Having graduated from the University of Essex
with a third class degree in Computer and Microprocessor Systems, I practised as a software developer
in the UK IT industry for twelve years before having to give up work for
health reasons. I was
always very frustrated with the degree of incompetence I found in my industry (as indicated by the
high proportion of projects which are never finished or don't work properly on installation) and I
started to write a book - The Craft of Computer Programming - based
on what I learnt from my experiences. My health problems made it hard going though and I ended up not
writing much more than 15-20 pages, though I hope the more open-minded amongst IT enthusiasts may
find my ideas amusing and/or interesting! Feel free to let me know what you think at
I worked for some years with Charles Cook
who has developed a very useful open source XML-RPC.NET library.
I used to be an archer and play five-a-side football, but I restrict my activities now to
collecting banknotes. I admire the craftsmanship that goes
into producing the artwork, particularly on older notes, and I like the way notes reflect the
culture of their country of origin. I am a member of the
International Bank Note Society. I was a contestant on the Channel 4 gameshow
"Countdown" in 2004,
but I went completely to pieces and only scored about half what I usually score at home!
My Other Interests
Coming from a rather dysfunctional family, I have an interest in psychology and
(primarily due to self-preservation) particularly emotional bullying.
I also have an interest in religion and regard myself as a Christian, though I don't
belong to any particular Church, having my own beliefs.
The first company I worked for produced stockmarket information systems
and I've been following the markets ever since. I dabbled in spread-betting for a while, but,
in practice, was almost completely unsuccessful. I posted my attempts at trading on my
web logue and still continue to
comment on the stock market. Here are some useful sites for market information if you want to
give it a go yourself:
I also support the following charities:
- (formerly Cambodia Trust) supports landmine victims in Cambodia and the region.
- works to treat and prevent blindness in the developing world.
- international disaster relief agency.
- British Leprosy Relief - works to treat leprosy and other diseases of poverty.
- Royal National Lifeboat Institution - operates a volunteer lifeboat service around the UK.
- UNICEF UK - promotes children's rights around the world.
- British Red Cross Society - emergency relief and social care agency.
- Water Aid - provides clean water and sanitation in developing countries.
And for a bit of fun I have joined the
Free Postcode Lottery.