Today is my last official day as a full-time Stardock employee; although there will be a transition period of some length where I'll still be around (what I like to refer to as the "Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in" time) but as of Monday I will primarily be a GameStop employee.
I joined Stardock more than a decade ago, in February 2001. During my tenure, I was a part of the release of WindowBlinds for XP (that became WindowBlinds 3) at the Microsoft offices outside Detroit; the creation of the WinCustomize skinning community web site; the integration of skinning technology into applications by major corporations such as GE, ATI, Motorola, T-Mobile and many others; skinning being used to make computers look "futuristic" in movies, including "The Recruit"; and ultimately I was gratified to see the embrace of skinning as a mainstream movement by computer manufacturers like Dell and HP and organizations like the NHL and NBA. Good times indeed.
I have been proud to be a member not only of a company that was committed to "making cool stuff" but to a community that numbered millions of members. I have many friends at WinCustomize and JoeUser and I will, of course, stay in touch. But over the years my posts have become less frequent and my participation greatly diminished. It is not that I love you all any less, it is simply that my focus has shifted.
I was always part of Stardock's PC gaming initiatives, going as far back as The Corporate Machine. As time went on and Stardock published Galactic Civilizations I and II, Sins of a Solar Empire, Demigod and Elemental, I spent more and more time involved in the gaming side of things. Never really on the games themselves (thank goodness! I suxx0rs as a gamer!) but on the business of game publishing, through Drengin.Net to TotalGaming.Net to Impulse. This will now become my principal focus.
As a part of this community, we shared many good times and some bad ones. I remember turning to the WinCustomize boards for relief after the 9/11 attack. Chatting with community members from around the world, we shared the pain and gave each other what comfort we could.
There are too many to thank by name and I fear that I would inadvertently omit someone near and dear. But let me thank my fellow Stardockians past and present ("we few, we happy few, we band of brothers"), all the developers and coders (the smart guys), the skinners, the bloggers and the whole IRC crowd. Thank you all for making my life richer.
Now, having gotten quite maudlin, what are you hanging around here reading this drivel for? Go skin something!