Writer #6614
Denver, CO
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It could be said that Josh M. became a technical writer the instant he composed a piece concerning Russian Formalism on a machine he built himself. 'Word Processors', back then, fell far outside the means of an English student; given a choice between buying a used typewriter or making a computer out of scrap and wire from behind the Engineering Complex, Josh M. opted for the latter.

From there, on newer and improving machines, Josh M. went on to write hundreds of articles on a variety of technical topics, from optics, to psychoacoustics, to consumer electronics. He also wrote two books on emerging technologies, The Little Audio CD Book (2000) and Burn, Baby, Burn! (2004).

Though he wrote for several publications, including 'Wired', 'PC Magazine' and CNET, there is, or was, a kind of headquarters: the now-defunct 'EMedia', the magazine of record for the optical storage industry. At 'EMedia', Josh M. rose to Contributing Editor and was eventually given a column, "The Digital Aesthetic". The column treated of technology's impact on traditional art forms, and new art forms made possible by technological advance.

Having attracted some attention from his published work, Josh M. was called upon to write expert reports for use in litigation, several user manuals, white papers, training materials, the gamut. He found he has a knack for translation, boiling it all down: he speaks Engineerese, Developerese and Legalese fluently, and excels at transforming works in those languages into English.

Today, Josh M. finds himself building and maintaining EMR (Electronic Medical Records) infrastructure. Naturally, along with that goes staff training, security hardening, memorization of HIPAA, and, where possible, innovation. Nevertheless, Josh M. still answers the call of those needing copy - web or print - and still runs with attorneys on occasion.


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Industry Projects

  • Electronics100+
  • Hardware100+
  • High Tech100+
  • Software100+
  • Technology100+
  • Outdoor/Recreation50+
  • Craft20+
  • Medical10+
  • Legal6

Summary of Industry Experience


If it's new or weird, it will pass through Josh's office, that appears to be his lot. Josh has written hundreds of reviews of various consumer/prosumer/professional equipment, with a particular emphasis on audio, video, or some combination of the two. He's spent a great deal of time writing on home theater systems and components, from systems ready out of the box, to wireless parabolic speakers, to HD televisions, to all-in-one total home computing and entertainment. Now and again, UPS will deliver a digital video camera or prototype cell device.


Aside from the usual, that is, processors and video cards, Josh has written pounds on data storage and archiving, from simple desktop IDE hard disks to mass storage arrays. In particular, he's written on small- to medium-scale optical and magnetic solutions, robotic archiving and retrieval, SAN, NAS, SAN/NAS hybrids, optical duplicators and replicators, clusters (physical and virtual), and explosion management.

High Tech

All Josh's work springs in one way or another from here, even the outdoor pieces. In the widest category possible, Josh is a physicist. Narrowing that down, his areas of expertise are psychophysics (psychoacoustics in particular), optics, and robotics as they apply to mass storage. On those subjects, Josh has written in every literary form known to humanity, except the sonnet: white papers, user documentation, training materials, reviews, features, editorials, web copy, brochures, name it.


A lot of hardware passes through Josh's office, and these machines are always accompanied by software. In other words, the list of software Josh has seen is long, and he has no wish to glaze your eyes. We'll say instead that Josh has an abiding interest in three categories of software: analog capture, audio engineering/restoration, and audio preservation. As we move through history and technological advance, not everything is preserved; this, of course, appears to be a function of what is and what is not profitable given the dominant contemporary medium and cultural inclinations. There's vinyl that needs to be kept alive, and it's nowhere to be found in the iTunes store. So, Josh quietly amasses terabytes of forgotten music and narrative. In the interest of making himself practical, Josh is versed in several EMR suites, all that is needed for virtualization, and, while committed to Open Source, Josh runs hard metal machines of pretty much every operating system.


Josh devoted his column to the intersection of technological advance and our culture at large. The pressing concern, to him, was what becomes of older art forms in the face of what's now an almost purely digital world. Josh talked with filmmakers about the advent of digital recording, painters about Photoshop, musicians about lossy compression, photographers about cameraphones, and writers about immediate access to almost every bit of knowledge we've accumulated.


Most of Josh's writing on the subject of outdoor recreation is web copy. Of particular interest to him is the lightly explored backcountry, primarily because there are no other anglers to bother him. Josh's writing in this area largely consists of fly fishing the small, brush-choked waters of the wilderness, and what is needed in a backpack for that. Other articles of note concern hazards one might encounter in the woods - escaping a bear, for example - and minimalist existence.


Josh writes on fly fishing-related crafts. He's a practicing rodsmith and reelsmith, as well as an active (some say innovative) fly tyer. On the subject of building fly rods and reels, Josh has written a number of practical pieces (finding splines, burnishing wraps, that sort of thing) as well as some off the beaten path (wooden grip inlays, guide spacing theory, unusual alloys). Josh made his bones as a fly tyer with his invention 'Old Greg', a microcaddis imitation now widely fished along the Rocky Mountain front range.


On a lark, Josh helped his physician go electronic with his charts, which in turn led to a side-career. The easy part, it turns out, is server construction and maintenance, network security, database security, availability, redundancy, and deployment of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software across clinics. The hard part, possibly because it was so utterly boring, was memorizing HIPAA so as to ensure compliance. At the clinics Josh built EMR infrastructure for, he found himself learning law, medicine, and unfamiliar software so he could write training and informational documents for the entire staff, doctor to receptionist.


Josh is advised he can say he worked with litigators on three technology-related lawsuits, serving as an expert witness, a writer of expert reports, a researcher, the civil equivalent of a private investigator, and a consultant. It being that the parties involved are household names in all three suits, he can only offer broad generalities as to the litigation: some things broke, causing a stir. Josh then set out to deliberately break these things, wrote up his experiences, and testified to his findings.

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