REBOL Technologies

Roku

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
26-May-2013 18:39 GMT

Article #0529
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It's time to say a few words. Let me set-up some context. We like to do that in Rebol, right?

First, I'm still very interested in Rebol. I'll admit that I've not had any time to participate in R3 advancements, but from what I've heard, it sounds like good things are happening. I apologize for not being more involved. I feel like I've broken a promise to the community to not just open source R3 and run away.

Let me explain just a bit. I work full time at this wonderful little silicon valley company called Roku. Maybe I've said that before, but I need to say it again.

"A stack of Roku products I've been involved with"

Roku makes simple little streaming video players that are of exceptional quality and supply extensive content. They're super easy to use. Anyone of any age or experience can plug one in and get it working in minutes. Yes, it's simple, and you Rebolers know how much I like simple!

I like to give away Roku players to friends and family. Often they say, "Thanks, but I'm lousy with technology, and I'm sure I'll not be able to get it working." Then, a few days later I'll get a call, "It works!". (Hey, where have I heard those two words before?) I also detect a hint of pride that they actually got it streaming on their own. I like that.

Yes, I like making products - millions of devices that are sold in thousands of stores across the country. Roku just hit 5 million units sold. That's a lot. That's not just downloads or user accounts, but real silicon, metal, and plastic.

I've been at Roku now for two and a half years and played various roles in a number of products. I've been involved in making a super low-cost streaming player to a tiny streaming stick player that's not much bigger than a USB thumbdrive, and a few other projects in between.

As I've said privately to some of you, I'm just a bit addicted. I'll often wake at 5AM to resume the latest project and then work pretty much non-stop until midnight.

During the week a thought or two about Rebol pass over me. I tell myself that I'll take some time out -- like I do for winemaking or amateur radio -- to participate more in the world of Rebol. But, at the end of a long day, I'm so burnt out with sitting in front of a screen, I don't have much energy left. Checking on the wine barrels or putting up a new 20M antenna just seems more appealing.

And, all so much has changed over the years. It feels like it wasn't so long ago that I had the first Rebol View drawing images and Rebol IOS running it's little distributed apps (reblets). We did so many cool things... and back then we were so far ahead of where the world would go. Remember people used to say, if you're not running in a web page, you're going nowhere. We said, no, little distributed apps are the place to be. Sure, we could generate web pages, but that wasn't the big vision. Nowadays there are Androids, iPhones, and so much more that run distributed apps. The world now understands.

Back then I was driven. Driven by a vision and an incredible technology. There's still an incredible technology, and if you're reading this then it's likely you know that technology and understand the true power. It's adopted by a few extraordinary people and organizations, much to their benefit. The rest of the world knows not and cares not.

Anyway, I'm rambling on. This article is about Roku after all. A great little company of amazing people who are making great little products. I enjoy playing a part in it. (And, plug plug, we're always looking for great people to join the team).

I ran into Bo Lechnowsky recently. He's got some interesting Rebol projects going, and he nudged me to come visit the community more often and also check out the many enhancements and advancements that have been accomplished over the last few months.

I've promised before that I would. This time... I'll really try. I still believe so much in the Rebol technology and vision. If I can just pull myself away from my Roku addiction... if only for an hour or two a week to start -- just to get acquainted again and keep up with all of what's happening in the world of Rebol.

I also hear there's a Rebol conference coming up this July in Montreal, Canada. I'm hoping to be able to attend. More on that very soon.

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