Good morning. I’m Nate Spears, and I’m going to be posting a bit while Shawn takes some well-deserved time off. Shawn gave me a very kind intro, and I thought I’d expand on that a bit so you have some idea what to expect this week.

I studied computer science at the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk!), and I’ve been working in the software industry since 2004. I tell people that I’m a software consultant; my business card said “Senior Solutions Architect” for a long time, which basically means “I’ll do anything you ask me to.” I worked in the Novell software sphere for about 7 years, alternating between Identity Management and custom software development. Now I’m working in the GIS world, which takes me to San Francisco during the week.  My point is, I’m an “in the trenches” developer, so hopefully I can bring something interesting from that to any discourse we have. Also, I’ll try not to use so many quotation marks in the future.

I’ve been reading Shawn’s writing since he started his own website, so I have some idea what usually goes on here. I hope you won’t hold me to Shawn’s standards or his insights, since he’s a pro at this and I’m a fill-in. If I make any obvious blunders please let me know.

Since the site often covers technology, I’ll give you a quick rundown of the usual suspects.  I use a Galaxy Nexus as my phone, and a 2nd generation iPad with the Logitech ultra-thin keyboard as my tablet and primary personal computer when traveling. My personal home computer (which I built, in time-honored nerd tradition) runs Windows 7; I mostly use it for web browsing, playing Starcraft 2 and League of Legends, and video editing. My work laptop is company-issue, also runs Windows 7, and has the standard Microsoft Office installs. I have never owned an Apple desktop computer, although I have seriously considered getting a 27″ iMac with a case for use as a portable computer. I have a vision condition that makes using a regular laptop an exercise in hunching, but carrying my personal computer/monitor setup everywhere is not really an option.

My other nerdery involves movies and TV series, books (a lot of the requisite science fiction and fantasy), soccer (playing and watching, mostly the EPL and La Liga), and playing a few board games.

As for my time on, I’m hoping that I can spark some interesting discussions and entertain you a little bit along the way. My gmail id is spearofsolomon; feel free to email or IM me with topic suggestions, questions you think I might have a unique perspective on, etc. However! I’m not going to run the show in Shawn’s inimitable style, so expect a much lighter tone this week. When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

Enough about me. Here’s my first question for you guys: what do you think of Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr? In a big picture sense, is it possible for a once-dominant Internet giant to work its way back to those heights? It seems to me that Marissa Mayer may feel that Yahoo can’t be what it was (a dominant search engine, for one), so she’s trying to make them into something different in order to stay relevant, but I’m not sure what the vision is.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

This is a guest post by Nate Spears, who has taken over the site this week while Shawn is on vacation at an undisclosed location.