This is Ron’s Playground. I’m Ron. Think of me as your crazy Uncle. Not the child molestor kind, more the goofy clown kind. Here is the place where your Crazy Uncle Ron will ramble on about whatever happens to be in his head at the time. Sometimes it will be technical stuff, sometimes it will be something about my family – with names changed to protect, uhh, well, mostly me. They’ll know who they are, but you won’t. One day I’ll probably tell you how I have two sisters with the same name (really, I DO have two sisters with the same name; you’ll have to wait until I have nothing better to talk about to share that one). Whatever it is that happens to appear here, it will be light-hearted unless the subject is heart attack serious. Then I take off the Crazy Uncle Ron get-up and put on a suit and a tie and act like a grown up.

More seriously (but not too seriously – I’m still your Crazy Uncle), I’m Ron Crocker, an engineer and computer scientist, currently working for Nokia Siemens Networks. I’m part of the Innovation team in the CTO, which means that I get to work on the next, best thing in cellular technology. I won’t talk too much about that stuff here (the lawyers at my office kinda frown on that behavior) except when something public happens that I helped make possible.

A while back, when I was allowed to do some really fun stuff by my bosses, I was very actively involved in the OO community. I was there when some super-cool stuff happened – like Wiki, Design Patterns, Java, eclipse, and agile. During that time I was quite involved with a technical conference, OOPSLA (since renamed SPLASH), chairing it in 2003.

I’m toying with various mobile phone development platforms – iPhone/iPad and Android – and just started doing some fun things there. Pretty soon, some of that will start popping up here. I have a somewhat interesting setup at home that will likely get some play, particularly if I do something to it. Recently I added a NAS – that’s currently in the works of being described, soon to appear here.

I was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, and still live in the Chicago area. Nobody lives in Chicago because of the weather, so it must be something else. I’m a big Chicago sports team fan – I grew up with the Cubs (and we all know how that is), but unlike many of my brethren who bleed Cubby Blue, I don’t hate the Sox or their fans. I don’t care if they win or not, but I can be happy for my friends who are Sox fans when they do manage to win. The Hawks, Bears, and Bulls are teams that nobody argues about, so all Chicagoans have that in common. There will be Chicago stuff for sure in the blog. I’ll probably get around to pizza and hot dogs, Chicago-style for both, of course.

I like beer. Good beer. As my wife, our friends Steve and Suzanne (they’re here – see the Think About Steve page), and I like to say, we’re “Beer Snobs.” Crappy beer need not apply, we’re too snobby for that. Not that I turn down a free beer lightly, it’s just that when I have a choice, I’ll choose interesting beer. That means I’m not drinking any more Leinenkugel’s. Ever. I don’t care if Jacob Leinenkugel himself brings it to me, direct from Chippewa Falls. On the other hand, pretty much anything made in Bavaria will make the cut. I’m particularly fond of Spaten Optimator (try one, it’s yummy). The Beer Snobs also like to attend a local Beer Pairing dinner. That will definitely get play here – probably about once every month when it happens. If you like beer and good food, you’ll be jealous.

I’m on LinkedIn (but not Facebook) but pretty much low-key on the rest of the Web. I read a lot of stuff, following a handful of blogs that are interesting. I’ve got links on the Links page. There is absolutely no way my email address will ever appear here, since I already get enough spam.