Back to blogging - I've been tagged

Back to blogging - I've been tagged

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So I've not been blogging for a while. Sorry about that.

What's my excuse? Well, I've been writing a book with my colleagues Steve Cook, Gareth Jones and Alan Wills.

And, yes, they've kept up their blog, so it's not a very good excuse really (though book and five children doesn't leave much time for anything else).

I've also been tagged now by both Steve and Gareth. Gareth tagged me a while back, which obviously failed to wake me from my slumber, and Steve has just tagged me. Now, as Steve says about himself "I never do chain letters", but I quite like the idea of telling you a few things about me you might not know. I won't tag anyone else, mostly because I see that those people I would have felt comfortable tagging have already been tagged.

  1. I'm married with five children and live in a converted barn on the top of the North Downs near Canterbury in the UK.
  2. I sing (more like used to sing) counter tenor in church choirs. Well, I guess it was a little more than church choirs. I was a choral scholar at Exeter cathedral whilst at University there, and then a Gentleman of Her Majesty's Chapels Royal in St James's Palace, London, whilst I studied for my PhD at Imperial College. There are two chapels in St James's palace: the Chapel Royal and the Queen's Chapel. I was married in the Chapel Royal. Whilst there, I also attended one of the Queen's garden parties at Buckingham Palace, and got to sing at a number of Royal events. 
  3. My first computer was a Sinclair ZX80 that my Dad built. My next was a Sincalir ZX81 that I bought myself (I remember spending a week in the sanatorium at school reading the manual just after I got the computer - I wasn't allowed to take the computer in). I learnt Z80 assembly code programming on the ZX81 in an attempt to build a arcade game. My third computer was a Grundy New Brain - a very rare thing indeed as the company wnet bust soon after I bought it. I still have the ZX81 and New Brain boxed away somewhere.
  4. My first programming job was in a robotics firm based in the village in Hampshire where I was brought up. I wrote Z80 assembly code for the controller of a steel rod cutting machine. Now that was fun.
  5. I went to a public boarding school (a 'private school' is called a 'public school' in the UK, and a 'public school' is called a 'state school' - don't ask me why) from the age of 8 to 16, when I left to go to university. There I learnt to play lots of sports - football, rugby, squash, cricket - though was not particularly good at any of them, although I did enjoy trying. I did get into the school cross country running team, though, and still enjoy pounding through the mud when I can find the time. And I was part of the choir that won the first ever National School Choir Competition.
  • There's quite an overlap between musicians and those involved in computing.  Perhaps the blend of creativity and abstraction common to both has something to do with it?

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