In the 90's I wrote two books on Unix Fundamentals and SunOS Systems Administration. Several large mining firms bought copies of them as standard manuals and I received requests from O'Reilly to publish them, but due to the appearance of Solaris, I did not. I still have them. Somewhere.
I was a beta tester for Tk/Tcl with Prof J Ousterhout.
I am cited on a man page.
I provided corrections for the Al Stevens book “C Database Development.”
I fixed a bug in the MS Basic compiler running on a SuperBrain in 1978 and submitted it. I received a thank-you letter from BG but have since lost it. Rats.
I read books on Quantum Mechanics and Cosmology for fun. Then review them on my blog.
I recovered a VAX 11/750 after /bin was partially destroyed accidentally. I used dd to extract the programs from /dev/mem and within two days had the system functional again.
I didn’t use magnets to adjust inodes.
I've driven round Australia. That's 9,000 miles of road. I've done it twice. Oh the stories I could tell... Crocs in front yards. Running over millions of frogs and snakes. More than I can recount here.
I once fell out of a Huey landing at a US base in Germany. Warner Bros cartoon shape in the mud. It hurt.
I picked a piece of shrapnel out of my cheek in 1986. With pliers. Freaked my 'ex out. It took 11 years to work it's way down from above my right ear down to my cheek.
I have broken, fractured or cracked 13 bones. Luckily I'm well balanced. Both little fingers and little toes are broken. I set them all myself. When you're alone in the bush, you have to rely on yourself.
In 1997 Ben Evans recommended me for ninemsn, and has been my line manager for the last 15 years. We have never had a major argument even though we live and work together.
Ben is a member of Mensa and we have attended many gatherings in Cambridge and were on first name terms with Peers and various other people such as a woman who as a child prodigy who helped land Armstrong on the moon and is partially responsible for why office chairs have five spokes.
Professor Jack Cohen once asked me to participate in an ethics committee. I declined but have several signed copies of “The Science of Diskworld” series as a consolation.
I have a medal from ninemsn for outstanding performance in keeping the systems functional during the Kuala Lumpur 1998 Commonwealth games.
I once told Mr Balmer to shut up. Admittedly I didn’t now it was him at the time.
In London Ben and I built a stopgap accounting solution for a LVMH in Europe while they migrated their existing system to SAP. We continually added to the system as the companies accountants wanted more functionality. In the end, they scrapped the SAP solution and used ours.
Le Meridien hotel group approached me to create a Safety Management System for all their hotels worldwide. The system was written in MS C++ and MFC and supported archaic Win95 systems through to Win2000 servers. It worked.
I have stood at the very spot that Hitler stood at Zeppelin airfield at Nuremberg and gave a one fingered salute on behalf of all trans-gendered people worldwide.
In 2009 Ben and I were approached by the directors of Guvera to help them implement their startup. Within a year, I had a working website running across several heavy duty servers, had created the first NOC, designed the databases in conjunction with Ben, transcoded the first 2m tracks from EMI and UMG and built a content ingest pipeline application.
During that time a massive RAID hardware failure caused up to 40% loss of data which I reduced to <4% by mixing and matching various valid audio frames from damaged MP3s. Final data size 63Tb.
So I had 2 million damaged MP3s. Had to fix 'em. So I use C, C++, Java, Ruby, Bash, sed, awk and whatever else I need to do that. I
I could recite the Star Trek original scripts. But choose not to.
In 2011 I designed and built the first generation of a commodity hardware high availability environment using groovy, gradle, java and ruby which allowed developers to create standalone embedded Jetty services and deploy them within minutes to servers. These services run any or all of Handlers, Servlets, Jersey Servlets, Static files, Websites such as Node.js, exploded (or not) WARs, Sinatra Apps and Rails Apps. I am currently designing a second version to increase the speed of development and manageability. I will open source it. It's on Github now.
At the same time I was responsible for trawling the web looking for articles of interest to business, marketing and tech staff. During Oct 2011 I decided that as the number of people on the internal mailing list had grown unwieldy I created a blog site to manage it better. To my surprise the viewers have far expanded past the intended internal company audience and it has had
We have a robot vacuum cleaner and 13 laptops. Six of which are 'his' and 'hers'. The number of servers is in a state of quantum flux.
