I was born in 1967 in Auckland, New Zealand. After a fairly normal Kiwi childhood (well not quite so normal, I guess not every Kiwi family had parents that took them to the US for a two month tour!) I left school and spent a couple of years at the Auckland Technical Institute (or Auckland University of Technology as it is now known) studying for my NZCDP (New Zealand Certificate in Data Processing; roughly the equivalent to a Bachelor of Science, Computer Studies).
The NZCDP was split into 5 stages, each stage lasting a year. Stages IV and V required the student to have a full-time job in the industry and to undertake part-time study. Apparently very few people actually completed their whole NZCDP, many would drop out after stage III and never bother to finish stages IV and V, so I'm quite proud that I completed the whole thing. Soon afterwards the NZCDP was replaced with the National Certificate in Computing, so that few people today know what the NZCDP is and what it entailed to complete it.
I then worked for Eagle Technology for five years, getting a thorough grounding in the discipline of computer programming and also systems analysis and design. Eagle is New Zealand's largest independent, locally owned, systems integration company and I learnt a lot from my time spent there.
At the time Eagle was New Zealand's distributor of Prime minicomputers so a lot of my time was spent working on these machines, first programming in COBOL and later in Prime Information (with small jaunts into the worlds of PL/1, PLP, SPL and C). I still consider Primos one of the great operating systems of all time, it was certainly brilliant in its day, although I must admit they were up to version 18 by the time I started working with it! Primos' ACLs (Access Control Lists) were a great security system and I still find Unix's/Linux's security to be quite limiting. I wrote some neat utilities that did nifty things such as adding a TSR clock in the corner of your terminal's screen, writing my own command processor and find file utility, etc. See the Comp.Sys.Prime FAQ for more Prime history that is sure to bring back memories for old Prime users.
After leaving Eagle I travelled to the United Kingdom, decided it was too cold so came home again, and started a business with friend Margaret Delaney. We decided to call the business Model Systems ("Mo" from "Moffatt" and "del" from "Delaney"). Initially we created vertical market applications using a RAD (Rapid Application Development) system called Clarion; our ClassMate software was used by about 25 schools to run their Community Education classes. We then branched out into selling hardware and off-the-shelf software. Clients then started asking if we could create websites for them, and so A Web 4 U Designs was born. For the next several years most of our work was web design, with Margaret doing the design and graphics work and myself the coding. Because of my programming background I liked doing the sites that require back-end programming, with PHP and MySQL my language and database of choice.
At the end of 2014 Margaret and I decided to call it quits and wind up the business. At the beginning of 2015 I started working for the Automobile Association's Tourism Publishing as a web designer. After staff restructuring at the end of 2015 I was left as the sole web designer looking after approximately 500 client websites.
What are my interests? Just look at the subjects covered by this website and you'll get a pretty good idea!