Andrew Haveland-Robinson Pg. Dip. MIT (Andy Lee Robinson)
IT consultant, programmer, system administrator and integrator with 30 years experience in many computer and media related fields. Now manage Linux Apache MySQL PHP servers and farms remotely for several clients around the world and run a programming, hosting and design consultancy on full-scale web applications.
Especially experienced in administrating Windows and Linux systems with technologies and disciplines such as PHP/MySQL/AJAX, XHTML/CSS/XML authoring, Perl/CGI programming, 3D graphics, animation and video, graphic design, typography, illustration and audio processing.
Between 1998 and 2002, I worked as a consultant to Cap Gemini designing, developing and administrating some of their Internet and intranet systems, during which I relocated to Budapest from where I continue to live and work. I learnt Hungarian fluently in less than two years, something that gives me great pride!
I am tenacious and dedicated to solving clients’ problems. I have been using the Internet and related technologies since 1989 for communications and formed a number of strategic partnerships with other individuals and companies in the UK and in Hungary.
I am a Microsoft Certified Product Specialist, and have written articles and reviews for national computer magazines and composed music for jingles, games and multimedia applications. I also have a deep technical understanding of the processes and inner workings of disk operating systems and hundreds of different software applications and tools.
I successfully completed a postgraduate diploma in Music Information Technology at City University, London in 1987 - a natural focus to combine my computing and electronic music interests. I specialised in MIDI and digital audio system design and real time assembly language programming, worked part-time repairing synthesisers for the Electroacoustic Music Association then went to work in the music industry for one of Peter Gabriel’s companies repairing synthesisers and other studio equipment.
I married and then worked in the City of London’s financial institutions, word processing and desktop publishing until joining Micrografx in December 1988. I provided Technical Support for their graphics applications across Europe and exhibited their products at CeBIT in 1989. I quickly became fluent with Windows and their products and left to start trading as Haveland-Robinson Associates in April 1989. My first project was a market research analysis and report program for Caterpillar that built the finished typeset report and charts from source data in one step. This saved much time and ensured consistency for the subsequent years.
Microsoft Certified Product Specialist - Windows and Word for Windows
3 day Industrial Society course - "Training for Trainers".
2 weeks training in Dallas, in Micrografx Designer, Charisma and Draw Plus.
Postgraduate Diploma in Music Information Technology. Specialising in MIDI, Digital Audio Sampling and Synthesis (City University, London 1987).
Chemistry and Physics ‘A’ Level.
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.
September 2007 - January 2010
Was approached to join a web application software development company to design, implement and maintain a robust and highly available clustered web platform to help them compete with Facebook in emerging markets and foreign languages as Facebook was largely English.
I had a number of challenging problems to solve, given that the technology and skills to scale out sites to deal with a few million hits daily were not widely available. We were aiming to handle 1000 concurrent users, so I decided to use an initial multiple-master configuration using MySQL on two dedicated Xeon servers with 16Gb RAM each, replicating over a dedicated 1 gbit link. The front end webservers were behind a CSS load balancer, and made use of two other general purpose servers to handle mail, spam, invites, extra mysql slave for reporting and backup, weblog processing archiving and stats generation, DNS, reverse proxied chat server and VPN link to the office.
Once running, also had to cope with pandemic fake accounts, scammers and spammers, so I wrote defence systems to recognise such attacks and abuses and ban, delete, and block IP addresses at the firewall automatically for an escalating period, depending on persistence of attack. Only to be expected, as the company decided to promote the site using prizes for those that gathered the most number of friends, best pictures etc. I knew this would bring a special set of hassles to deal with!
I was probably the first to develop an email tracking system, that monitored bounces and failed deliveries - users with expired addresses would be warned to update them and reconfirm - if any address bounced more than 3 times, and the status of the account was demoted. The system avoided sending mail to those addresses to ease traffic and to be polite to email providers.
