Category Archives: Blumbers

Weekly Commentary

Aug. 21, 2011 Blumbers

Promises Kept

As I left the Susan Lucas Conwell farewell event in Los Altos, I knew that it was a closing chapter. I had kept my word to the dead.

I promised Jay D. Pinson that I would work with the SVEC to get as many scholarships as possible to the next generation of engineers. I promised Barb Cass that I would help transform SDForum into SVForum. I promised Viki Maki that I would rebuild the STC Silicon Valley chapter website. They are all gone now but I honored their last requests. For years I had worked quietly behind the scenes but at some point you get noticed. The grand poobah stuff of becoming a director, president or fellow was just an inevitable side effect of getting the job done.

Things in Silicon Valley were as chaotic as usual. Fifteen years ago, Apple was near bankruptcy and now it was the most valuable company on the planet. Google bought Motorola to get into making hardware while HP was trying to get out. Facebook was five years old and like any child seemed to have trouble deciding what it wanted to be when it grew up. Oracle’s Larry Ellison had made fun of the cloud and now was preparing to make money with it. Nokia, Microsoft and Intel were struggling to remain relevant in the new mobile world. It was a very uncertain time.

Things were about to get even crazier. That night there was an overflow venture capital pitching event up in Palo Alto. Somebody there would have the next idea that would turn everything else upside down. I got in my car. There would be more chaos up north.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

June 27, 2010 Blumbers

When a friend is ill or dying, I think it important to stick with them, to the end and beyond. If they have a last request I try to carry it out. It’s one of those agreements that make up the backbone of civilization.

Two years ago my friend Barb died from cancer. She wanted more articles and pictures in the SDForum News. She said that our success would attract other people to cover these events. That is happening. I have kept my word.

In the meantime I have written more articles and taken more photographs than anyone in SDForum history. It is a record of sorts, an achievement that will never be duplicated (in the print version at least).

Sometimes people wonder why I take so many pictures of people. I wish I had taken more pictures of Barb.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Dec. 27, 2009 Blumbers


The good news is that this horrible decade is almost over. Considering all that has happened over the past ten years I can safely say I’m ten years older than I ever thought I’d ever be. With a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck I’ll be here ten years from now. Text from

This year I continued to expand my reach and range. I continue to support the Future Salon, Long Now Foundation, SDForum, Society for Technical Communication, and the Silicon Valley Engineering Council. I have also expanded coverage to organizations like AmBar, ASAP, Astia, CICC, CIDM, CITRIS, CSPA, NASSCOM, San Jose BioCenter, SME, SVCWireless, VSVN and others. There is always something going on somewhere so don’t be surprised if I show up out of the blue to cover it. Text from

In many ways this was the year of the Grand Poobah, where I was recognized for my work with honors like Media Fellow, Associate Fellow, Board Director, etc. With the fancy titles comes the responsibility of encouraging and recognizing the work of others building these communities. Text from

No matter what happens, the future isn’t going away. I aim to be part of it. I hope you will be too.

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Oct. 4, 2009 Blumbers

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One More Soldier

By DJ Cline

September 11, 2026 3:30 AM

High on a ridge between Pakistan and Afghanistan was one more soldier in one more war. Text from

Captain Don Jin of the Chinese Army was assigned to find and kill the latest villain named Jaca. Many men had been sent to kill him and all had failed. Don’s commanders briefed him in Kabul and gave him a rough direction on where Jaca was last seen. They would keep sending soldiers until Jaca was dead. Text from DJCline.

Don’s approach was very low budget and off the radar. After picking up his regular field gear, he poked around town until he found someone who had the kind of rifle he wanted, sneaked into their compound and stole it. He found a truck, stole it and drove it as far as he could into the mountains. When he ran out of road, he started walking and then climbing. When he arrived at the last known location for Jaca, he started tracking him like an animal. Three weeks later he located what he thought was Jaca’s entourage in a remote village. It was not that difficult. In a poor country, the trash of rich people stands out on a trail. Text from DJCline.

He lay flat on his stomach just below the top of the ridge looking through his rifle’s night scope. In the valley below he saw half a dozen mud brick buildings built by local tribesmen. He looked at the largest building glowing from a fire inside. Don had been waiting for Jaca to step outside and use the latrine for a week. It never happened. Instead women would carry slop buckets out every morning. Don was patient. Jaca would make a mistake. Text from DJCline.

He kind of wished Jaca still smoked. Smokers inevitably stepped outside. He had gotten several targets this way. Don looked around the ridge he was standing on and found dozens of cigarette butts from Americans, Russians, British and possibly Turkish soldiers. They had all been here before him. Since arriving he also found batteries, buttons, wrappers, brass casings and even a bronze arrowhead. He wondered if the whole mountain was simply a pile of trash leftover from earlier battles. People had been fighting here for a very long time. With tensions between China and India so high he wondered if the next soldier on this ridge would have a laser pistol or a bow and arrow. Text from DJCline.

There was movement at the bottom of the valley. A woman carrying a baby was walking up the trail. A guard woke up and stopped her. She held her baby close as it started to cry. Don turned on the rifle microphone and tried to hear the conversation. As near as he could understand it, the woman said she was carrying a son Jaca did not know about. The woman begged to see Jaca. The guard alerted another guard who escorted her to the large building. Text from DJCline.

Listening through the microphone Don heard the consternation of Jaca’s voice at being woken up in the middle of the night. It sounded like the baby was given to Jaca to hold. The woman excused herself to use the latrine. She walked quickly to the latrine and then ran past it and up the hill toward Don. Through the microphone he thought he heard someone shout, “It’s not a baby!” Text from DJCline.

Suddenly the large building exploded, temporarily overwhelming the night scope and hitting the overload cutoff on the microphone. Guards ran out of the other buildings shouting and began shooting in the air. By now the woman was halfway up the hill and had taken off her clothes, wig and makeup. The woman was in fact a very thin man wearing a black commando outfit. As he approached Don the man held up his hands and said, “I am Tapas Kalki of the Indian Intelligence Service. Captain Jin, we need to leave this area immediately.”Text from DJCline.

The guards were beginning to fan out into the flame lit darkness. Both of them were now going to have to outrun some very angry men. How did that this guy already know his name? Te

Next? Pluribus 1

Text from DJCline.

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 29, 2009 Blumbers


Fellowship of a Thing

I always thought I was a fellow and now I have proof.

Regular readers to this site may know that I am currently president of the STC Silicon Valley Chapter. This month STC headquarters back in Washington D.C. announced that I will become an Associate Fellow. As with anything I do, there is always more than one person involved. Over the next few weeks I will try to publicly thank all the wonderful volunteers I have worked with over the years that made this award possible.

I’ve also written my 100th article for SDForum News. Once again, I could not have done it without the excellent staff and volunteers that bring the latest in emerging technology to my attention. Apparently my business cards will now say Media Fellow. I now have to write about writing about SDForum. :-)

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.