Before I start writing in this blog, I suppose I should introduce myself to whomever may stumble across it!
Where to start?
I’m a self confessed geek, in years gone by it may have been more accurate to say nerd, but I’ve wandered from that path and have become more of a manager/practitioner/user than an innovator.
In the early 80s I was quite often glued to the green and black screens of boxes housing Z80 processors, Commodore Pets and all other manner of computing devices… My studies included working with punch cards, and making analogue circuits to calculate boolean algebra/binary codes. I toyed with Sinclair ZX80 and ZX81s before moving on to the ZX Spectrum which I still see as one of the cornerstones of today’s Personal Computer empire.
I remember 5.25″ floppy disks with fondness and still chuckle at scenes like that scene in Highlander where the ‘geek’ pulls his cardigan tighter around his bespectacled frame and says ‘heat’s bad for the circuits’ with a dead pan expression!!
I wrote games for the Spectrum (but never tried to get any published), I then discovered the world of IBM PCs and never looked back, I wrote structural analysis software in for the engineering firm I served my apprenticeship with (who later palmed it off to British Standards who used it themselves! A harsh lesson in company time and copyright!!). I owned PCs with 286 processors, 386 and 486 variants all followed and I then wandered for a while, moving from the shadowy realms of the IT offices to business management, projects and customer management… In time I returned to IT, but by then it had grown from the dark art it had been to a multi million pound business and I had missed the boat. I was also in the wrong position to try and catch up.
I am still a firm believer that every user should start with a C:\> and learn how to actually use their computer before they are let loose on the world… but then most of the commercial IT world would be out of a job, and I’d have no one to complain about!
Having been made redundant by Motorola in the early Nineties I moved to NEC who weren’t prepared to take anyone on in a permanent role and eventually that contract fell through too… so I joined up! Yes! I joined Her Majesty’s Armed Forces…
Over the last decade I have become what some may see as a jack of all trades, but I prefer to think of it as having broad experience from which to draw on in times of need! I have been trained as a network administrator, an application specialist, an Oracle DBA (they actually paid for me to attend Oracle University for 7 weeks of courses!), a Unix administrator, I’ve specialised in Cisco, Nortel and SatelCOM/Vados switches, I’ve been involved in field trials of major systems, systems acceptance trials, functional testing, I’ve done my share of technical writing, attained a degree in the Management of Military Information Systems and headed up teams on deployment in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent years I have focused more on management of personnel, systems and projects, I have been involved in large scale system deployments, enhancements to MoD systems, roll outs of new ones… and I look forward to the next challenge to come my way. It’s a rewarding job most of the time and, like every other one, it can be not so rewarding!!
On the personal front I am just as ‘geeky’. I like rock music (metal/classic rock/prog rock etc), I like folk music (I play the bagpipes, sing and play the guitar!), I love motorcycles, I read science fiction and fantasy novels as well as biographical and historical works, and if I’m an honest, I’m a geek in all of those subjects!! (My Marillion collection alone would take over 7 days to play from start to end…).
My passion for IT also pervades my personal life… I was involved in Media Centre PCs when they were called HTPCs and Microsoft hadn’t even dreamed up MCE, I was a major contributor to TheGreenButton.com once MCE hit its beta stages right through to the release of Vista, at which point I lost interest and felt that the reality would remain some distance from the fantasy for quite some time (my thoughts on this will be one of my early blogs…) and I now find myself interested in all that is Web 2.0 and Mobile Media… it’s a fascinating area and, like the world of Media PCs, has so much more potential than either the users realise or the providers are telling us!!
I do not consider myself to be a master of any discipline (despite being a jack of many!) but I am interested enough in modern technology, and keep myself suitably abreast of goings on, that I feel that I may be able to contribute a drop or two into this vast ocean we called the web…
Let the babble commence…