So, who am I? I’m Tony Sumrall. My parents, Glenn and Catherine Sumrall ran the Highland Lanes bowling alley back in the day and if you were around back then, you probably saw me run to the back to reset a pin or unstick your bowling ball. I graduated from Hillsboro High School (the “old” one) in 1971 (yeah, I’m old) and from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1975.
I got into tech at Miami and have worked in tech ever since graduation. Depending on how you count them, I’ve been through five startups, three “successful” (meaning we actually got money out of them) and three that “failed.” Yes, I realize that math doesn’t work — five startups, three successes and failures failures equals six. Well, one failed, but we managed to revive it and it went on to become a success.
I retired from IBM last year (they acquired my startup in 2008). Retirement has given me the time and opportunity to really indulge my interest/love of tech. I’m an adjunct instructor for the Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute in the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) at Miami (see https://miamioh.edu/cec/about/centers-institutes/lockheed-martin/leadership-institute-team/index.html) and am working with some friends on another startup.
I moved to San Jose, California in 1980 — I lovingly refer to this area as Silly-con Valley — and I’ve been here ever since. My hope is that I can bring along some of my enthusiasm about technology and introduce you to or explain or clarify some aspects of newer technology.
My columns will often have long URLs in them. I don’t like to hide them behind URL shorteners like bit.ly because I want you to know exactly where I’m recommending you go (don’t know about shorteners? That’ll be in another column!). My recommendation is that you read my column and if you want to go to those sites, read the online version which should contain a link you can click on.
What will we talk about? Mostly it’s up to you, but I’ll start with a few articles about things like watching TV for free over the Internet, how to get the stuff you’re watching on your tablet or phone onto your TV, how those earbuds manage to work without actually plugging them in to your phone, and what exactly is a smart home?
Tony Sumrall, a Hillsboro native whose parents ran the former Highland Lanes bowling alley, is a maker with both leadership and technical skills. He’s been in the computing arena since his graduation from Miami University with a B.S. in systems analysis, working for and with companies ranging in size from five to hundreds of thousands of employees. He holds five patents and lives and thrives in Silicon Valley which feeds his love for all things tech.