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An Obvious Distraction

Name:
JamesB
Birthdate:
20 December
Location:
Website:
Schools:
I'm a geek ... a mechanical geek, a computer geek, a technology geek.

I don't have any university degrees, but did receive 4 years of trade based electronics training back in the early 70s.

From 1972 until 2000, I worked for the Australian government. My time there was split into 4 years of training, 11 years installing ground based aviation electronics, and 13 years teaching electronics and computers.

Since mid 2000, I've been semi-retired, and spend my time travelling or doing some computer consulting and trouble shooting.

My love of programming started with my acquisition of a programmable Texas Instruments SR-56 calculator in the mid 70's. Shortly after that, I got involved with the assembly of a friend's Imsai 8080. I got my first real computer in 1978, and I learned both the hardware and software side by doing things. By the early 80's, I had built my own Z80 based computer. I bought my first IBM PC/XT clone in 1985.

I can program in all levels of computer languages, from machine code and assembly language to high level interpreted and compiled languages, but I am not an expert in any language ... I just know enough to get the job done.

My Microsoft experience goes back as far as their BASIC ROMs and the cassette tape based Z80 Editor/Assembler that they released in the late 70's, My introduction to their operating systems was via PC-DOS 2.0 and later Windows 1.0.

I had some experience maintaining a large multi-computer DEC Alpha / UNIX network back in the late 90s, and received a small amount of training on the DEC OS/F flavor of UNIX. I've been playing with (and learning) Linux since April 2005. The fruits of my Linux labor is a Suse 9.3/Apache 2.x web server that replaced my Windows NT4 Server/IIS 4.0 web server after one too many break-ins. My web server's primary role is to provide free web space or a mirror service for comic strip artists that I like.

oceansedge and I were married in Toronto on July 23, 2006. We spent our Honeymoon in Ireland, mostly dealing with a head-strong horse and a gypsy caravan in County Wicklow (just south of Dublin).

In the first week of October, 2006, oceansedge and I headed East from Northern Manitoba to St. John's, Newfoundland in a U-Haul truck carrying the contents of oceansedge's Manitoba town-house. After just 3 days in Newfoundland, I had to fly home to Australia to prepare for the sale of my house. I emigrated to Canada on February 24, 2008. My house in Australia was sold in August 2008, and I used the money from that sale to buy a house in Canada. We took possession on September 11, 2008.

In November 2009, I bought a 1989 Jaguar XJ-S V12 as a project/summer car. Since I got it home, I've done nothing to it apart from sorting out a few electrical gremlins (thank you British Leyland and Lucas for your never ending supply of bad electrical components).

In October 2012, we relocated from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia.

Some quotes that I like:

Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo. H G Wells (1866-1946)

An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field. Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future. Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. Wernher von Braun (1912-1977)

Typos are very important to all written form. It gives the reader something to look for so they aren't distracted by the total lack of content in your writing. Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive, 07-03-05

In the end, you'll know which people really love you. They're the ones who see you for who you are and, no matter what, always find a way to be at your side. Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive, 08-15-05

Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap ... and watch porn. Bill Watkins, CEO Seagate

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