Welcome to my website! My name is Ben Franske and I live near Minneapolis, MN. In December 2004 I received my B.S. in Telecommunications Systems from the University of Wisconsin–Stout and in January 2005 I began work on a Masters in Technology Education at the University of Minnesota which I completed in Spring 2006. Thanks to an encouraging advisor and a federal grant program upon completion of my Masters degree I immediately began work on a PhD in Technology and Engineering Education which I plan to complete in 2009. I currently hold a number of professional certifications and licenses along with FCC amateur station Extra class license K0BEN.
Perhaps I'm best known for my interest in computers and technology which started at a young age. Even before I entered my formal education I was playing with electrical cords and tools. I'm sure my mother will recount the story of how I was supposed to be plugging those cords into a cardboard box and not outlets and when I experimented with a real outlet one day she threw it all away. Upon my entry into formal education I noticed my kindergarten classroom had a Commodore PET computer in it and although I was too young to really use it I was probably the only child in the class who was even curious about it.
Thanks to my second grade teacher Mrs. Capacious I soon learned how to operate a 16mm film projector and soon became the school expert for all things A/V. Another major contributor to my early computer education was "Mr. C" an elementary school computer teacher who was willing to stay after school with me nearly every day from second through fifth grades taught me much of my fundamental knowledge about computers. Through him I was exposed to the Commodore 64, Apple II, IIgs and later the Macintosh platforms. I also learned about early AppleTalk networking and BASIC programming. All of this set the stage for my continued interest in computers and electronics. In middle school I was able to learn some basic OS/2 and Token Ring networking on IBM EduQuest Model 40 systems.
At home I was exposed to my first dual floppy IBM PC which my father was able to bring home from work. I still remember playing hangman on that green screen after dinner. Later on we purchased a used "Leading Edge Model D" 8088 system complete with a 10MB hard drive followed by a "clone" 486 built by a local shop and an AST Pentium 8090p (90 MHz). By the time I was a Junior in high school I had learned enough to convince my parents to let me build a Pentium III 500 MHz system to replace the aging Pentium 90. In high school I was also exposed to a very early version of the Cisco Networking Academy CCNA curriculum program which further increased my interest in networking and eventually led me to the Telecommunications Systems program at UW-Stout. Later on this allowed me to work in an engineering capacity for a telephone company, an experience I'll never forget!
As a youg child I often played "radio station" in the basement and used an early five channel Realistic mixer and various garage sale amplifiers to serenade the household with music and talk. In later elementary school I earned my local cable company public access equipment certification and helped to start a video production club for fourth and fifth grade students. I also directed the video recording of the annual Jump-Its and Jugglers show. In middle school I spent most of my time focusing on getting a video production class set up. During seventh grade I became an eraly member in an after school video club. The next year I got together with a small group and started an independant study class where we produced a weekly news show for the school and experimented with multi-camera live to tape production techniques. By the time I was in ninth grade we had enough interest to start a video production class and fully outfit our production lab. During my high school years I became interested in technical theater and soon became the goto person for all productions and events. I learned lighting techniques and programming from Grant Ashling and sound from Scott Fahy. Since that time I have returned on an annual basis to take part in large productions such as the choir's Current Jam and the band's POPS concert. After my first year of college this gave me enough knowledge to work at a local production and installation company. Now my own company, Franske Consulting, continues to provide performance technology services and equipment in addition to IT consulting.
Having a grandfather who was a carpenter and farmer also allowed me to gain a keen interest in all things mechanical. Other interests include singing, live production technology, building repair and remodeling, amateur radio and volunteer work.