April 26, 2015

Bachelor Week 2015

Bachelor Week 2015
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 26, 2015

For the first time in awhile, I was a bachelor staying home by myself this week .  Miss Sheri and the boys took a bus-ride down to the First Robotics World Championships in St. Louis.

I didn't get to go because I was out of the office last week and someone needs to stay home and pay the bills while the family goes off gallivanting at some robot tournament near the arch.  I don't have the family's photos yet, so I'm featuring some of the ones I found from various friends on Facebook.

Since the Championship tournament takes place the same week as many high school proms, one of the team hosts a "RoboProm" for the kids who choose to come to St. Louis instead.

Luke, Avery, and Jackson have been on the same robotics team since 7th grade and have shared many adventures together because of it.

Sunny liked Bachelor Week because I ended up taking him to the dog park more often than usual.  I needed to do something to get out of the house and off the computer.

My good friends, Sean and Anne, have a relatively new dog and now have memberships to the same dog park that we used to go to all the time.  I'm thinking now that they are regulars there, we may have to start going again.

I've been going to Mystic Lake Casino for about 20 years.  The Meadows golf course and bar and grill have been open for about 7 years now, but I never knew they had this incredible restaurant attached to the casino since Friday night when my mom showed me.  She knows where all the good bars are.

You go through the hotel lobby and take the guest elevators.  There you find a wonderful sports bar and grill called The Meadows with really good food.  I'll definitely be going there again.

On Saturday night, I took Jason and Jen there to check it out.  They never knew it was there either.

Jason and I had fun playing slots and ended the night on a pretty good note!

Our excitement for this week will be bringing home our new puppy, Blue.  We are excited to see how these two will live with one another.  We pick him up on Sunday night when Sheri and the boys get home from their trip.

Have a great week, everyone! 

April 20, 2015

Intel & Equus Webinar On The Intel® Next Unit of Computing (NUC) Mini PC

This is a recent webinar I did with Intel introducing their latest NUC Mini PC.  My part doesn't start until about 25 minutes in, but I think I'm well worth the wait! :)

Here's more details on the product:

Todd Swank

April 19, 2015

Las Vegas 2015

Las Vegas 2015
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 19, 2015

I spent most of the week in sunny Las Vegas.

 It was a combination work trip and vacation.  The first 2 nights I was there for work and stayed at a new hotel called the Linq which is right next to Harrah's and the Flamingo.  It's also right next to a new attraction called the High Roller!

The reason for my trip was to attend NAB 2015 also known as the National Association of Broadcaster's convention.

I had never been to this show before, but it was incredibly cool.  It's targeted at members of the broadcasting industry and I saw people there from Universal Pictures, ESPN, Fox Sports, and about 1000 TV channels from all over the world.  They were all there to see the latest and greatest technology available in broadcasting. 

The show did not disappoint.  I saw an incredible range of massive LED screens featuring 4K and 8K video footage.  If you think our lives are smothered in video content currently, you ain't seen nothing yet.  These screens look like windows into another world because their images are crystal clear and they just keep getting bigger and bigger!

Of course, I was there to sell servers and it was good to see several of our partners in attendance at the show like Supermicro.  If you're interested in servers please check out my brand new blog here:

My favorite new technology is Virtual Reality and there were several companies at NAB doing demonstrations.  It has been about a year since I'd last seen an Oculus Rift demo and I'm pleased to say the technology continues to advance.  I saw incredible 360 degree videos of movie trailers, animated roller coasters, and best of all my first experience with what watching sports will be like in virtual reality.  It's absolutely incredible!  NextVR mounted a VR camera on the side of a hockey rink during an NHL game.  It feels like you're actually in the rink because you can look around and see every inch of it while the game is being played.  This technology is going to change our lives.

