Work and Contract History
The following dates are in reverse chronological order
from the start of a project. Work currently in progress includes creating Web
sites and pages for a number of clients.
May 2002 — HRA Web Services
Set up a web hosting business in Budapest hosting about
20 websites and handling mail for a number of companies. The system runs on a
heavily firewalled dual processor Linux PC, acting as gateway to an internal
NT network using IP forwarding and masquerading. Mail is configured to
intercept and block as much spam as possible from open relays and known spam
sites, and to scan and remove viruses in transit. Capabilities include PHP,
Perl/CGI, MySQL and full web statistics reporting. In addition, SSL is fully
supported, including SSL tunnelling for secure authenticated SMTP and secure
I configured the machine from the box, wrote a web
statistics package and administer the machine on a daily basis over an ADSL
connection. Tasks include monitoring, security auditing, firewall, DNS,
Sendmail and Apache web server configuration as well as a vast range of other
March 1998 to May 2002 — Cap Gemini: Internet/intranet design and
After responding to a message on Usenet in 1997, I was
offered a contract working for the Chief Technology Officer of Cap Gemini in
the UK. I designed 3 intranet systems for their Technology Consulting Group.
My remit was to take their Internet and intranet pages a step forward,
introducing some new ideas and successfully integrating visual design with
In January 1999 I was invited to design and develop a new
intranet site for the whole worldwide company, headquarters in Paris. Target
audience was then 30,000 employees, now 60,000. The project was to build a
database of Cap Gemini’s client projects in various stages from negotiation
to delivery, total worth about $1bn. The closed site provides detailed
information about many project parameters, progress and status.
The server architecture was NT4 with IIS4 on a dual
processor server. I built the system from the ground up using a mixture of
ASP/ADO/Access, Perl and Net-It.
The site used NTACL to authenticate users, and supplied
them with a tailored menu to access services and information. Access was
tiered in 5 levels so only users with the right credentials could access what
they were supposed to. User levels ranged from visitor, user, editor,
executive and system administrator. Each had a different menu for their access
I integrated Net-It with ASP and Perl, to allow documents
to be uploaded by editors and to synchronise the document hierarchy with
documents related to a project. Net-It allows viewing a document quickly
without having to download the original large document. There were different
shared document repositories for workgroups and users. Editors controlled
The fully relational database contained user profiles and
project details comprising about 50 tables. I later modified it to
output/export XML with or without XSLT. I wrote an email processor in Perl
that ran as a service, allowing mail addressed to the server to be logged and
rewritten to administrators. Furthermore, it also allowed me to administrate
the server using SMS messages for example; I could reboot or restart the web
server from my mobile phone if necessary.
Every day, the system backs up the databases and runs a
web log analyser and project access tracker that I also wrote in Perl.
Almost all of the work was done remotely at home in
England and Budapest using pcAnywhere and my web based administration package
again written in Perl.
April 1998 — Association of Optometrists: Design and typesetting
This short project was to produce their Members Handbook.
I’m particularly pleased with this as I managed to persuade Word for Windows
to do colour separation. I successfully wrote a Perl program to analyse and
separate postscript output to film required for this two-colour job.
PostScript is an arcane and mystical art and is best left under the bonnet!
January 1998 to Present — HRA Web Services: Web hosting, design and
I started this business to provide large amounts of web
space and features for low cost in America, as many web providers in the UK
charged high rates for sub-standard support and I could do better. In May
2002, I relocated all the clients websites to my own server here in Budapest
under closer control.
December 1997 — Lloyd and Keyworth Ltd.: Web consultancy
This company is a music retailer specialising in quality
pianos. I produced their web site, and provided training and consultancy.
November 1997 — TPMG (The Performance Management Group): Flyer Mailshot
This management consultancy required a CMYK flyer
printing using the logo I designed for them earlier in the year. I designed
and organised printing and mailing of the flyers.
November 1997 — Intranet Development: IBM/Lloyd McKenzie & Partners
After the success of last year’s conference, I was
again asked to work on Lotus Domino and design graphics for the IBMCIO
conference in Nice, France.
November 1997 — Luxembourg Tourist Office: Graphic Design
Designing their new corporate identity, printing and
October 1997 — Optometry 99: Perl Programming
This job was to modify their website and write a CGI
script to allow clients to book their places at a forthcoming conference.
October 1997 — VNU Image Publishing Ltd: Programming, HTML and Graphic
This project was to design and produce a proposal in HTML
format to produce 500,000 magazines every two months for a major world-wide
company. Work included designing and programming a web based Postscript page
proofing system and providing technical expertise in site design and creation
of graphics. This project was exciting because it involved people all over the
world collaborating using the Internet with a variety of groupware
applications. The work was frenetic and completed within a week.
September 1997 — Pentactive: Music composition
I composed some music for one of their clients to use at
a multimedia exhibition, supplied on Audio CD.
September 1997 — Lloyd McKenzie & Partners: IDC Conference, Paris
I was contracted to assist Lotus set up their stand at
the IDC conference in Paris.
July 1997 to October 1997 — Securicor Radiocoms Ltd.: Technical
Authoring and Production
Work to revise and supply large and complex technical
manuals for their mobile telecommunications systems. I designed and produced
50 manuals and organised shipping to 18 different destinations in the US and
April 1997 — TPMG (The Performance Management Group): Logo Design
This management consultancy required a logo designing for
a performance management tool release.
March 1997 — Database publishing: Optometry Today
This remit was to write a user-friendly application to
maintain 4 databases for export to Quark Xpress and subsequent publication.
February 1997 to 1999 — Web site creation and design: JJB-Zug &
This contract for JJB-Zug was to produce a website for
this world-class international consultancy and in 4 or more languages. I
provided a one-stop-shop solution, organising DNS registration, web/mail
forwarding, HTML creation and site administration.
February 1997 — Holiday and Networking in Los Angeles
After arriving back from Nice, I booked a flight to LA
for a week, hired a car and found a hotel in Newport Beach, LA to recuperate
from the excesses of Lotusphere. After getting lots of sleep I visited various
Internet providers, Internet cafes and visited Oracle Headquarters to learn
more about their Internet development work.
January 1997 to February 1997 — Client/Server and Internet installation:
Lotusphere 97 in Nice
Arrived at the conference venue in Nice to install 40
Win95 clients on a Novell server for an exhibitor. There was a megastream
cable waiting to be connected up to a Netbuilder router to provide Internet
access for the whole show. As the "resident internet expert" I
therefore found myself having to get it configured and working. There was a
problem at the Paris end of the link, but this wasn’t evident and took 2 days
to sort out liasing with BT in the UK, France Telecom in Paris, the local
French engineers and 3Com in Belgium using just my mobile phone and a small
amount of French. After changing network cards, reconfiguring, triple checking
and trying this and that the problem was eventually traced to a misconfigured
router in Paris. Once that was fixed we had connectivity two days before the
show. I gave the Sun Microsystems stand a sub netted range of IP addresses and
they worked first time!
In the day that followed, we were able to get 177 machines and a number of IBM’s
new Network Computers installed on 4 virtual 100Mbps fibre networks with hubs
and Etherswitches. I set up all TCP/IP configurations on 8 NT servers, and
used DHCP for the Win95 clients.
I also wrote a VB application to translate the conference
delegates details into Lotus Notes and NT accounts so that the delegates could
use some of the machines to learn what was going on at the show, access their
mail and stay in touch with the outside world.
With 2,500 delegates paying over $1000 to attend, the
pressure was intense because the show would have been a PR disaster if the
Internet connection weren’t working. I slept very little but thrived under
January 1997 — NTS4 Installation: Optometry Today
This client wanted to upgrade their NTS3.51 system to
NTS4. I did a new installation to keep NT3.51 as a backup option, and migrated
their applications and Internet access to it. The work took less than half a
December 1996 to January 1997 — Perl porting/programming: Computer
Computer Weekly wanted to transfer their very large
website from a Unix host to Internet Information Server on NT4. I was called
upon to translate a number of fairly complex Unix Perl scripts to work on the
new NT servers.
This was fraught with difficulties, as many things that
one expected to work, didn’t due to bugs, file security, ownership and
incompatibilities between various software components. These were resolved in
rather more time than I would have liked, but nevertheless met the
implementation deadline, and learned a lot.
November 1996 — Miscellaneous
This month involved completely recovering data off a hard
disk that previously had Windows 95 on it with long file names. The entire
disk was mysteriously translated down one sector so that the boot sector
overwrote sector 1 in the FAT. Copying the FAT and Root dir sectors to a file,
and the entire data area to another 600Mb file solved this. The disk was then
reformatted properly to the same size as the original, and then the
appropriate files copied back to the right starting sectors. The links to the
clusters in FAT1 were hand reconstructed and everything on the disk was
recovered with long file names intact.
Another job involved creating a logo in DXF format for
output to a metal cutter.
In addition, Securicor Radiocoms had a requirement for some technical
illustrations for their new mobile modem manual.
October 1996 to Present — Web Authoring/Programming: Lloyd McKenzie
& Partners Ltd.
I designed Lloyd McKenzie
& Partners Ltd. home page using Notes web publisher and Domino,
replicating with their databases using my Notes server over the Internet.
October 1996 — Business stationery design and production:
I designed and produced their corporate stationery.
September 1996 to Present — Intranet Web Authoring/Programming: IBM /
Lotus / Lloyd McKenzie & Partners Ltd.
I designed an ambitious Intranet site for a joint
IBM/Lotus conference hosted in Cannes in October. This involved substantial 3D
animation and graphics development and integration into Lotus Notes web
publisher and Domino, suitable for display by web browsers with an MPEG
plug-in. This took two weeks from the brief to design and build, resulting
with very favourable feedback from the client, and more work for the next
conference in Atlanta.
July 1996 to Present — Web Authoring/Programming: Association of
National Tourist Offices
I designed and still host a large web site for this
organisation (http://www.antor.com). The
site consists of 86 tourist offices for each of the countries represented by
the organisation. Each country has their own area with links to further
sources of information about tourism.
July 1996 to 2000 — Web Authoring/Programming: Optometry Today
I wrote a classified advertisement database program for
this magazine publisher that allows them to enter adverts by telephone, fax,
email and from the web site (http://www.optometry.co.uk)
that I designed for them. The software handles administration details, and
automatically updates their web pages with the different categories of
classifieds, and exports selected adverts for inclusion in the fortnightly
magazine. This product had considerable resale potential.
May 1996 — VDC Trading Ltd.: Typesetting and Production
I was approached to finish a catalogue for this cable
supplier. The catalogue was 264 pages and comprised over 600 photographs and
3,500 products. The catalogue was half finished, and had problems. I decided
to redo it from scratch with a disciplined approach, producing and delivering
the final films to the printers within 5 weeks. This turnaround was only made
possible by extensive macro and DDE programming in Word for Windows and making
use of PageMaker’s rather quirky scripting facility. I also produced vector
June 1995 to 1999 — Securicor Radiocoms Ltd.: Technical Authoring and Print Production
This project was to author, collate, design, typeset,
illustrate, proof and produce hundreds of printed user manuals and engineers’
technical reference material for their 220 MHz mobile radio systems and
repeater site transmitters for their US market. Three service manuals were
particularly demanding, involving creation, conversion and management of many
illustrations of general assemblies, PCB component overlays, loom schematics
and circuit diagrams totalling some 200 Mb of information. The page counts
ranged between 180 and 400 pages of mixed A4 portrait, landscape and A3 page
layouts with Z-folds for the larger drawings. Word for Windows NT was used to
produce these, but not without difficulty as it was really being pushed to the
Much of the work was carried out in my office at home,
and brought my machine with me when on-site. Unorthodox perhaps, but the
productivity gain by bringing my tools to the job vastly outweighs the
inconvenience of moving hardware. I simply plugged into their network to
download materials for later processing and print proofs on their network
printer. I introduced them to the Internet and this worked well for files up
to about 10 Mb. Consequently the only paper that changed hands are cheques,
purchase orders and tonnes of finished manuals!
I organised print and production of the manuals using
printers in London and Eastleigh.
December 1995 — MB Consulting Ltd.: Data Recovery
One of my skills is data recovery, which I have carried
out for a number of clients. This particular client emailed me to recover
vital data from a corrupt hard disk on his laptop. He brought the machine to
my home where I used Norton Utilities to analyse the disk, and manually
patched up the file allocation tables and root directories entries. (Standard
"automatic" tools would have left the disk beyond redemption in this
case). It is painstaking but rewarding work, and six hours later he had a
fully working machine with all the data restored. As a value added service, I
copied everything to my network and backed everything onto DAT. He went away
with the tape and was very satisfied, even though it cost a little more than
he was expecting to pay. Clients have even sent me hard disks for recovery
from as far away as Australia.
November 1995 — Software Awareness: Design and Output to Bureau
This was a small job to design a cover for a training
manual in Vietnamese. Appropriate fonts were sourced using the World Wide Web.
June 1995 — Persistence of Vision
CD-ROM: 3D Computer Graphics and Animations
I was asked by a programmer in Australia to contribute
some of the material that I had placed on public graphics sites on the
Internet for since published POVRAY CDROM by Walnut Creek, distributed
The material I supplied consisted of a particle system
animation showing charged atomic particles interacting and forming interesting
dynamic structures, a simulation of raindrops falling into a puddle and
generating ripples, an animation of the effect of varying surface parameters
on an object to illustrate their functions and some miscellaneous images that
I’d created in my spare time over the previous few years.
April 1995 — Independent Output Ltd.: Web/HTML Consultancy and Training
I provided this London based bureau with two days
consultancy and training on the Internet.
I set up Netscape and Windows NT RAS to dial up to Demon
Internet, and demonstrated and explained the World Wide Web, HTML authoring
and CGI protocols.
March 1995 — Just Proportion Ltd.: HTML Consultancy and File Format
We have worked on a number of projects in the past, and
this small job required converting long file names in a number of Mac based
HTML documents to ones that would run on a Windows system.
March and September 1995 — Syntegra: Internet Consultancy and Writing
Produced a consultancy report on the feasibility and
methods employed to use the Internet as a business tool, and help the company
evaluate the strategic issues of using the technology.
Subsequently wrote a 2,500-word article published in
their in-house magazine titled "The remotely possible that’s guaranteed
to change our lives" and airing my views about the future of the Internet
and how it will affect business and social communications. I touch upon some
novel blue-sky ideas and some of the downsides of this revolution.
If I ever get the time to write a book, this is the
subject I would most likely choose.
December 1994 — London Underground: Production of Slides
This was a very short job to convert and produce some OHP
slides by an associate for a presentation to London Underground.
November 1994 — JLC Ltd.: Hardware and Software Maintenance
This company is involved in computer-controlled building
management systems. They had an old PC that had some hard disk errors and
needed refurbishing. First a PSU fan was replaced, chips were reseated and the
hard disk required some data reconstruction, followed by a backup, format and
November 1994 to June 1995 — Vision Innovations Ltd.: ‘C’ Graphics
This company were marketing an image encoding system
called CODEM. The system relies on destructive interference between two
nominally red and green randomly printed dots, though other colours and
techniques can be used. The image or message on one of the films cannot be
deduced alone, but can only be revealed when both are aligned exactly. Working
on a retainer and royalties, I wrote C programs to generate the two
complementary encoded images from a source image, laid them out in PageMaker
and organised outputting to bureaux to make promotional materials. The program
was extended to produce circular versions.
July 1994 to August 1995 — Wentworth Training Ltd: Mystery Shopping
This job involved designing questionnaires for the
mystery shoppers to fill out and processing data gathered from 300 offices of
a national estate agent and property-letting agent. The questionnaires were
produced in Excel, and the returned data was analysed in Excel, with final
documentation produced using Word for Windows.
May 1994 — Future Sound of London: 3D Graphics Programming
This project was for a concept video called Lifeforms,
which reached No. 1 on MTV and in Japan last year and my particular animation
sequence was broadcast several times on national television. My remit was to
produce a 10 second sequence using a script-driven raytracer called PoV. I
designed the lifeforms and wrote a program to generate scripts and orchestrate
distributed raytracing on a network of 6 Pentium machines to produce 500
frames in 4 days. I also wrote a program convert the Targa frames into fields
for smoother animation when outputting to video.
April and October 1994 — DRS Advertising: PC to Mac File Format
This London advertising agency required some screen shots
of a Windows CD-ROM based Tax Guide converting to Macintosh TIFF files, with
some retouching, for use in advertising literature for the Tax Guide. An
AmiPro document was also converted to RTF in order to be readable by their Mac
March 1994 — English Heritage: Consultancy and Programming
English Heritage were embarking on a huge project to OCR
450,000 pages of building records and required some means of being able to
evaluate which OCR packages would be most successful.
My remit was to write some software that would process
the output of 4 different OCR packages and provide a common baseline for
comparison, so they could decide on the best one for the job.
Taking the sample of text supplied, I wrote a C program
to count words and pages and produce a tabulated spreadsheet of the results.
They chose a supplier to do the OCR based on the results.
Some months later I was asked to write a detailed report
on the feasibility and cost effectiveness of automatically correcting OCR
errors. In collaboration with an associate, we came up with some algorithms
based on fast dictionary searches and techniques to recognise and correct most
of these errors, and highlight concatenated words that could be ambiguous. It
would still prove to be expensive in manual correction and proofing so they
decided to have the documents re-OCRed.
October 1993 to August 1995 — London Village: Magazine Production
London Village is an activities based singles club with
2,500 members. I produced their monthly 24 page magazine. Copy was received by
modem and typeset within two days to meet a tight printing deadline.
I had to give this up in order to meet my commitments to
Securicor. I interviewed my replacement, and managed the handover, but
remained available to handle any "emergencies".
October 1993 — PS Partnership: Training and Awareness
This job was to provide a day’s awareness and training in
PageMaker for a London Insurance company.
October 1993 to September 1994 — Bloomsbury Press: "Turin Shroud,
in Whose Image?"
I was asked to analyse an image of the Turin Shroud as a
background task over several months to investigate and explain the apparent
relationship between intensity vs. height claimed by previous researchers. I
used filtering and raytracing techniques. Results cast doubt on the original
researchers, but were inconclusive.
The opinion of the authors of this book was that it was
an early photograph made by Leonardo da Vinci, and substantiated by
experimentation with simple photosensitive chemicals and sunlight. I was cited
many times, and a couple of my illustrations appear in the book.
August 1993 — Independent Output Ltd.: Graphics Processing
This bureau’s client were producing a guide to Latest
Posting Times for Royal Mail using Ventura, and had a deadline for 5 days
hence, including the bank holiday.
The book featured 34 colour UK maps requiring shaded
regions, and the mainframe application that generated these could only do this
using thousands of cross hatched lines.
The imagesetter’s rasteriser was taking 2 hours to output
each separation. With over 100 separations to output, it was clear that the
deadline wouldn’t be met.
I was brought in to convert these HPGL maps to something
much more compact and efficient. I used Micrografx Designer for this by
importing one of the HPGL files, tediously deleting the cross hatches,
connecting up the UK outlines into a single polygon and making each region a
polygon which could be easily shaded with a fill attribute.
Once one map was produced, it was a simple job to colour
in the appropriate regions for each of the 34 maps and output to EPS. This
took 32 hours over the Bank Holiday, and each separation subsequently took
just 2 minutes to output. We therefore easily met their client’s deadline,
with far higher quality maps.
August 1993 — CCTA Advanced Concepts Branch
I proofed and typeset a paper on Document Image
Processing for the CCTA.
July 1993 to August 1993 — Virgin Games: Graphics for Jimmy White’s
This was a meticulous job using QBasic and PoVRay to
create hundreds of raytraced sprites of different sized snooker balls each
with several angles of elevation for each colour under vertical lights.
Optical transfer functions had to be worked out to ensure smooth scaling, and
once the images had been rendered, optimum palettes had to be found to ensure
maximum image quality. I used a variety of tools to achieve this and a lot of
July 1993 to December 1993 — H2Eye: a Technology Consultancy
Programming in Visual Basic and C, I produced a telephone
call logger running under Windows that could simultaneously record several
channels of conversations. Audio channels could be monitored and controlled
separately and segments of audio could be displayed, indexed and annotated for
recall by a database. Using advanced CELP compression, a 1 Gb drive could
store 470 hours of audio. The software was demonstrated at a trade fair.
June 1993 to Present — AMP (UK): Technical Documentation
I was approached by AMP, a multinational company and
asked to tender for a contract to design, typeset and print technical manuals
for their range of network products. I used Word for Windows and Pagemaker for
the documentation with CorelDraw and Micrografx Designer for illustrations.
A local printer and photocopying bureau used to produce
the covers and bound copies, but I later sent PostScript output via the
Internet to be printed in Israel.
June 1993 — Wizards Ltd.: Design and Printing
This company is a computer hardware and software solution
provider and required a new image and stationery. I designed their corporate
marks and organised print and production of their business cards, letterheads
and compliments slips.
December 1992 to January 1994 — Oxford University Press: Illustration
This was a contract to illustrate “Genes V”, a large
genetics reference work (60,000+ sales), published in January 1994. The work
involved creation and modification of some 900 complex illustrations using
Micrografx Designer. I wrote some software in C, to open the vector graphics
files, process and standardise object attributes in the drawings and then save
them to automate production. I also reduced turnaround time by using E-mail
over the Internet to exchange illustrations. Email was still a novelty for a
large majority of people.
March 1992 — SGS Software Ltd.: Training and Consultancy
I provided consultancy, training and graphic design for
their team to produce documentation and demo software using "Dan
Bricklin’s Demo II".
December 1991 — Transpac: Typesetting Documentation
This job was to translate two large French X25 manuals
into English and supply the documentation as a Word for Windows file. An
associate on the Internet translated the text while I did the design and
May 1991 to Present — Luxembourg Tourist Office: Design and Consultancy
Designing their corporate identity, printing and
producing stationery, and a 64-page prospectus for a travel conference. Work
expanded to include occasional hardware and Internet consultancy, and I now
host their website.
April 1991 to December 1991 — Air-Time Interactive Marketing Ltd:
Consultancy & Design
This company specialised in corporate multimedia and
electronic point-of-sale machines for banks and other companies.
One such client was Barclays, who required a pilot system
using a touch screen to interact with illustrated menus and linked by leased
lines to the central banking computer.
Services offered the ability to take out a mortgage or
loan, pay bills on a specified date (bill inserted into the OCR slot), take
out home/travel insurance and order foreign currencies and travellers cheques.
My remit was to source software, provide expertise and
produce 130 high quality colour screens from 500 MB of vector, scanned
and computer-generated images. I worked round the clock on-site for 3 months
to meet staged deadlines.
Similar but smaller projects for other clients were
delivered but confidential.
August 1990 — Robert Fraser Group
My remit for this company was to design and produce 35 mm
slides for a presentation pack to market a new Professional Risks Insurance
July 1990 to October 1990 — The Modern Group: System Documentation
This company was an international hotel reservations
service, with point-of-sale sites in Heathrow, Gatwick, Regent Street and
Edinburgh. I analysed and documented some 300 programs that comprised their
reservations system software written in MetaFour (a 4GL). Their installation
comprised 50 terminals and 4 CPUs on multiple sites.
July 1990 — Ellis of Richmond: Training and Consultancy
This wine merchant had installed a DTP system, and wanted
to produce wine labels, invitations, menus and publicity material etc. I
trained in Windows and PageMaker.
July 1990 — Takeover Insurance Ltd.
This company needed 23 35 mm slides for a presentation. I
designed them on my system from their rough notes using Designer 3.0 and
emailed the images to a bureau for production.
April 1990 to September 1990 — Golden Grid: Image Retouching
This company produced a nation-wide competition called
Skilball, implemented by Ernst & Young, though unfortunately didn’t gain
adequate acceptance by the general public. My remit was to perfectly remove
the football from several hundred images leaving no evidence. This demanded a
very high level of skill and familiarisation with image processing techniques
using programs like Adobe Photoshop and Image Studio on the Mac, and I had to
work under video surveillance, for obvious reasons!
March 1990 to July 1991 — Belmont Bank Ltd.: Desktop Publishing
This company is an exclusive bank in Mayfair. My job was
to design and produce their company stationery, data-entry forms and provided
occasional Novell network administration.
December 1989 — "Radio CIX": Design, Typesetting, Printing
& Music Composition
I volunteered to design and print jackets for a cassette
of music written by some musical members of Compulink Information Exchange,
(including myself) to raise money for synthesisers and expertise for a charity
for disabled children. The whole project was organised via CIX, and the
December 1989 to January 1990 — Salomon Brothers International Ltd.:
Short term contract working in the composition department
using Micrografx Designer, Ventura, PageMaker, scanning software and Harvard
Graphics to design and produce training brochures, reports and 35 mm slides
November 1989 — Midland Montagu: Word Processing
A two-week assignment in a systems programming department
using Microsoft Word.
May 1989 to November 1989 — Ernst & Young: DTP, Illustration and PC
Working in the Methodology and Database department for a
team of Information Engineering Consultants, using Microsoft Word and Ventura
to produce documents, reports and proposals which successfully tendered for
new contracts. I enjoyed my work here, and additionally provided PC support to
all the secretaries and helped run the Novell network.
I was subsequently asked by John Hares, a senior consultant to design and
produce 130 complex diagrams and illustrations using Designer for his book on
SSADM, published by John Wiley & Sons, and titled "SSADM For the
Advanced Practitioner". This particular project took about 6 weeks to
May 1989 — Morgan Grenfell
This was a three week assignment using PageMaker to
produce a methodology standard.
May 1989 to March 1992 — Sandberg Dhein: Market Research Projects
This company was a regular client who used my services to
produce their market research surveys. In May 1989 I was asked to urgently
produce a large market research report from hand-written copy containing many
illustrations for Apollo, then a leading workstation manufacturer. I used
Ventura, Designer and Charisma, working round the clock. The report was then
circulated around the world to various subsidiaries, and then they sent me to
Geneva for the day to deliver some brochures to Apollo as an extra thank you.
In September 1989 I was required to produce an even
larger yearly market research report for Caterpillar to analyse the UK market.
After the brief, I spent four weeks developing a 1,500-line dBaseIV program
during the evenings while working for Ernst & Young during the day. From
the 200 responses, the application produced about 200K of tagged text that was
imported into Ventura to automatically produce 140 pages of perfectly typeset
tables. This was subsequently expanded to include the Spanish and French
markets, until my client’s client was bought out.
April 1989 — Merrill Lynch: Desktop Publishing
Short term position using Ventura to produce reports on
Credit Facilities etc. in the Money Markets departments.
December 1988 to April 1989 — Micrografx (UK): European Technical
I provided technical support and dealer/distributor
training for Europe. I became fluent with Micrografx Designer, and Windows. I
attended the OS/2 Presentation Manager release at IBM Hursley and spent two
weeks training in Dallas. I demonstrated the packages at the Which Computer
Show and CeBIT, Hannover. I soaked up knowledge at a prodigious rate and left
in April 1989 to set up my own consultancy and design business.
August 1988 to November 1988 — Contract Working
During this period I was contracting for Merrill Lynch,
Goldman Sachs, The Daily Mail and British Telecom, using DTP applications and
April 1988 to August 1988 — Professional Music Programming
I was programming music applications software for the
Macintosh and produced a complete electronic arrangement of Rhapsody
in Blue, in addition to composing, playing and programming library music.
December 1987 to April 1988 — Contracting
Using PCs to compile reports, schedules, correspondence,
spreadsheets and effecting mailshots for an MSC funded company involved in
Enterprise Training. I organised data and directory structures for fast and
efficient filing. Programming and using dBase III+ for mailshots.
July 1987 to October 1987 — Syco Systems Ltd.
I administered the Service Department, dealing with
customers at the top end of the music business, repairing synthesisers and
other equipment, dealing with technical queries and co-ordinating world-wide
shipping of products. I also gained experience in programming and repairing
the Fairlight Series III, Kurzweil and other expensive and esoteric
December 1986 to July 1987 — Electroacoustic Music Association
I worked part-time for EMAS while studying at City
University. I maintained and serviced a wide range of audio equipment from
amplifiers to synthesisers.
October 1986 to July 1987 — City University, Postgraduate Research
Full time Postgraduate course in Music Information
Technology. The administrators accepted my previous research in lieu of a
degree. I continued this further into digital audio and MIDI, and wrote
several applications in 6502 assembly language to create and process music and
audio on the BBC Micro, in addition to the normal coursework on studios,
synthesiser technology, composition, acoustics and psychoacoustics.
I also wrote a SMPTE/EBU generator that sounded like
"Manchester bi-phase modulated time-code", but never got the chance
to actually test it with another SMPTE reader.
January 1984 to July 1984 — Solent Electronics
A small electronics company of about 90 employees based
in Lee-on-Solent Hampshire. I was in charge of a project to design, develop
and construct a system that reduced the heating effect of sunlight in large
corporate buildings in order to reduce air-conditioning costs. The work
involved PCB design and draughting (manually!), circuit design, prototyping,
mechanical design and assembly, looming to Telecom/Military standards and
quality control. I occasionally went out in the field to provide technical
support when negotiating new contracts.
1981 to September 1986 — Research and Odd Jobs
During this period (in between odd jobs such as
bricklaying and installing fireplaces, taxi driving etc.) I was designing
hardware and software for a digital audio sampling system for the BBC Micro,
which could store and retrieve sounds from disk, display and edit, manipulate
and sequence sounds with MIDI implementation. The software also processed
audio data in real-time to create many reverb, chorus, flanging and echo
effects. I developed the software still further and experimented with Fourier
Transforms and Finite Impulse Response digital filtering, but these were
really too demanding for a humble 2 MHz 6502 processor. Now my current
computer does all this a thousand times quicker!
I had great difficulty in marketing my invention, as the
reaction was usually "That’s great,
but what would you use it for?" Little did they know that digital
audio and sound cards for PCs would become the multi-billion dollar industry
that it is today.