For the last 15 years I have only had to use a resume once. I usually get asked to join firms based on my experience alone. I don't do 'tests'. Tests are for graduate mechanics. I am not a mechanic. I am an inventor. If you want to talk, grab a bottle of bourbon (pref Wild Turkey), two bottles of wine, a pizza (with extra anchovies), turn up at our place and we'll talk. By the early hours we'll have figured out what you need solving and we'll figure out if, or how, we can do it together.
We have an absurdly large Nerf gun collection.
And use it.
Just for the record we don't have a cat.
I think about the impossible. For example: silly interview questions. I'm not talking about the 'what interface do you need to implement to create a Handler in Jetty?' kind of questions.
So I did some digging for the kind of interview questions that companies use.
They all seem to be trying to determine how you think as a kind of 'weeding-out' process. Which is ok I guess if you're a graduate, but seriously how much can a 22yr old learn about who a person with 34yrs experience if you ask them silly questions for 1/2 an hour?
For example I was actually once asked this question: "How would you move Mt Fuji?"
If you mean the mountain that's in Japan it's already moved. Earth rotated itself and around the Sun. And the solar system is moving with respect to the center of the galaxy. Which itself is moving. And if we take into account the expansion of the universe via an Inflaton or Dark Energy field, it's getting smaller with respect to the size of the entire universe including our minuscule visible bubble.
Furthermore, at the quantum level, it's just a seething mass of vibrating radiation anyway so by any measure it's already moved trillions of times in the last planck time constant.
Or do you mean the "Mt Fuji General Store" in California? It's already moved. Closed in fact.
Or perhaps the Mt Fuji Restaurant in Minneapolis? Well. In that case, I'd buy the business and change it's name.
Oh. You do mean the Mt Fuji in Japan!
Depends on how destructive you want to get...
Option 1 read it an emotional poem. That'll mess with it.
Option 2 involves simply renaming K2 as Mt Fuji and Mt Fuji as K2. Google could do it. A simple name change on Maps and Earth and it's solved. No-one reads books anymore, so they'll never notice. Er. Ok. The Japanese might. But what the hell.
Option 3 involves following the 8th fold way. Is it really there? "With our minds we make the world."
Option 4 moved with respect to what? Take two steps sideways. It's moved.
Option 5 involves setting off the entire worlds nuclear arsenal in the trench off the coast of Japan. Sink Japan. Who'll know? Er. Ok. The Japanese might. But what the hell.
Option 6 involves using a mass driver to manoeuvre an asteroid so it hits the mountain.
And so on.
About the only question that interested me was this one "Entertain me." Easy peasy. Let's grab some beers and a pizza and we'll do some sketches from Monty Python. Let's play Monopoly or Uno. (I'll win) Or better yet, I'll tell you my life story. Or write a book about it. With cartoons. Oh. Already done that. Anyway you get my point.
I actually have a document from a psychiatrist saying I am 100% sane. 56, acting 26, but sane.
I have kept all my emails from before the internet existed and we had to use UUCP. As far as I am aware I am the first person to create this ascii art:
,-_|\ / \ *_,-._/ v unknown
In the 90's I was asked by a shrink how I would describe the world. Since he was a bit of a character I decided to provide him something memorable. So I said:
"The world is a meat-grinder and we dance between the blades with the illusion of control."
He spluttered and asked if he could write it down and use it as a poster. I agreed as long as my name was on it.
In any case I have the rights to that phrase and will probably make a T-Shirt based on it.
Oh. One more thing. In 1997 I finally took the plunge and changed gender.
I have had a movie made about my first steps in transition by film maker Bettina Disler. It won an award for her.
After a 15 year wait, the British government relented and allowed changes to birth certificates. Twelve months and thousands of dollars later I finally have my Gender Recognition Certificate and will shortly have my replacement Birth Certificate. Ben and I celebrated by getting engaged.
I got my replacement birth certificates in May 2012. We celebrated. Now the hard part begins.
Does that help?