I work for Anagran Inc, building a new kind of router for Internet, after a long stint at Cisco Systems (well, five years, but it certainly felt long)
I learned to fly, getting my Private Pilot's Licence (PPL_ASEL) in March 2002. Since then I've learned to fly aerobatics and got checked out to fly solo in the Pitts, which is a wonderful plane to fly.
I've written various odds and ends about travel, transport and just odd jottings about life in general.
In the last few years I've done various things with Valve (Vacuum Tube) Audio...
Over a long period I wrote Winlife32, which is (in my humble opinion) the best Life program available for 32-bit Windows. It includes a powerful editing and visualisation system, automatic pattern recognition and termination detection, a rules editor for non-Conway rules, and various other neat features. You can download it and see for yourself here.
A selection of my favourites from the thousands of pictures I've taken over the years is here.
See below for something about myself.
You can reach
me at email@example.com.
professional stuff, see my resume
(or CV if you
prefer). On a more personal note, I grew up in the London suburbs
(actually Romford, Essex). From an early age I was interested in London Transport buses
and in trains. Electronics came along a little later when I bought a
copy of Practical Electronics magazine on my 11th birthday. Computers
were added when I discovered that my school had access to one of the
very first school computers in the UK, an Elliott 903,
which I learned to program in assembler and Algol 60. My
Hill Grammar School) was a great place, in the tradition of
English state grammar schools, and I had teachers who were really able
to fill me with enthusiasm for their subjects. Special mention must go
to my first French teacher, who gave me a lifelong interest in
everything to do with languages.
By the time I
was 16 I had decided that I wanted to make a career in computers, and
decided to study Computer Science at the University of Lancaster,
in the sodden north of England. (In retrospect it seems to me that it
never stopped raining in the three years I was there, although I'm sure
there must have been a couple of sunny days). I learned Algol
68, and did a lot of work on the compiler for a language
that would have been forgotten but for its place in the history of C.
Then I discovered J.H. Conway's "Game
of Life", and wrote a program to play it on the PDP-8
together with its KV8/I storage scope. Much later, I wrote WinLife as an
exercise in C++ and Windows programming.
summer, I did some work for a local company which ran a computer bureau
on a couple of PDP-8s (yes, really). But as a bright young
undergraduate I was all set to continue my education with a Ph.D. in
something to do with computers and natural language, when I suddenly
realised I could quit the academic life and earn some money. This
seemed quite attractive, so when I graduated I joined Digital Equipment Corporation,
then a minicomputer company little known outside its scientific and
technical market. I moved to Reading, England, which in all fairness
was better than Romford; but not much.
For the first
18 years I was there, Digital just grew and grew. It was a fantastic
place to work. In the beginning I did various programming jobs,
especially on the best and least-known of the multifarious operating
systems Digital created for the PDP-11, IAS. (Rumour has it
that the model number came from counting all the operating systems, but
actually there were more than 11). Later I worked on network products,
starting with X.25 and ending up leading the architecture team that
Somewhere along the line I started going along to standards meetings,
in the days when we believed that the only way to stop IBM's SNA from
conquering the world was to make OSI happen in the official world of
standards. I ended up chairing one of the big OSI committees, the one
that did the Network Layer, from 1984 to 1991. It taught me a lot about
how to get things done when you have absolutely no official power at
all. It was also where I met my wife, who was chairing another
committee at that time.
By 1991, though, the fun of DECnet was coming to an end. TCP/IP was taking over the world, and it was time to move on. I took a job in Digital's telecommunications marketing group and moved to the south of France. This was a great job and was my introduction to the world of telecom, but in 1992 Ken Olsen was forced to resign as CEO of Digital and Bob Palmer was appointed in his place. If you compare Digital to the Titanic, this was the point where the waterlogged hull started to sink dramatically, the stern rising horrifyingly into the air before the structure broke into pieces. (The iceberg was of course Unix). As staff were jettisoned over the stern rail by the tens of thousands, in 1995 I took an offer I couldn't refuse and my career as an independent consultant was launched. In 1999 I joined Cisco Systems in London, and in 2001 Cisco moved me to California, where I still live. In 2006 all the fun had gone out of Cisco, and I joined Anagran Inc, a classic Silicon Valley startup which is building a new kind of router for the Internet.