As a result I gained a lot of expertise in managing a busy social network site of 400,000 accounts, and all the attendent tasks that go with it, monitoring security, keeping software up to date, handling failover conditions, repairing replication errors and devising methods of optimizing the configurations and write automated tools using perl, php, and bash to help with miscellaneous tasks
In mid 2009, the recession hit, investors had to pull out after burning over a million euros, and I took all the sites onto my own personal servers for the users, and I continue to run them out of my own pocket to keep my skills fresh.
I configured the machine from the box, wrote a web statistics package and administer the machine on a daily basis. Tasks include monitoring, security auditing, firewall, DNS, Sendmail and Apache web server configuration as well as a vast range of other miscellaneous things.
March 1998 to May 2002
Successfully applied for 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 back-end processes.
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 level.
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 document access.
The 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.
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
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.
This company is a music retailer specialising in quality pianos. I produced their web site, and provided training and consultancy.
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.
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.
Designing their new corporate identity, printing and producing stationery.
This job was to modify their website and write a CGI script to allow clients to book their places at a forthcoming conference.
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.
I composed some music for one of their clients to use at a multimedia exhibition, supplied on Audio CD.
I assisted Lotus set up their stand and computers at the IDC conference in Paris.
July 1997 to October 1997
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 Canada.
This management consultancy required a logo designing for a performance management tool release.
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
This assignment 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.
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 to February 1997
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 Sun Microsystems a subnet and it 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 disaster if the Internet café and connection didn’t work! I slept little but thrived under the pressure!
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 day.
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.
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.
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.
I designed and produced their corporate stationery.
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.
I designed and hosted 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
I wrote a classified advertisement database program in Visual Basic for this magazine publisher that allowed 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 handled administration details, and automatically updated their web pages with the different categories of classifieds, and exports selected adverts for inclusion in the fortnightly magazine. They were still using it ten years later until moving to a CMS system.
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 illustrations.
June 1995 to 1999
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 limit.
Much of the work was carried out in my home office, bringing my server with me when working 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 were cheques, purchase orders and tonnes of finished manuals!
I organised print and production of the manuals using printers in London and Eastleigh.
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.
This was a small job to design a cover for a training manual in Vietnamese. Appropriate fonts were sourced using the World Wide Web.
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 world-wide.
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.
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.
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
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.
This was a very short job to convert and produce some OHP slides by an associate for a presentation to London Underground.
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 restore.
November 1994 to June 1995
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
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.
This project was for a concept video called Lifeforms, which reached No. 1 on MTV and in Japan later in the year. 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 PovRay. 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 to convert the Targa frames into fields for smoother animation when outputting to video.
April - October 1994
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 systems.
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 was 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".
This job was to provide a day’s awareness and training in PageMaker for a London Insurance company.
October 1993 to September 1994
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’ claims, 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.
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.
I proofed and typeset a paper on Document Image Processing for the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA). It was a UK government agency providing computer and telecoms support to Government.
July 1993 to August 1993
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 patience.
This was well before advanced rendering graphic cards came out!
July 1993 to December 1993
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 1995
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.
I used a local printer and photocopying bureau to produce the covers and bound copies, but then later sent PostScript output via the Internet to be printed in Israel.
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
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.
I provided consultancy, training and graphic design for their team to produce documentation and demo software using "Dan Bricklin’s Demo II".
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 production.
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 later hosting their websites.
April 1991 to December 1991
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 way ahead of its time 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.
My remit for this company was to design and produce 35 mm slides for a presentation pack to market a new Professional Risks Insurance service.
July 1990 to October 1990
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.
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.
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
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 trace of tampering. 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 with a first prize of 1 million pounds!
March 1990 to July 1991
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.
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 by the contributors networking via CIX.
December 1989 to January 1990
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 for presentations.
A two-week assignment in a systems programming department using Microsoft Word.
May 1989 to November 1989
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 Micrografx 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 complete.
This was a three week assignment using PageMaker to produce a methodology standard.
May 1989 to March 1992
This company became a regular client using 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 and worked 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.
Short term position using Ventura to produce reports on Credit Facilities etc. in the Money Markets departments.
