How do you spell “FAQ”…?

Tell us a little about yourself.  Who is Samuel S. Cummings?

Okay.  Simple enough I guess.  To boil it down: I’m a computer geek… gone mortgage banker.  …gone security and protection specialist.  …gone intelligence specialist.  Due to my nerdiness, the local economy and my wish to continue expanding my horizons, I’ve held a LOT of jobs over the years.  At heart, I’m a geek.  By trade and profession, I’ve been a lot of things.   Outside of my professional life, I’m pretty much just your average guy.  I wear glasses.  I like girls.  For generations, geeks and nerds were looked down at, picked on and generally the socially isolated, destined-to-die-a-virgin group of society… however, the dawn of the 21st century saw the ascendancy of the Geek into the Alpha Males of today’s society; and I’m honored to be among the first to do so.  Own.

Right now, aside from some contracting stuff I do, I’m supporting myself while on summer break from school by being a supervisor with Davis Security Services as a Lieutenant.   Yep!  I work as a Rent-a-Cop!  It’s great work that pays the bills — and keeps my management ability flexed, without having to take stuff home from work.

Where are you currently located?

At this VERY MOMENT… I’m sitting in front of my computer, typing this out.  Oh!  You mean in general?   You can usually find me inhabiting or traveling within the Metro Detroit/Windsor area; probably in the the cities of Livonia, Southfield, Redford, Canton, Northville or Dearborn.  Kinda depends on the day… and time — although I call, Plainfield, Indiana my home.

You seem to think you’re smart.  What kind of education do YOU have, tough guy?

I got into post-secondary education kinda late.  Essentially, I barely graduated high school with a 2.1 GPA — and it didn’t hit me until about 3 weeks before I graduated as to why my grade point average sucked — I didn’t do my homework.  Why, do you ask?  I was B O R E D.   High school was barely a challenge for me; as my education and life experiences were diverse, having lived the life of a “national service brat” [as I like to call it…]   Born into a military home in a naval hospital, the first air I breathed was literally that of the United States Navy.  But I digress…   Having moved several times as a kid (I went to THREE schools in THREE different states in second grade ALONE!) I had some great advantages… I’d been to some of the best schools in the nation — and I learned a LOT of things even outside of the classroom; particularly from my grandfather: doing things such as learning the complexities of Socrates and Plato to debating philosophy and matters of existentialism and whatnot when I was in middle school, reading things like “A Raisin in the Sun” in High School wasn’t exactly my idea of a challenge… so I slack-assed through High School, especially in General Ed classes, but excelling in classes such as “Law and Society,” and InfoTech classes — things that challenged me.   But, neither I, nor my high school figured it out until it was too late.  Oh well.

Taking part in a LOT of vocational and technical seminars, classes, roundtable discussions since high school graduation — in everything from computer network administration to mortgage brokering/banking/servicing and security/intelligence kinda stuff, I realized one day, that seven years had passed, and I hadn’t even gotten my undergrad done.   I’m now a student at  Eastern Michigan University  after an [EXTREMELY] brief stint at  The University of Phoenix  where I’m currently studying business administration [BS] and management [MBA]; and hopefully, I’ll wind up with an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership once it’s all said and done.  As of the time I’m writing this, I’m beginning some extremely early doctoral research — because of an enormous assignment I have in an English class that ties along with it.  Hopefully, what I do now, will work out with it.  Before all that though, I did have the pleasure of being a candidate for the Livonia School Board — and was elected to a 3-year term on the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce — and even served as a Chamber Ambassador.  Oh, and in comparison to my 2.1 GPA in high school, my current GPA at  EMU  is 3.6 – and I’m a Dean’s Lister!  Thanks to an awesome professor at Emich, I was also nominated and selected for the   Eastern Michigan University  Symposium in 2011.  This will, no doubt, prove to be the highlight in my undergrad career here.

I NEVER see you without your phone and/or your iPad.  What’s the deal with that?

My computer is my lifeline — but when I’m away from it, my phone takes its place.  Right now, I use a T-Mobile G2X by LG (\\G2X) that runs CyanogenMod 7 – armed with an 16GB MicroSDHC card.  I USED to be a certified WinMo (first the T-Mobile Dash(\\PADD) and the T-Mobile Wing (\\SLIDER) user — and I once said you couldn’t blast my Windows Smartphone out of my hands.  Since the advent of Android, that changed my mobile lifestyle forever; and I’ll never look back.  I was one of the original people to get the T-Mobile G1 (\\SLIDER2) and Android when it went on sale in late 2008 — and I’ve since upgraded (mid-January 2010) to the Motorola CLIQ – upgrading to the G2X in May 2011.  I know I’m not always known for answering calls, especially when I’m dealing with something specific or I’m seeing/visiting someone, but I’m usually reachable by text or email if you REALLY need to communicate something to me that can’t wait.  Don’t abuse this though — ’cause then I’ll just file a message from “You” under ‘read later’ if you get too crazy.  I now also have the Apple iPad, (\\IPADD) which I use for school and some mobile computing — in which my G2X helps out by wirelessly tethering.  I HIGHLY recommend one of those.  It rocks!