You can check out my new blog on Virtual Reality here:

Another awesome new technology that seemed to be everywhere was drones.  There had to be 50 different booths there hawking drones of all shapes and sizes and a bunch of demonstrations where they were flying through the air shooting video of the geeks drooling over their capabilities including myself.

Last blog plug.  I also blog about robotics and drones here:

There were so many things to see at the show and so many interesting people to talk to.  I walked the floor for three straight days until my feet were going to fall-off, but still didn't come close to seeing everything.  Although I did see this artist making masterpieces with actual Rubik's Cubes.  Just an incredible event.

I had never been to Vegas all by myself before, but I kept relatively entertained at night.  Some of the vendors had big parties where I was able to go and network and bird-dog opportunities for my company.  I also was proud of myself that I stopped by one night club and sang Karaoke to a bunch of strangers.  They didn't seem to pay me much attention, but I'm certain deep down inside they were digging it.

Late on Tuesday night, I went down town to connect with some of the Hornbuckle clan.  It worked out great for me that their annual Vegas vacation event happened to be the same week of a show my company wanted me to attend.

 On the day my vacation began, I crossed the street and switched hotels to Treasure Island to join the Hornbuckles.

Miss Sheri flew in late on Wednesday after my last day of attending NAB and we connected with the rest of the Hornbuckles for supper and our Vegas vacation was ready to begin.  Unfortunately, it's some kind of law that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas so I can't publish a good portion of my pictures. 

On Thursday, we went to the Venetian so I could take my lovely wife on a Gondola ride.  It's a little odd riding a boat in a building, but extremely romantic none the less.

Kim and Mike Bailey joined us for the ride and got extremely romantic with one another also. 

 I walked by this store and was curious by the large crystal skull in the entry way.  I really wanted to rub that skull and almost did until I noticed the sign that said "Do not touch the skull!"  I asked the lady who worked there "Why?" and she said it was because it cost $60,000.  Apparently it was cut from some kind of solid piece of crystal which made it so valuable.  I don't know how much money I'd need to have before I could ever justify spending $60,000 on something like this, but I'm guessing it would be quite a bit.

On Thursday night, the clan was up to 22 people and we were ready to head downtown for some more debauchery.

Hard to hail a cab for 22 people, but lucky we could all fit in a small bus.

Later in the evening, a few of us decided that we weren't done exploring the town and we were lucky enough to hail a Hummer Limo to drive us around.

I had never used a stripper pole while driving before, but lucky for all of us Chris Hornbuckle really knew how to use one and gave us all some lessons in how to work it.

The Hornbuckles told me in order to be invited on their family vacation, I would have to dress out of character every now and then.  Normally, I'm pretty shy about dressing silly, but it turned out to be quite fun to break out of my shell for once.


Seeing the high roller hovering over us for a few days just proved to be too tempting for some of us, so on Friday afternoon we decided to take it for a whirl.

It's hard to explain how big this ferris wheel is but I was told that each of these cars can hold up to 45 people.  We didn't try to fill one of the cars, so I guess I'll just have to take their word for it.  

It's is a pretty cool way to see the entire strip and the city around it.

I've been wanting to join these guys for one of their Vegas trips for many years now and am happy to have now made it.  They're good people.

April 18, 2015

AMD Exiting SeaMicro's High-Density Server Business

"Intel will still see more competition in the server space," said Todd Swank, senior director of product marketing at Equus, an Intel partner based in Minnetonka, Minn. "We're still in this big industry paradigm shift from the client server architecture of the past to a push to the cloud, and there are different things that clients require in the cloud environment. Intel, AMD and others are trying to figure out how to live in that world."

Read Full Article Here:

April 15, 2015

Intel CEO Forecasts PC Sales Drop-off In 2015

"I'm a believer that the catalyst of Windows 10 and Intel's Skylake launch will help boost desktop and notebooks. It's interesting to see how it will play out," said Todd Swank, senior director of product marketing at Equus, an Intel partner based in Minnetonka, Minn.

