About

Welcome! My name is Justin Miller and this is my personal website. I live in Portland, Oregon, USA with my amazing girlfriend. I’m a maker, programmer, photographer, and traveler. You can read more about my current and past projects or some of my recent inspirations. On a very personal note, I was a widower before 40 and, as a result, a pancreatic cancer advocate. It’s an experience that has greatly shaped my thoughts on work/life balance, the use of time, and the nature of taking, and offering, opportunities.

I’ve been working full-time in tech since the late 90s. I’m very proud of the fact that I self-taught in my career after buying my first modern computer in college, co-founding a few startups, and eventually dropping out of engineering school to spend more time in a self-directed environment. You can read more about some of that in this post about my computing history. In recent years, I’ve moved more in the direction of hardware and making, whereas most of my previous career was in pure software and systems.

I grew up in an economically depressed coal mining region in Appalachia, the grandson of farmers and steel workers, in a hard-working family, which taught me many lessons and for which I am eternally grateful. I am the first in my family to even come close to finishing college, and with a lot of hard work plus trial and error, I have been able to achieve a comfortable life where I am lucky enough to essentially have my pick of interesting work. I’ve become a lover of big cities, diverse culture, and wandering the wider world, but in many ways I’m still a small-town country boy at heart.

I mention all of this to shine a light on my perspective and because it’s been a big personal challenge for me to navigate the change from work as purely economic to work as creative fulfillment and on to, hopefully, work as a way to make an impact, something I hope to do with this site.

Along the way, I’ve come to realize that although I’ve got much to be proud of, I’ve lived on the easy setting, so I try to remember that and to pay it forward when I can, whether with time, money, or just a helpful hand.

This site is my “digital hub” (to co-opt a term), a place to collect thoughts, media, history, and other digital miscellany. I hope that you enjoy it.