So…  you’re not a dick?

Nah.  Not really, but thanks for asking!

I’ve been told I make friends easily — and I do have a lot of ’em.   *I* think, anyway — and my friends (my CLOSE ones I call “The Crew,” a term I got from my friend Will) are my lifeline.  I don’t think I could survive without them.

What kind of people have influenced your life, do you think?  Any honorable mentions?

I suppose that’s a double-edged question… so I’ll give you a double-edged answer.  A LOT of factors, people and the powers-that-be have influenced my life, I think.  My parents taught and gave me the maturity (…) to deal with situations and things at a young age that some people even twice my age don’t even seem to have a grasp of yet — so I gotta say that first.   My grandfather, the late Professor Earl Cummings (Eastern Illinois University, IUPUI, BSU, also known by me as ‘Dr. Pop’) in a lot of ways stirred and nurtured my philosophical and debating nature… and always taught me to question things that may seem to be true at face value (something my mother also taught me to do too)…  My Grandmother, Patricia, was extreme in my studiousness of the English language… correcting me and instructing me to the point that it drove me crazy; and now I appreciate, as I don’t sound like a dingbat when I speak […usually.]

My high school InfoTech teacher, Professor Wanda Smith was a major influence in my high school education — who continues to be a great friend today — looking out for me when I didn’t do such a good job in school a few times and even holding me after school more than once to chastise me when I needed it, then offering her assistance in getting my act together so I could actually graduate.  Without [then Professor Smith/”MS,” and now] Wanda, I honestly don’t think I’d have graduated high school on-time… and I owe her a debt that I don’t think can be repaid in that respect.  Yet again, she’s helping me in Academia — as I asked her to help me with some of my doctoral research, and she’s graciously accepted.  Maybe some of my notes will be posted here for you to read too!  Dr. Harriet Sawyer was another high school teacher I had… and while I didn’t do well in the Gen Ed classes I had with her, her “Law and Society” class I did well in.  A tough, college-level educator not-often liked because sheWAS tough and extremely fair (she didn’t care unless YOU did…) she was the one who queued me out to the gymnasium where I graduated from on that night in June 2003.  I hope she’s doing well.  Two mentions that need to be said too – two of my professors at  EMU  have kinda become my confidants/mentors/friends – Dr. Nitya Singh and Adam Mitchell.  Both guys are two who TOTALLY rock, I think because they’ve challenged and pushed me the hardest – which is the kind of instructor I look for – and who also don’t mind me taking up their time with stuff outside of the classroom — especially with personal stuff.  So you guys: You ROCK.  Thanks a lot for all you’ve done for me.  ;]

I have a lot of ‘popularist’ icons that have also nurtured me too — although, more indirectly.  Dr. Stephen Hawking was always a favorite of mine since I saw Mom reading his book “A Brief History of Time.”  Dr. Hawking’s more “unusual” type of science (to me, at the time…) got me interested in futurism and futurist-style education.  Professor Michio Kaku is another favorite — both men are geniuses (…duh…) and are two people I’d give anything to sit down and have a lunch with.  Maybe one day I’ll dare to influence the world in a tiny degree to as much as they have.

Having strong military and particularly naval-based ties and upbringing, I also have several military heroes and those I admire…  Admirals Nimitz, Halsey and Dewey, Generals MacArthur, Patton and Powell are officers I’ve studied extensively, as well as Field Marshall Rommel (tactics-wise, you have to admit – the man was a GENIUS… even if he was the enemy) as well as Sun Tzu and Cesar.

Three quotes come to mind of some of the military and statesmen geniuses at this moment:

“Well, get back down there, son. You’re the only son of a bitch in this headquarters who knows what he’s trying to do.”
– [attributed to] General George S. Patton, to a soldier who had stood up to address him; who was sleeping.

“Sweat saves blood, blood saves lives, and brains saves both.”

– Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, Commander, Nazi Germany Seventh Panzer Division

“Bad news isn’t wine.  It doesn’t improve with age.”

General Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Secretary of State


What kinda computer are you using?  You said you were a computer geek.  Whip it out and prove it!!!

