If my Dad had any idea what was about to happen to his bank balance the day I came home from school aged 10 raving about the Commodore PET computer, he would have probably suggested, nay, insisted on a career in woodwork. As wonderful as that probably would have been, he didn’t. I suspect he knew full well I was about to try my best to bankrupt him with a succession of home computers but what made him the Dad he was. Nurturing a young talent for infinite loops and typos, he and Mum provided me with a ZX81, Spectrums of various shapes and sizes through the 16-bit wonderland of Atari STs to my first PC, a 286 with a head-wrecking 10MB of hard drive storage.
Showing my age? Thought so. So will you one day, if not already.
A short career in journalism followed, writing about the nascent on-line world (it would never catch on, I was told) for Crash, the ZX Spectrum mag. This gave way to university and, well, girls and beer. Finally finding my feet with a proper tech job in the Big Blue of the UK, ICL, I found myself caught up in the whirlwind of the Internet, heading up Dr Solomon’s Software’s first web site. The memory of trying to run a popular web site on 486 machines running Windows NT still brings me out in a cold sweat.
These days, after getting, well, not burnt, but slightly chargrilled in the dot-com-bubble-bobble-burst-thing at the turn of the century, I took on a role with APM Internet Ltd (aka The Very Good Email Company). I’m now Technical Director, working with a team that processes over 9 million emails a day for thousands of companies across the world. I am also a Director of it’s sister company, Faxtastic.
When not removing spam and viruses from email with ninja-like precision, I can be found wandering aimlessly around The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, home of the World War II codebreakers that broke the Enigma and Lorenz cyphers, where I am occasionally seen shouting at people. Volunteers there have mistaken me for a tour guide, but I’m sure my secret is safe with you. When not rambling on, I curate the Sinclair collection, which involves a lot of playing Horace Goes Skiing.
Recently, along with every other male geek in their late thirties or early forties (I’m sadly the latter), I’ve taken an interest in the Raspberry Pi project.
Outside of tech, I live the frankly brilliant Milton Keynes with a lady who seems to do everything and a small shouty thing that insists on calling me Dad. The lady in question is one of the thousands in the UK who has Coeliac disease, so can’t eat a lot of food containing grain, so I keep a track of what we eat here.
Oh, and I’m rubbish at photography. So rubbish I decided not to pursue ‘real’ photography at all and instead muck around with 3D images and anaglyphs, you know, those horrible red-blue things that make your brain throb. If you like headaches and have a pair of those glasses, you’re in the right place.
I am not available for children’s parties.