Fairfield Trading Card Spotlight - Jim Karpen

Our next Fairfield Trading Card Spotlight features Jim Karpen, who is displayed on card number 14, from the Fairfield Collection. These cards commemorate Fairfield, Iowa's unique distinction as the "Renaissance Capital of the World."  Jim has been involved in TM (Transcendental Meditation) since the early 1970s. Starting in the year 2000, Jim has worked full time as a writer for Maharishi University of Management as well as for various publications, with a focus on technology. Most recently he wrote for iPhone Life Magazine. Jim also enjoys tennis. 

How is your involvement in the TM industry been important to you?

It has transformed my life. I had never been very successful at anything, but that all changed once I began TM. I went back to school and did well, ending up with a PhD. And now, after 40 years, I’m enjoying experiences I could never have imagined.

Continue Reading

Fairfield Trading Card Spotlight - Hal Goldstein

Our next Fairfield Trading Card Spotlight features Hal Goldstein, who is displayed on card number 68, from the Fairfield Collection.  These cards commemorate Fairfield, Iowa's unique distinction as the "Renaissance Capital of the World."  With a Master’s Degree in Mind, Heart and Spirit, Hal has worked in many different roles to make people better in life, whether it was in computer science, social work, or teaching Transcendental Meditation.  He continues writing about electronics and computing for the magazine he founded.  He currently is writing, "The Meditating Entrepreneurs," how T.M. meditators [such as Walter Day] moved to Fairfield for world peace and enlightenment and ended up creating extraordinary businesses.

How has computers/science today changed from when you were younger? What do you like or dislike about the changes?

The underlying passion for creating new technology that serves humanity remains the same. Now there is much more opportunity as exponential development of technologies converge and the human race is so connected. Anyone persistent, passionate with a great idea can raise money and connect with other who have the skills to make the idea a reality.

Continue Reading

Trading Card Spotlight Rob Berk

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Rob Berk, who is displayed on card number 260, from the Superstars of 2012. Rob is also featured on card numbers 782 and 1702.  This weekend (October 11-15th) is the annaul Pinball Expo is in Wheeling, Illinois.   Robert is one of the founders and promotors of this event and has for the last 32 years.   Rob collects pinball games as far back as the 1930's.   His passion for pinball is and his expo keep the pinball world alive and well.   With special guest speakers and tournament the Pinball Expo in Illinois has become the worlds largest .

When did you first get involved in the pinball or gaming industry?

I wouldn’t necessarily say I am involved in it, it’s more or less a hobby. So I think it started off with my interest in playing games from the mid-60s that I grew up playing.  Then seeing the pinball books that came out from either Michael Colmer or Roger Sharpe and learning who the people were behind the scenes, the designers and artists and just having a fascination and a real intense interest in these people to the point where in 1984 I had the idea of having this Pinball Expo show.  The pure purpose of that show was to honor my heroes, the pinball designers’ and artists. I always felt that they were kind of behind the scenes, they were 9 to 5 guys, they never got the accolades.  It was always the big shots on top that were always the ones you heard about or read about but now the guys behind the scenes so I figured to myself, “These are the guys I really want to meet, these are my heroes that made the games I love to play”.

Continue Reading

Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight - Daina Chaviano

Our next Science Fiction Trading Card Spotlight features Daina Chaviano, who is displayed on card number 106, from the Science Fiction Collection. Born and raised in Cuba, Daina has been writing most of her life.  She has been credited with such awards as the Anna Seghers Award (Germany), Azorin Prize for Best novel (Spain), Gold Medal for Best Book (Florida).   She has been called one of the three most important female writers in the Spanish Language. Daina now lives in Miami and still writes almost every day.  You can see more about Daina on her bilingual website at dainachaviano.com.  

How has writing today changed from when you were younger? What do you like or dislike about the changes?

In the past, writing was a secret process. Being a writer used to mean living a secluded life. Now everything must be shared. Everyone wants to know everything about you. Even though I understand the importance of the media for any artist, and so I have the proverbial and almost mandatory professional network (Twitter, Facebook, website, blog), I fiercely protect my private life, sharing only those personal experiences that can be interesting for my readers and followers from a literary point of view.   

Continue Reading

Trading Card Spotlight Steve Woita

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Steve Woita, who is displayed on card number 380, from the Superstars of 2012.   Steve first came on the scene while working on the Apple II computer.  He has also worked on the boards of the Apple III, Apple IIe and the Joyport for Sirius Software.  Steve has also been a part of the designing of many games for the PC, Atari 2600, NES and Sega Genesis to name a few.   A complete list of games Steve has worked on can be found on his website at https://stevewoita.wordpress.com.  Steve is also on the Board of Advisors for the Video Game History Museum.   Steve is still today overseeing new games that are created and has his hands in the new technology.   

Do you remember when you created your first video game what do you remember about the experience?

I remember when I designed and programmed my first published game that was actually available on a store shelf, the game was called TAZ for the Atari 2600 (VCS). One experience I remember about this game was the first time I saw it in a local Gemco department store. I clearly remember just focusing on my game as it was just hanging off the game rack on a steel peg with the rest of the entire Atari 2600 library of games that I had bought years ago before making TAZ and now my game is up there with the rest of them and it truly was a time that's etched in my brain as I remember all of the work that it took to get this crazy game to the store shelf; it was completely worth it and that this is such a cool moment.

Continue Reading