I was was born and raised in Miami, Florida, USA, the son of a first generation father and a mother whose family helped found the nation and was exposed early to the arts and sciences. My interest in writing and the dramatic arts began in junior high school and continues to this day. My first poem was published while still in high school and I completed my first book while serving honorably in the United States Air Force. In high school I was active in theater and choir and had the opportunity to work as a "Super" at the Miami Opera where I met and performed on stage with opera greats Sherrill Milnes and the late Luciano Pavarotti, both very gracious men. It was in high school that I began my career as a stage magician and also when I began teaching.
Shortly after college I became a professional portrait photographer and entered the US Air Force where I became a biomedical equipment repair specialist. It was here, married with two - later four - children, that my interest in computers and technology was born! The desktop computer was just beginning to migrate into business and DBase was quickly becoming the application of choice among the government. It was also here that my experience as an instructor grew exponentially. I quickly became one of the most sought after instructors in 3rd Air Forces USAFE, teaching Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Electronics, and First Aid and earned my national certification as an Emergency Medical Technician.
After my honorable discharge was received in 1988 I moved into the field of management where I served in directors and field service engineers roles for various medical repair companies and medical device manufacturers and often found myself mentoring those junior to me. My skills with computers were honed supporting various clients throughout the US. It was also in 1988 that I co-founded my first company, TechNET Software TeKnowledgies, and entered the arena of educational software development and computer consulting. Clients included The Saenger Organization, Lanier Worldwide, the US Navy Jr.ROTC in Texas, and United Parcel Service. One of my responsibilities at TechNET was the development of the company's website on this new thing called the Internet and the World Wide Web. My skills in computer graphics and software analysis and debugging were born! While at TechNET I earned certifications in Six Sigma and later Lean, became a Master Trainer, and honed my skills at public speaking. I also began helping clients design, develop, and implement knowledge management programs.
In April 2005, I received a disabling back injury while on the job at a client hospital and was forced to retire from field service and fashion photography. For two and one-half years, my focus became building up the strength to get out of bed, take care of my toiletry needs, feed myself, and then sit for short periods of time at the table or on the couch. At first, I could only manage minutes at a time. Gradually, with the help of some nine doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists, I was able to make it through the day upright without the need for continuous consumption of pain meds. As part of my rehabilitation, I began designing websites in earnest and added content management systems to my repertoire. It was here that I first discovered learning management systems and began designing, developing and implementing online educational websites based on the Moodle virtual learning environment.
I returned to the workforce in 2007. No longer able to lift a tool kit or do the strenuous work associated with field service and fashion photography, I fell back into an academic career once again teaching computer related courses. I helped found an online divinity school and later an online private academy for grades three through twelve and formed yet another company which had some short term success. I also began my academic career in education earning a Master of Science in Education Media Design and Technology and completing the course work for a Ph.D. in Education specializing in Instructional Design for Online Learning.
As a result of my academic and management accomplishments, I was invited to serve as a senior manager for the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), Joint Warfighting Center (JWC), Joint Knowledge Development Distribution Capability (JKDDC). I became the manager for the largest division within JKDDC - the Knowledge Services (KS) division - where I earned two certifications in knowledge management, and supported the KS Division Chief and the Federal Contracting Task Order Lead by leading a team of some five hundred instructional designers, courseware developers, graphic designers, audio/video engineers, gameware developers, trainers, and adult education specialists, and became one of the most asked for field trainers for the division. At one time, my team was located around the world and had some twelve hundred projects in development simultaneously. I daresay, most of us would still be at USJFCOM if the president had not disestablished it and eliminated some three thousand jobs in 2011. It was an exciting time!
Well, the transition to Saudi Arabia went smoothly. My internet connection has finally been completed and I am now back online. Whew! It’s been an interesting three weeks! 🙂 The delay has kept me from being able to update the blog and to let readers know there are still free license upgrades available. You’ll find more details on this in an earlier blog.
A great big THANK YOU! to all of you who have purchased my book, Rapid Simulation and Game Development for Beginners: with Thinking Worlds 3.6.0. I am truly humbled by both the offer from the software developer, Caspian Learning, and by your kind responses. I want to let you know that I will be transitioning overseas this week and may not have consistent internet access. I leave tomorrow (Wednesday) and arrive at my destination late Thursday night. I don’t know if I’ll have internet access Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, so I thought I’d use my blog to answer a question or two.
What does Nonno Vecchio mean? It’s Italian for “Grandpa, Old Man” literally. The “Nonno” part is used by my grandchildren. The “Old Man” part is used by my kids out of their deep love and respect for me (I didn’t buy it either! :P)
Can I still buy your book and qualify for the free software license upgrade? Yes, there are currently still licenses available.
Where can I find more information about your book and this free license upgrade offer? Please visit this blog post.
If you’re “transitioning overseas” and won’t have internet access, how do we register for our free upgrade? At this time, please continue to download, install, and register the free version of Thinking Worlds and send me proof of your purchase along with the email address you used to register your copy of the software. I will forward the information over to Caspian Learning as soon as I have internet access again. I will use the date of your notification email to determine who qualifies for the free upgrade should the license limit be reached while I’m traveling. If this information changes, I will post an update before I leave the country tomorrow.
Ciao for now,
Caspian Learning, the software developer whose software application I teach in my book, Rapid Simulation and Game Development for Beginners: with Thinking Worlds 3.6.0, has generously offered free full license upgrades to the first fifty (50) people to purchase either edition of the book – print or Kindle.That’s a savings of over $1400.00!
I invite you, and anyone you know that is interested in Serious Game design, to purchase one or more copies of my book and register your email address with me (one registration per person please). The book is listed at http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Commini/e/B009T2EVVO. To take advantage of the free upgrade, please download, install, and register the free version of the software then send me the email address with which you registered. Once I have confirmed that you are one of the first 50 people, and that you did indeed purchas the book, I will forward the email address over to Caspian Learning who will then perform the free upgrade.
Please send emails to my Nonno Vecchio email address, _NOSPAM_nonno_AT_nonnovecchio.org_NOSPAM. Remove the _NOSPAM_ and change _AT_ to an ‘At’ symbol so the resulting email address is all one word with no spaces.
Thank you and have a great day!
Well, it looks like I’ll finally be able to take advantage of that empty housing unit that’s been waiting for me in Saudi Arabia since September. That’s right! After some delay, my entrance visa has been approved and I’m due to transition before Thanksgiving!
I wasn’t gonna do it. Nope. No sir. Not me! But then my Author page on Amazon doesn’t allow me to post links and I really wanted to link to my friend Bob’s book. So… I had to create this blog.
Bob Smith is a true southern gentleman whom I’ve known since the mid-90’s. 1990’s not 1890’s. Bob has been writing his entire life and has finally gathered his missives into a collection he calls, Rhythms of My Life. He has two editions available. A print version and a Kindle version. Bob is currently working on his second book and hopes to have it out soon.