About TechyMike


Now retired, Mike was an innovator and original contributor in the areas of: Remote work, telecommuting, video conferencing, desktop videoconferencing, and IP-based  video conferencing network design, implementation, and support.  

Mike designed and, with lots of help worldwide, implemented the first IP-based ad-hoc “cloud” videoconferencing service while working at the Energy Sciences Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

Mike also developed the concept for “Personal Telepresence” and spent his career evangelizing the need for video conferencing technology (and remote work) to be as easy to use as using the telephone. Update: Hmmm, it’s 2021 and the pandemic rages, and look at what happened. 🙂

Anyplace, Anytime, Anywhere.

Before he found videoconferencing, Mike was a digital design engineer having fun designing all kinds of weird and useful stuff for AT&T Bell Labs, Grumman Aerospace, and Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

Here are some links, for your reading enjoyment. 🙂

Personal Telepresence abstract.

Personal Telepresence “Answer Guys” Video Segment

EPROM Oscillator Design abstract

“Coherent Optical Determination of the Leaf Angle Distribution of Corn” Masters Thesis.

 Virtual Classroom Concept

I was the first to test video over Ethernet / LAN. See my paper here.

All my papers at LLNL

This is interesting….I will spend time looking for more! 🙂

More about Mike

Mike has been a leader, since 1990, in the effort to bring desktop videoconferencing, remote work, telecommuting, and, most recently, coworking, to fruition.

As TechyMike, Mike will write about technology and, hopefully, make it understandable for everyone.  TechyMike offers two one hour, intense but fun, classes where you learn, one-on-one, how to build a WordPress.com website and/or learn the basics of using social media for your small business.

Mike was the founder  of AltamontCowork, the first coworking location in San Joaquin County, based in Tracy, CA.  AltamontCowork celebrated it’s 5th anniversary on May 1, 2014 and transferred to a new owner on Dec 31, 2014.  As with video conferencing, TechyMike was just slightly ahead of the curve (slightly meaning 10 to 20 years….). Hopefully, the new owner, who is much younger, can hold out until coworking takes off in Tracy, CA (5 to 10 years at least). Update Feb 2019: He could not hold out. Tracy, CA now has zero coworking locations again.

Mike is the Director, and founder of,  ForCarol.com  a non-profit awarding college scholarships in honor of Carol Phan (Mike’s daughter’s best friend) who was killed with three other teens in a car crash on Sept 18, 2010, one day before she was to attend UC Davis.

Mike is an avid reader and writes book reviews as TracyReaderDad.

Mike was a substitute teacher in the Tracy Unified and Jefferson School Districts from 2007 thru 2016.

Mike has a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas and is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society, and Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical Engineering Honor Society.  He is a US Navy Vietnam Era veteran.

About Coworking (placed here for posterity)

UPDATE: 6/23/2019: A new coworking location has just opened in Tracy, CA. 5 years after writing the words below.

My parting words when I decided to close AltamontCowork.

AFTER 67 months of trying (65 of those at a loss), we will be closing AltamontCowork on Dec 31, 2014.

COWORKING in Tracy, CA WILL happen sometime in the future; when the CULTURE changes sufficiently to understand the beauty of, and embrace: Open, Collaborative, Work.

When will that happen???? I suspect 5 to 20 years.

Why that long???

Here is the clue: Those accepting, and fully embracing, this kind of work environment are just NOW 25 years old or YOUNGER. It will take 5 to 20 years for the oldest of them to “grow” sufficiently (and for us old farts to die off so they have the road ahead free of us) to have a major impact in the world.

THEN the world of collaborative work will change, but, only then. The circle of life. The youngsters of today will embrace collaborative work in the future….hail to them!

Tracy, CA Residents: When you see that next COWORKING location open up here….all I ask is that you have a fleeting memory of AltamontCowork….as we will ALWAYS be the first!

We have met many wonderful people and made some wonderful, lifelong, friends. There have been fun times and hard times. But, I appreciate each and every one who supported AltamontCowork (or Tracy Virtual Office…who remembers?) over the years.

The very very special people among you know who you are. (Yes, Tom Gardner knew….)

BUT….Like in Harry Potter: The Phoenix rises.

On Jan 1, 2015, YeOldeTechy (does anyone remember?) will rise again as: TechyMike


Cue the music from “Jaws”…..haha

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