Welcome to Citizen Upgrade!

Our mission is to generate interesting content that empowers our readers to make positive impacts in their lives and their communities.

We are a community of experts covering technology, society, and personal development. Our current experts include software developers, engineers, physicians, and pilots. Our combined experience includes field work on six continents- in urban and rural settings, extreme environments, and conflict zones. Specific topics we’re interested in include [click each hyperlink for a sample]:

Citizen Upgrade operates as a writing collective with multiple authors publishing under a single brand as well as individuals contributing under their own name. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook and stay tuned for more content to come.


Track and Schedule Upkeep for Your Home or Real Estate Portfolio

Growing up, I watched my Dad build a real estate investment portfolio of several properties. Using pen and paper, he diligently tracked maintenance schedules and repair records for each property. I would often accompany him on weekends to help perform minor repairs or supervise contractors. After each site visit, he would update his records and carefully file away receipts and other related documents in case they were ever needed in the future. This level of organization paid off, as it allowed him to self-manage his properties and utilize warranties or insurance policies to handle issues with major appliances.

Eventually, he…


An easy upgrade for anyone with a screwdriver

Jeep Cherokee XJ headlight replacement
Jeep Cherokee XJ headlight replacement

Does your vehicle use older sealed-beam headlights? Sealed beams were introduced in the late 1930s and standardized by law on most US-market light trucks and cars after World War II. One of the main disadvantages of these are that they have integrated bulbs, so when they burn out you need to replace the entire light. US regulations only permitted composite designs with replaceable bulbs starting in 1984, and the last holdout for sealed beam technology was the 2017 Chevy Express commercial work van. …


How my office and colleagues are handling the transition

Going Back to Work “Post” Pandemic
Going Back to Work “Post” Pandemic

The world seems to be opening back up, and nowhere is that more pronounced than in our managers’ collective desire to see us back at our desks. In my own journey through the pandemic, I switched jobs from one that was allowing 100% work from home (which I considered a privilege) to a job that required 100% in-office work. For those now feeling the pressure to go back to the office, I’ll share how that has been going.

During the pandemic, working from home was a difficult transition both for workers and for companies. It exposed many problems with our…


Installing ethernet in your home for a high speed home network

Patch panel or switchboard
Patch panel or switchboard

I covered why you should build a solid home network and why ethernet is important in “Networking Your Home: How and Why”. In short; you can get higher local speeds for local file and video streaming (like over the air HD TV streamed to every TV in the house), and get a lot of your in-home traffic off the wifi network, clearing up bandwidth for all home and home office users. You can also use stable ethernet lines for important home office or home school connections.

In this article, I’m going to get into the wired network side of things…


Personal Finance

Start today and harness the power of compound interest

Calculating your net worth
Calculating your net worth

Building your net worth is a key step towards financial independence, early retirement, and personal growth. Stated simply, net worth is everything you own minus everything you owe. Successful growth requires both consistency and starting as early as possible to take advantage of compound interest (more on that later).

Freelancers face particular challenges along their journey, including:

  • Irregular income streams
  • Lack of employer provided benefits like paid vacation, health insurance, sick days, family medical leave, or 401k retirement plans
  • Higher tax liability associated with the self employment tax
  • Business expenses including marketing, legal, and office supplies

This article will cover…


A series of articles on building and managing a home network

Router / Switch
Router / Switch

I’m a software engineer by trade and a tinkerer at home. I’m not an IT professional, but I’ve spent much of my professional and hobby life “IT adjacent”. In this series of articles, I’m going to walk through the how’s and why’s of building a (wired and wireless) network in my home. Along the way, I’ll share what I’ve learned about the process, my successes, and my failures. Hopefully, this will serve as a good introduction to home networking and a guide to the costs and benefits.

Why Network Your House?

In the era of remote work, the first answer to this question is…


Fix this common problem at home

Repairing hatch struts
Repairing hatch struts

Old vehicles have a way of feeling worn out, even when the core mechanical bits are still running. With the ongoing pandemic causing social and economic disruptions, many people have been deferring non-essential automotive maintenance. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with a vehicle that performs below its capabilities. Many wear-and-tear issues that arise on older vehicles can be repaired or upgraded by anyone who has basic hand tools. Today, I will show you how to replace your worn-out hatch or liftgate struts. …


A deeper look at the goals and objectives of Project Appleseed

Appleseed shooting event
Appleseed shooting event

In our previous article, History Comes To Life at Project Appleseed, I covered my experience of the Project Appleseed main event, the Appleseed. I had a great time and learned a lot. Many of my initial questions about the organization were answered during my time there, but I (and our readers) had more.

That article reached the desk of Rusty Bonkoski, the National Coordinator for Project Appleseed, who offered to follow up with me. I was able to ask some of the bigger and more nuanced questions, and get some very detailed answers which I share below.

Growth and outreach

Citizen Upgrade: I…


Travel — African Safari Adventure

A Photojournalist’s Guide to the Perfect Safari Photo

Safari photography
Safari photography

This is a guest post by Aisha Chowdhry for Citizen Upgrade.

Photographing animals in the wild is one of the most awe-inspiring things a traveller can experience. Once you spend enough time around them, they reveal intimate and unexpected glimpses into their daily lives. The gentle snuggles of a mother lioness with her young cub, the displays of love between exotic birds, the delightful play of elephants cooling down in a mud hole.

Citizen Upgrade

Upgrade your world. Upgrade your life. A community of experts covering technology, society, and personal development. Visit us at: www.citizenupgrade.com

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