My “main” squeezes are two powerful pieces of technology:  My desktop is currently //WOPR-7.  I built her inside an Antec 900 case, comprised with an ASUS M3A76-CM motherboard, and an AMD Phenom X4 9650 Quadcore @ 2.3GHz.  Right now, she’s packed with 4GB of DDR2, running Windows 7 Ultimate.  She’s by far the most powerful piece of equipment I’ve built from the ground-up…  and I love her very much.  The parts were a gift from my Dad — an early 2009 Christmas present, while I already had her case and cooling system.  My portable device is a base-model Apple iPad, (//iPADD) – running 16 Gigabytes, utilizing my rooted phone’s tethering for AWESOME mobile internet.  (Why pay TWICE for something?)   I also have at my disposal a Toshiba Portege’ (//TABLET) running Windows XP TPE, and a Dell Latitude D600 (//HURRICANE) running Windows XP — that I spilled Vodka on a couple of years ago; and I managed to get her working again — indeed, she even accompanied me to my first major university exhibit!

But wait!  I heard that you…

Yeah, I heard that too.  And just because you heard it from someone else means it HAS to be true, right?

Woah — wait a minute!  You have the title “Movie Producer” in your melange of things you do?   What’s up with that? 

In fact I do — and I am!  I’m an Executive Producer with a project called “The 1 Second Film.”  Come check us out, and you can join for free too!  Just use this link if you do… I get credit for referring you.  🙂  All proceeds go to a good cause — and your donation is tax deductible!  If you wanna donate toward MY goal — without your name, or in addition to, click here!

Hey a$%hole!  I haven’t seen you in forever… what’s your problem?

As some of you know, my Mom passed away in late-October.  What most of you didn’t know was that she was fighting a very serious mental condition…  which we kept very private.  For awhile, the family kind of became introverted — because part of her condition, particularly the last year of her life, was a severe form of psychosis, which made her extremely paranoid.  Myself and even my sister to a degree kind-of shut out people in our lives to cope — for two reasons: one, one thing she thought was happening was that people were “watching and reporting in on her to ‘them'” (whoever ‘they’ were…) and, in my mind, to help ease those tensions in her thoughts, aside from going to work — I practically brought my life to a standstill.  The other reason was a severe form of depression — associated with that.  I didn’t *want* to do much of anything, because of my not going anywhere, possibly as a coping mechanism of my mother’s literal psychotic nature.  Needless to say, those times sucked.  But her suffering is now over, and in a morbid way, life continues — and I’ve been coming out of my shell (for lack of a better term) overtime.  So if I’ve neglected you, I’m sorry.  It’s *probably* not your fault — if anything, it’s mine.  Feel free to talk to me if you wanna reconnect.  ;]  While my life will never be the same as it was before 20 October 2009, my friends and family have been a major help for me since then… and I don’t give you the credit you guys deserve.  Thanks a bunch.  🙂

You are always talking, or running the program called, or discussing or flashing in my face this thing called “BOINC.”  What the heck is that anyway?

When I was in middle school, an awesome program came out for computers called SETI@home; run and administered by the Space Science Laboratory at UC Berkeley, which allows SETI to use your computers unused processing power to crunch data picked up from the Arecibo Radiotelecope Observatory in Puerto Rico in the continued search for Extraterrestrial life.   While I wasn’t the first person to jump on board — I was one of their earliest users.  For the first few years, they used their own program (called “SETI@home,” strangely enough…) and I always ran it.  In 2002, (…I THINK…) they transitioned to a new program called the “Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing,” which allowed for other endeavors like SETI@home to use “distributed computing” (what a bunch of people letting a company or other user to use their computer to process stuff — like SETI@home).  Using BOINC, I continue to this day, 11 years later, to crunch numbers.  While I first jumped on in 1999, because of a computer change, I stopped using it for awhile, then jumped back on board in 2002 — and I’ve been using it on every computer I’ve had since — nearly 8 years continuously.  As of today, I’m in over the 90th percentile of all users on BOINC, and over 96% of users on SETI@home who have completed work; when compared to others.

Will you fix my computer?  Can you tell me if I got ripped on my mortgage?   I think my girlfriend or someone has a GPS tracker on my car or is watching me surf the web — can you help?

Sure!  This is stuff I love… so I’m sure we can work something out.  I just ask that you remember that I’m a person too… and I need sleep.  So *try* to keep calls during “normal” hours.  I can usually be reached through my office at (248) 667-8807, on Skype (User: Aequitas-SC) or on my various IMs.  I also have a Contact form on the main page that goes straight to my pager.  All of the above things I have done or dealt with professionally; and continue to be a consultant in some — particularly in intelligence and counter-intelligence (stuff like being spied on by people through your computer, audio recordings, GPS tracking, stuff like that).  If it’s something I can’t deal with, or is out of my league, I work with a multitude of professionals who can help you further — but are usually expensive.  Call me first.  ;]  If I find something like a GPS tracker — I’ll usually ask to keep it as compensation versus getting paid; which also allows me to download stuff off of it and give it to you — and then probably sell it myself.   I’m not a jerk so we can probably cut a deal.

Hey, you really suck!  You left out the one thing I wanted to know… what gives?

Sorry.  I must have missed it.  Page me to let me know I’m a dork — and with your question, and I’ll get right on it.

FAQ v2.4i – 26 May 2011

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