My Visio Office

Back in 1993, maybe 1994, as Visio was growing we were running short on space. There was this little space that was essentially a closet and I thought it would make a great office, so I moved in.

I just ran across a picture of it while I was browsing through some old pictures.

My old Visio office.

There are some interesting things to point out, at least I think they’re interesting.

In the upper left you’ll notice what looks like a little blue motor, that’s because it is. Our space in Westlake Center was kind of funky. That blue motor operated a garage door that opened into a meeting room, which later became the office of our IT guy, Neal Myrick, if memory serves.

Will code C++ for food.On the door you’ll notice a notice a small piece of cardboard taped to it. That cardboard read “Will write C code for food.” I thought it had been lost forever then I happened across it when we moved from Exeter to San Luis Obispo. It’s safely packed away in storage.

On the shelves in the background you’ll notice pictures of my lovely wife, Kim, and our daughters; Haileigh and Taylor. Our girls were babies then, now they’re all grown up. Haileigh is married and Taylor is in college.

The top row on the shelves are some of the first copies of Visio 1.0 and 2.0 to roll off the assembly line. The Visio 2.0 boxes have a red 2.0 in the lower right corner of the yello Visio writing. Yes, we shipped software in boxes on things called floppy discs. John Marshall maintains a nice History of Visio page.

The hunk of acrylic sitting in front of the boxes is the Visio 1.0 “tombstone” given to each employee that worked on the product. It’s funny I don’t have a closeup to share. I think it was packed away with the rest of my Visio keepsakes, including a copy of every version of Visio I ever worked on.

On the second row of shelves you’ll notice three beer bottles. Red Hook ESB, Winter Hook, and Ballard Bitter. Yeah, I like their beer.

On my desk you’ll notice a blue coffee mug. It was our gift for shipping version 2.0. The mug is blue with Visio in yellow and a red 2.0 on the “O” in VISIO. Around the rim, on the inside, it says “Rob Fahrni.” I love that mug. When we find a permanent residence and I can dig out all my Visio memorabilia it’ll be put in a nice case with everything else.

The top picture on the wall behind my computer is a screen shot that includes an add-on I wrote for Visio called TPalette. It allowed you to create customizable floating tool palettes of different commands. It was pretty sweet. It was created at a time before Visio supported COM and automation. That version of our add-on API was all C based and was never released because Microsoft released OLE 2.0 and COM, the rest is history.


More on the new Pelco

Security Systems News: “Would Pelco be in the same place had Schneider never purchased it? Fages, who’s been with the company seven years, took some time to think. “Would it be the same? My answer would probably be, ‘no.’ I believe Schneider is probably better prepared to fight the downturn in the economy that we are facing today. I was in charge of Asia for the last four years. The previous ownership didn’t understand what it meant to manufacture in China. All of those changes we’ve made to get more international, Schneider has stronger experience with that. The previous ownership wouldn’t have been able to implement those changes quickly and to face the economic situation.” – This is the best article I’ve read on the changes at Pelco. It’s about becoming a stronger company, period. I like that, it’s truthful, and gets beyond all the bluster of “if the prior owners were here…” because the honest truth is this, if the prior owners had been in charge of Pelco in the face of the economic crisis I’m not certain the company would still be operating. The new Pelco answers to shareholders and that’s a good thing. We have a new direction, new leadership, and some very interesting work ahead of us. Becoming a stronger company, a more agile company, will help move us forward and allow us to build the products we need to build.

The new open Pelco is a better Pelco.


My wife rocks

Kim Fahrni: “I have been with her for over 3 yrs and lets just say that rotating aides every 18 months sound like a much better plan. It’s been awesome to see her growth and get to know her so well, but the burnout is sometimes overwhelming. There are only so many times that you can get hit, kicked, or bit before you start to wonder if you have chosen the right line of work.” – Kim works with autistic and other special needs children. I know she loves her work and the little girl she’s currently working with, but on occasion it can be physically and emotionally draining for her. I hope she’ll keep writing on her weblog as a way to help herself and others dealing with autism.

She’s making a difference, and I think she’s pretty terrific.