I was born in 1973 in Rochdale, left there, moved to Grimsby, then to Sheffield in 1980. Most of my childhood was spent there, and it's the place I remember most.
Much of this time was spent hacking computers and electronics - starting when my dad brought an Apple-II home from school when I was 7. My 10th birthday involved a trip to the local electronics shop, Bardwell's. We bought bits to make a crystal set amongst other things. Building a radio that didn't even need batteries was great - that was me onto electronics for life!
In 1992 I went to uni at UMIST, which has now joined with Manchester University. I was studying electronics engineering - although I think I got more out of the non-academic side of uni life than the lectures... Doom got a bit in the way in my final year also!
During the summer before my final year, I got a work placement at the Lucas Advanced Engineering Centre. And that's where I then went on to work when I graduated. Working on cars that drive themselves, writing the software for video processing algorithms - straight out of university - what more could a geek wish for?
Since then, I've worked for 5 different companies, all from the same desk (pretty much) as Lucas merged with Varity, got bought by TRW, which was then bought by NorthropGrumman and then spun off as TRW Automotive! The part I work for now is TRW Conekt. Our advanced research heritage allows us to act as a techie consultancy to TRW and outside. My work involves things like video lane recognition, electric power steering and the like. I design the electronic hardware to make the software work. And when it won't go fast enough (even on a Pentium-4) I use FPGAs to make it go faster!
Because of my work, I'm also interested in playing with software and hardware in my 'spare' time as well (less of which is available since the arrival of two kids!). My past and present ideas (some of which have happened, others haven't) are located in the electronics section. And then I also write software. First up: a pain-based mouse movement monitor: RSIMon.
I'm a Linuxer now, so I tend to write software that I need in python - then it works most places I need it to!
While at university, I did a bit of raytracing. Ahh those were the days, waiting overnight for my '486 DX75 to render a scene and see if anything was where I expected it to be. Happy days - kids today, they don't they're born ;-)
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