Who am I?
That's a good question... at the very least, I am Alex Venz. For the time being, though, I'd probably be best served by briefly describing what I've been up to for the past decade or so. Hopefully that'll help you draw your own conclusions, rather than relying on some idealistic blurb from me.
Let's see... A Silicon Valley native, I graduated from high school in 2003 and spent a substantial amount of my middle school and high school years acting as a school computer technician of sorts. I was also an integral part of both my high school's and middle school's closed circuit television stations, video production labs, and my high school's three-man robotics team (awarded Best Online Journal [TechChallenge 2002], 3rd Place in Double Elimination [BotBall 2003, Northern California], and Most Dynamic/Airborne Robot [BotBall 2003, Northern California]). During high school, several summers were spent working with the Santa Clara County Office Of Education's Internet Institute program, where I assisted in teaching K-12 teachers basic internet/computer skills (including website design and HTML) and how to better integrate technology into their lesson plans. Shortly after my graduation from High School, I spent about a year and a half attending classes at a community college while holding a couple tech-related jobs.
In early 2005, an opportunity presented itself which would allow me to launch what, at the time, had been a long-simmering side project: Petra'sTech and its short-term revenue generating counterpart Petra's Tech Shop (PTS). PT/PTS was intended to be a kind of experiment in the fusion of a tech site, R&D house, manufacturer, and online store. The overall goal of which was to provide a one-stop source for interesting, informative product reviews, industry commentary, gaming and gaming-related events, as well as growing an online community of modders, overclockers, and other computer enthusiasts through the creation of our own forums. By August of 2005, I had found a business partner to help cover startup costs and leased a 1540 sq. ft. warehouse and office in San Jose, CA to serve as our base of operations. The experiment went rather well, to say the least, and I added product designer and tester to my rather long list of titles in late 2006 with the release of my first performance enhancing custom Laing DDC pump top. From that point forward, design projects, product testing, and industry consulting consumed the majority of my focus. By the time 2008 came to a close, the store's gross revenue had exceeded one half-million dollars annually (though it had come close in 2007) but ever-thinning profit margins and the huge decline in consumer purchasing which came along with the recession resulted in Petra'sTech (the R&D arm of things) halting operations at the end of 2009 and Petra's Tech Shop being sold to Sidewinder Computer Systems, Inc.
Presently, I live with my wife in Southern California, lend my expertise to tech journalists and the members of XtremeSystems, provide limited consulting services, and have been working on improving my coldplate testing, among other things. My current goal is to branch out into larger industries, seeking more opportunities for intellectual growth and discovery.