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About Me

A CV – Kind of


commodore pet

After a fantastic presentation by @arichards_saruk today (19th September) I decided to re-write this page.

Alan gave a presentation in the National Museum of Computing and a lot of what he was talking about was (or could have been) my CV!

His discussion on the paperless office / school reminded me of my time in Rank Xerox – in the days when desktop publishing was the Big Thing (as opposed to the next big thing). We were involved in vampire tapping Ethernet cables, desktop laser printers at £4,000 per go and WIMPS computers. Windows, Icons,Mice and Pointers – you know, the stuff you take for granted.
The Paperless Office was a real marketing  handle for Rank Xerox in those days. I happily recall a print room manager telling the gathered audience at a big RX presentation that “I know exactly when the paperless office will appear – 2 days after the paperless loo”

A few of Alan’s presentations brought my time at Freight Rover to mind. Obviously virtualisation is a great way forward. We were using CMS on VM on MVS – no prizes for guessing what the V in those acronyms stands for.

Sometimes it’s important to focus and push jobs through. Alan showed an example of a workflow. In Freight Rover we had to turn around a job specified as 4-8 weeks over one weekend. We did it, and we got the finance approval to buy the top of the range Compaq 286 to do it with. (In the days when a Compaq 286 cost considerably more than a small car).

In 1979/80 – yes, that was AFTER decimilastion – I had the job of manually mapping out workflows in a pipe-fitting company. The resulting re-written Quality Assurance manual and removal of 5 tracking documents per job saved them more than my salary.
It was around this time that I got semi-hooked on Banda fluid as a cheap alternative to the pub. If we’d have had those whizzy SharePoint toys we saw today, things could have turned out so much different.

Alan spent most of the presentation stood near a Commodore PET – in various British Leyland factories we used PETS to do many marevellous and mad things. PETs reported on the results from engine block manufacturing and controlled the test beds at Longbridge. We also used them to manage the maintenance records in Longbridge (east and west works), SU Carburettors (you may need to look that word up), Alvis and Freight Rover.

I’m incredibly inquisitive and actually enjoy researching information. (Well, the TV’s rubbish these days!). So, I’m probably more like an enthusiastic 10 year old than a worn out 40+ (+++) year old. One decade later:(

Based in Leicestershire,  (in the East Midlands in England), I’m a keen walker, a panting runner and an improving photographer!

Many years ago (ie more than 20 – more like 30. Update – more like 40) I obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bradford.
How has that helped me? The experience taught me to be inquisitive and that somewhere out there is the answer.

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