Read Full Article Here:

April 12, 2015

2015 Springtime in Prior Lake, Minnesota

2015 Springtime in Prior Lake, Minnesota
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 12, 2015

Springtime in Minnesota is beautiful.  I love going down to the lake early in the morning to see the water before it has been disturbed by people.  Saturday morning, it was smooth as glass.

There's ducks hanging out in our yard looking like they're ready to start getting frisky.  I wanted to go up to them to see how things were going, but Miss Sheri wouldn't let me.  She said they needed their privacy.  Stuck Up Ducks.

We're not going to bring our new puppy home for two more weeks, but we still like to go over and visit him with his brothers and sisters.  They are getting more and more playful every day!

We've decided to stick with the name Blue for the new puppy .  We were debating it because I wanted his name to be somewhat in relationship to our 10 year old Golden Retriever, Sunny.  Then it came to me.  His full name will be Blue Sky Swank and we'll just call him Blue for short.  That way we have Sunny and a Blue Sky.  That sounds good to me!

He sure is cute, but man are those puppy teeth SHARP!

Saturday was the big introduction day as we brought Sunny over to meet his new friend that will be living with us in a couple of weeks.  Sunny was ultra hyper because he usually associates going across the street with going swimming.

Eventually we were able to get him to settle down enough to allow them to smell one another.  It was less eventful than we were expecting.

I thought it would be more like the time when Miss Sheri and I first met and knew that we'd be together forever.  That was a good day.

We kept the dogs together for 20 minutes or so before we had to stop torturing Sunny and just let him go swimming.  I don't think he quite understood the concept that the puppy was coming home with us some day, but I'll keep working on trying to explain it to him.

Meet me in Las Vegas at the 2015 NAB Show!

Are you going to Las Vegas this week for the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show?

If you are, let me know and we can connect!

I'm so excited to go to this show and geek out on the latest technology for streaming media and broadcasting!

Here's some details about the show:

NAB Show | April 11 - 16, 2015 | Las Vegas, NV

The world craves quality content. And for the pros who hunger to create and deliver it, the 2015 NAB Show® is the only source to satisfy your appetite. Overindulge in hands-on experiences with emerging technologies and the latest innovations, limitless networking and learning opportunities, and the inspiration to take your work to the next level. 

Attendees representing every sector of the industry will be there. Broadcast, Digital Media, Film, Entertainment, Telecom, Post-Production, Education, Houses of Worship, Advertising, Military/Government, Retail, Security, Sports, IT and more converge in Las Vegas for six days to feed the need of next-generation content. 

Popular and fresh attractions served up in 2015 will include Connected Media|IP, focusing on the consumer experience; the Drone Pavilion, featuring a fully enclosed “flying cage” for demonstrations; New Media Expo (NMX), hosting celebrity bloggers, podcasters and digital content creators; SPROCKIT, where market-ready startups present their new ideas; StudioXperience, a live studio using all the latest tools; and so much more. Taste the future of media and entertainment being cooked up for the 2015 NAB Show.

Intel Shows Off RealSense 3-D Camera In Phone Prototype

"I'm interested to see more about RealSense's power consumption and how that will work for phones," said Todd Swank, senior director of product marketing at Equus, an Intel partner based in Minnetonka, Minn. "But it's smart for Intel to refocus and open up another avenue in the mobile market with this new technology. It's difficult to say how this will play out in the mobile space."

Read Full Article Here:

April 8, 2015

Intel 'PC On A Stick' Paves Avenue In The Channel

But are those enterprise features enough for Intel's partners to pitch the new device to their business-based customers and to drive revenue? For partners, that's the "million-dollar question," said Todd Swank, senior director of product marketing at Equus, an Intel partner based in Minnetonka, Minn. 

"It's a fascinating product, and I'm really curious about its performance," said Swank. "Channel-wise, it comes down to what software and services we'll be able to bring to it."

Read Full Article Here: