making things clear …
Born in a rat-infested hole in Boston, Lincs, in the Autumn of 1952.
Tied up in the coal shed for the first two years of his life, then moved to a luxurious new rabbit hutch in the back yard of a hovel in a seedy part of Nottingham.
Thrown out of his first school after a couple of years of assorted experiments by Doctor Spock-influenced infant teachers.
Managed a few more years at Lady Bay Abattoir for Disturbed Boys while his family lived in a palatial mansion south of the River Trent, of which he was occasionally allowed to visit the cellar.
At the age of ten he tried to run away from home but the chain was too short.
His family moved to the posh hamlet of Edwalton to open a hardware shop. He was encouraged to play with the electrical appliances, especially during his yearly hose-downs in the back garden on Christmas Day.
During the next seven years he attended West Bridgford Grammar School to which he had obtained admission due to a clerical error. He excelled at cricket: the games master said he was the best bat they'd ever had, even if he was a funny colour by the end of the season.
It was in his second year of Grammar School that his grandfather discovered his existence and, on cleaning off the muck, realised that what he had always taken to be a shaggy bear which the family had somehow acquired on their travels was in fact a barely presentable youth of thirteen years. He promptly set about him with a mace and chain and, having rearranged the boy's features to his liking, decided to have him taught to speak, use the lavatory, tie shoe laces and so on, with a view to selling him as a house boy to some wealthy Arab friends.
Meanwhile, back at school, the teachers greeted him as a new pupil and for the first time he was allowed into lessons. Only three years later he took and passed 82 'O' Levels and went on to get ridiculously inflated grades in seven 'A' Levels.
Universities now started offering him fantastic lures to get him onto their computer science courses but he turned them all down to study Oral Sex at York College of Further Education. He obtained his diploma with flying colours and his ambition is to become a member of the Mile High Club.
(Heidi Lowe, c. 1980 - probably the funniest thing on this site)
Posts: Programmer, Analyst, Project Leader, Project coordinator
Mainframes - IBM hardware from Series 370 to 43xx's and 30xx's, using OS/370, OS/VS1, VM/VSE & MVS, using cards, CRJE, VSPC, VOLLIE, VM/CMS and TSO.
PC's - IBM type machines, often with 3270 emulation, from PS/2's to 486's.
PL/1 (28 years!) solidly since 1974, mainly applications, but enhanced with spells in software support and DBA as well as advanced programming courses. Extensive experience in both development and maintenance. Highly regarded as designer, programmer and problem solver.
Assembler (12 years), mostly from 1987, maintaining a large batch update system, the core of which was written in ASM in the early seventies.
APL - about a year, and in many ways my favourite language.
C++, Java - still learning, mainly at home.
Many other languages and techniques, eg COBOL, Algol 68, list processing etc, studied at college and since. Would rather gnaw my own leg off than use cobol again.
Access methods:QSAM, ISAM, VSAM, WEACCESS, SQL etc.
Databases: IMS/DB (15 years, including 6 months as a DBA); also DB2; Total; ADR Datacom.
TP monitors: CICS (5+ years) - most levels, including fiddling with internals and protocols for talking to ICL cash receipting terminals, which is not good fun. Also Taskmaster.
IMS/DC (3 years) on Nat West's NOS & KNIFE front end systems. Experience includes writing two new inquiry & update programs.
Other stuff: Panvalet; ADR dataquery; DMS; ISPF panels; ManTec banking package.
PC tools: Windows; Word and WordPro word processors; Lotus 1-2-3, Excel, Freelance and Organiser; Visio, etc.
Have PC/Broadband at home. Built own machine (which may only indicate insanity).
HTML, Web Design/setup. Si monumentum requiris, circumspice.
Webmastering for Mexico Gallery, ThemoullaSofroniou, artist, BiVeg cafe, Nottingham, 2002-2005
MS Access: designed and built database for Heath & Hampstead Society, 2003, Mexico Art Gallery 2003/4.
Strongly committed to the Lucidity Ltd motto (making things clear), I pride myself on my communication skills and an informal approach with the emphasis on clarity.
At one meeting with non-technical users, fears were expressed when I announced that I would be preparing a functional specification; "Oh God, not another document by a tecchie!". Someone with experience of my work said, "No need to worry - Dai actually writes in English" which was nice.
Believe strongly in finding out what the user really requires (even if it isn't always deliverable).