About This Site

That's me, loitering.

Gnorb.NET is the online home of Norbert “Gnorb” Cartagena. That’s me, and from hereon out I’ll cease writing in the third person.

This is where I write about almost every subject that interests me. If you take a look at the categories you can see I’m quite eclectic. I mostly like writing about memories, life and the observations I make during the journey of it, but I’m also into science news, movies, video games, music, philosophy, theology, and a host of other topics. I guess you could say I’m a typicial Gen-Y’er, something reflected heavily by my personality types. (I vacillate between being an ENFP and an ENTP.) I love gadgets, love technology, but hate — haaaaaaate — dealing with computer hardware problems.

That’s the short of it. Here’s the long.

A Little History on Gnorb

Who am I? Good question! For the moment (by which I mean “the duration of my time here on Earth”) let’s just say my name is Norbert Cartagena. My online nickname is “Gnorb” so wherever you see this name, there’s a fair chance that you’ve just stumbled upon my online trail. Like right now. In Gnorb.NET. See? That’s me. Gnorb. Pronounced “Norb” or “Guh-Norb” or “Ng-orb”, like the Vietnamese name “Ng”, but with “orb” at the end.

How did I come up with “Gnorb”? The name orgininated from an online discussion on the Suncoast Linux User Group (SLUG) mailing list, where a number of us debated whether Linux should be referred as “GNU/Linux”, as Richard Stallman keeps harping on, or whether it should just be called “Linux”. My position at the time was that the OS should be referred to as GNU/Linux, at least when written. Eventually, I decided that to stir things up a bit I would call myself “GNU/Norb”, or “Gnorb” for short. (Actually, the “Gnorb” came after the GNU/Norb, since I was also fond of, and still mostly use, the GNOME desktop environment.)

Anyway, as for my background: Yes, I was a Linux zealot. I still sort of am, although I’m nowhere nearly as active in the community as I once was. (Now I just talk about it to people and force it upon them when they want to use the computer in my home. Ubuntu all the way!) I didn’t start out as a computer guy, though. Actually, I started out as a musician. I’ve been playing violin since I was 10 years old, having performed with orchestras, chamber groups, and as a soloist. I got my degree in Music Composition from the University of South Florida, where I also studied philosophy and where I really started learning about computers, mostly in my spare time, with the help of the Suncoast Linux User Group (SLUG) and a ton of computer books. During that time, I tired my hand at programming and network administration for a while, but frankly I sucked at both of those. As it turns out, however, my bosses thought I was aparently a pretty good writer, and quickly fell into the role of “technical writer.”

I guess that passionate artistry and technical writing don’t go well together, because it wasn’t long before I went from there to being a writer with Linux.com and NewsForge.com. I did that for a while — on and off, since the company wasn’t in good financial shape for a while — as well as working for a couple of bookstores. (I. Love. Bookstores.) Eventually, however, I was hired as a writer for DeveloperShed.com, where I quickly became their Editor-in-Chief (being their only staff writer, this wasn’t a particularly hard accomplishment), eventually being put in charge for the content of numerous websites and a printed publication (the now defunct PlugIn Magazine). This lasted for about a year and a half before I decided I needed to do something else. I did some freelance writing and, five years after my first dabblings into it, I returned to technical writing.

During all this, I also tried my hand at other things — sales, mostly — and ended up becoming a director for an affiliate marketing company, where I helped them start and develop new businesses and train business owners. That worked for a while before I decided to follow my heart instead of my wallet, and began focusing more on my artistic endeavors, particularly my writing. As of January 2009, that’s where I am. This change came about after diagnosis of gastroparesis, which means my stomach doesn’t pump right. The condition is under control for the moment with the use of a few medications and a restricted diet, but the fact that it’s idiopathic (of no known cause) means it could improve or get worse without notice. I thank whatever God is willing to take credit for it not being as bad as some of the other cases I’ve seen: I’m not in any need of feeding tubes, extra holes, or gastric pacemakers. Domperidone and Nexium do me just fine.

I originate from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, but consider Tampa, Florida my home town. (I was basically raised in Tampa, so while I’m still quite fond of Puerto Rico, I have more memories tied to Tampa than Bayamon.) Currently I’m in between those two cities, near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where I live with my wife in a small apartment for which we pay too much in rent. Since writing those words we’ve moved to Land O’Lakes, Florida and now own a beautiful house. And pay too much in mortgage.

That about does it for me here. If you want to find out more, just go on and read Gnorb.NET!

In your head it’s only a memory, but written down it’s working knowledge.