Autobiography

Believe what you will...

I was born in Coventry, England in 1957.  A period of transition from the austerity of ration books after the War to the personal freedoms of the Sixties.  My parents were not particularly well-off, but comparatively well educated certainly (my father a chemist, my mother a lab assistant with a mathematical background).  At an early age, my family moved away from Coventry and the familial and familiar area, first to Grimsby, then to Le Havre in France, then to Brussels; before returning to England, and settling in Surrey.  Much of my early youth was spent in moving house and moving school.  A bizarre lifestyle, certainly, but it stood me in good stead for my adult life when I also found myself moving, this time to the US, to Colorado, where I currently live in Colorado Springs.

I'm a programmer and analyst by trade. A software designer, if I want to be pretentious.  I started programming at grammar school (following my parents footsteps, I was science based in my latter school years). We had permission to use the local tech college's timeshare into the University of Manchester system, and we programmed boring tables of squares and lists of prime numbers on paper tape.  At University (I went to King's College, University of London, to get Mathematics BSc degree), I had progressed to generating magic squares and differentiating algebriac expressions. I must admit that the latter was a complete loss: I didn't understand how the CDC6000 stored characters and text.  After graduating, I joined a software house, and started progrmming for real.

My early programming was with RPG II and RPG III on the good old System/34, /36 and /38, but I was lucky enough at one job to make myself in charge of the company's three IBM PCs. I've never looked back. I taught myself Pascal (notably Borland's Turbo Pascal) and got involved with PC programming.  I changed jobs based on my PC programming knowledge. After a while, I purchased a product called B-Tree Filer from a company called TurboPower, got involved on the Borland forum on CompuServe, and managed to get a job offer from the afore-mentioned TurboPower. And here I am still.

It would be pedantic to list what I've done at TurboPower, detail by excruciating detail.  If anybody is really interested, you could probably pick up hints from the newsgroups. Suffice it to say that I'm in charge of B-Tree Filer and it's successor, FlashFiler.

Leaving aside work related matters, what do I do in my spare time?  Lots of things: indeed, I'm never quite sure where my spare time disappears to.  Firstly, I live with and look after my girlfriend Donna (we're getting married later in 1998).   I say "look after",  because she's getting a Law degree from Denver University Law School, and that doesn't give her any spare time either: if she's not driving to and from Denver she's typing up notes and reading cases.  Getting my degree was a piece o' cake compared to what she has to go through.  We have three cats: Orpheus,  Eurydice and Aristaeus; the first named after a TurboPower product I helped write, the other two from the myth of Orpheus.

I also act in local play productions.  I shall be drawing up a page of previous r´┐Żles and plays I've done at a later time.  Acting - well, all right, the rehearsal process - is  a veritable catharsis from work and its environment and stress.  It's completely different, with different people, having different ideas and ideals.   Rehearsals are a social event, in a way. You get to see the same people, four or five times a week in the evenings and at weekends for a period of two, three months. And then suddenly you meet another set of people in the next production. Pretty soon, you get a wide-ranging set of friends.  When I came to Colorado Springs for the first time, I was pretty lonely after work.  What to do?  I went to see nearly every movie that came out (and some were pretty dire, let me tell you).  I read.  I programmed in the evenings.  Until that day when I went along to an audition for The Importance of Being Earnest, arranged by The Star Bar Players in town.  I got cast as Algernon (mainly on the basis of my British accent, I'm sure), and have never looked back.

And in between all this stuff, I write for the British magazine The Delphi Magazine - I'm trying to write a programming algorithm based article once a month for them.

If I have any spare time at all after that, it's generally just before bed, when I read books (no TV in our house).  Mainly science fiction, though I temper it with modern literature (mainly British, fave authors are: Iain Banks, Christopher Priest, Julian Barnes, Martin Amis, Graham Swift) or thrillers.  I also read non-fiction, mainly science and mathematics related books: just trying to keep up with this ever-changing fast-paced world of ours.  The other benefit of reading about science is that you engender a  healthy skepticism for pseudoscientific trash that you are bombarded with every day.

 

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Copyright (c) Julian M Bucknall, 1998  E-mail me if you've any comments about the site.
Page last updated: Thursday April 09, 1998 16:45:50