trust department at a bank. I typed letters from dictations recorded on cassette tapes. After typing the letters I mailed them. There were a lot of letters to type and mail. Then one day I was asked to move dozens of boxes full of bank statements from a small room on one floor to a bigger room on another floor. After that I quit. It was an unfulfilling job and it made me stop and think about the kind of work I wanted to do.
Around that time the Internet was working its way into mainstream culture and there were lots of companies looking for people who could make web pages. I took some multimedia classes as part of my schoolwork so I knew the basics of making web sites. I started spending less time making music and a lot of time learning how to make web pages. I got pretty good at that, too, and eventually landed a job doing it. My first job wasn’t great but I loved the technology and making computers do things. A friend of mine helped me get a better job where I was fortunate to be able to work with some very talented and creative people. Not only was I growing my skills but I learned that work could actually be fun. I was hooked and have been learning about software ever since.
But music got pushed out to the periphery of my life. It was still present but wasn’t really a meaningful part of my day-to-day life. Then I got an iPad and wondered if I could make music with it. I was surprised to discover a thriving development scene full of innovative and inspiring music software. It really rekindled my enthusiasm for music and made me curious about the broader music technology industry.
So I’m working on Factotumo as a way to stay more connected to music and keep track of things that are interesting to me (and maybe you, too!).
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