December 1988 to April 1989
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
During this period I was contracting for Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, The Daily Mail and British Telecom, using DTP applications and databases.
April 1988 to August 1988
I was programming music applications software for the Macintosh and produced a complete electronic arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue, the first midifile in Internet history to be released as shareware!
December 1987 to April 1988
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
I administered the Service Department, dealing with customers at the top end of the music business, repairing synthesisers and studio 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 synthesisers.
December 1986 to July 1987
I worked part-time for EMAS while studying at City University, maintaining and servicing a wide range of audio equipment from amplifiers to synthesisers.
October 1986 to July 1987
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 actually got the chance to test it with another SMPTE reader!
January 1984 to July 1984
This was a small electronics company of about 90 employees based in Lee-on-Solent Hampshire. I was in charge of projects 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 (then using tape and lightboxes!), 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
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 amazing! What would you use it for?" Unlike me, nobody knew that sound cards and digital audio on PCs would become the multi-billion dollar industry and revolutionize the world.
Trying to convince people of a vision that you just know will change the world, can be so frustrating.
MySQL - Linux/Windows
Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, phpBB installation, configuration and maintenance
eGroupWare installation, configuration and maintenance
DNS configuration and maintenance, included automatically updated GeoIP based zoning
NTP - timeserver configuration
MailMan - listmanager configuration
Mail Scanner configuration
2000 Server, XP, NT 3.51/4.0, 98, 95, 3.11, DOS (4DOS/4NT)
PHP + MySQL, ASP, SQL
C, QBasic, Visual Basic, Word Macro programming
Ancient stuff: DBase IV, 6502 assembler
Lotus Notes, Lotus Domino
Qmodem and many other communications packages
MySQL, MSSQL, Access ODBC and even dBase IV
Adobe Photoshop since 1987
Aldus Photostyler, Fractal Design Painter, Image Alchemy etc.
PHP image manipulation classes
PoVRay - web integration.
Flash, Corel XARA, Micrografx Designer 3.1, 4.1, CorelDraw!, PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator, Freelance for Windows
Adobe Premiere, Virtual Dub, FlaskMPEG.
Computer Graphics and Raytracing
AutoDesk 3D Studio v3, v4, 3D Studio Max
Persistence of Vision (PoV)
Polyray, Vivid, VistaPro
PageMaker, Quark Express, Ventura
Word for Windows (all versions fluently) + macro programming.
Every other WP ever written, Edlin and even DisplayWrite IV :-)
Access, Excel, PowerPoint
Visual Basic + internet extensions
Crash/data recovery skills
Hundreds of other packages too esoteric to mention
I was born into a family of musicians, entertainers and inventors to whom I owe much of my musical and technical aptitude, skills and creativity.
I currently live in Budapest, Hungary where I work from here mainly for clients in the UK and USA, and learnt to read, write and speak Hungarian fluently in less than a year.
I like travelling and experiencing new cultures and in addition to all the EC countries I have visited the USA a few times, Iceland, Morocco, Tunisia, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia. I have driven to the Czech Republic and Budapest from England several times to stay with friends. and would like one day to drive across America and back through Canada.
Hungarian became a second language, and I have a basic knowledge of German and French.
I was invited to play four piano sessions on a live Hungarian Saturday night television show in July 2001 and interviewed in Hungarian. This was quite scary, but I’m glad I did it! I was then asked to do another show, and was repeated on TV a few times.
My hobbies include off-road driving, Hungarian café society, playing jazz piano in local bars and dining out. I also enjoy windsurfing, sailing, kitesurfing, and once jumped off a 2,500m mountain in Slovenia with a paraglider — I’d recommend it to everyone. It’s safer than flying kites, as I once got seriously bruised on a Welsh mountainside while being dragged over rocks by a kite half the size of a parachute!
When on the ground, I enjoy exercising my brain, programming in Perl, PHP, MySQL, and discovering new things, such as climate science, sustainability and renewable energies.
Available on request.
Copyright ©2013 HRA
Last Modified: 5th March 2013