A Charismatic, optimistic, and sociable geek, cut from the cloth of ‘Getting things done’. A graduate of the university of reallydunnit. A wealth of experience in software systems, mechanical engineering and business systems automation.
An active participant in the Free software, Open Source community. Founding member and former CEO of the UK Open Source Consortium and currently a member, councillor and developer with the Kubuntu flavour of the Ubuntu linux distribution
Multiple directorship appointments, very experienced at delivering evolutionary internal change and implementing ERP and CRM systems, currently I am working with WiFi SPARK Ltd helping with their international growth programme, and responsible for Platform, Systems and Software Development.
Building 3D printers, making tree houses for my daughters, growing vegetables in the garden, brewing beer and making country wines from flowers and fruits.
I have organised Music Festivals, managed bands and produced music, been invovled in politics and media, built elaborate landscaped gardens, climbed mountains, built racing cars and race engines, restored motorcycles. Built computers and written software, made stage gear and lighting rigs, programmed firmware and embedded controllers, repaired industrial scale optical scanners. Built the first to the desktop Red Hat linux deployment replacing all the Windows PC’s with KDE desktops and free software for Super Tramp Ltd, and that was back in 2002, a first for UK small business.
Exploring Kubuntu 18.04 LTS and the Plasma Desktop Kubuntu Linux has been my prefered Linux distribution for more than 10 years. My attraction to the KDE desktop and associated application set, has drawn from Kubuntu user, to a tester, teacher, developer, community manager and councilor. I feel privileged to have been part of, what can only be described as, a remarkable example of the free software community development of an exceptional product.
Often I get asked for a list of skills and tool sets that I have worked with. This post sets out my skills and experience broken out into individual key skill sectors, and tabularised for easier reading and searching. I set out summary information to give you a feel for my approach in regard to each aspect or my experience and skills set. Leadership I am a passionate advocate of the “One Minute Manager” series of books, and I have been delivering Leadership and Management following closely with the principles described in this series of books for more than 15 years, with great success.
A journey in scaling a live web application When I first joined WiFiSPARK, one immediate challenge was to tackle the issue of the overloaded SPARK platform. Growth of the company had be remarkable, and the number of service subscribers was growing rapidly every day. The platform and development team had built a 32 processor, 128 core beast of a machine, with 128Gb of RAM and SCSI RAID disc array. However this machine was creaking under the load of a constantly growing user base.
Recently I took it upon myself to dress up as a woman, and sing Marylin Monroe songs on stage, whilst the audience shouted “He’s behind you !” Oh no you didn’t ! Oh yes I did ! Pantomime, if I understand this correctly is something of a uniquely British phenomenon. Thus for international readers of my website the opening gambit is largely meaningless. For clarity, Panto is based on the premise that the actors dress as actresses and vice versa.
Summary Despite searching google and YouTube, I had been unable to find a good solid setup that provides a full workflow, with debugging and virtualised development server. This tutorial assumes that you’re running Kubuntu Linux, if not you can fix that by downloading it free from kubuntu.org This tutorial / how to we will go through setting up an Ubuntu Server run a LAMP ( Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP ) development stack, configured to run in debug mode.
I dropped by the London Linux Meetup on Wednesday 12th October, with my Kubuntu Community hat on. The venue for the meetup is fantastic. An old Medieval period public house, about 200 meters from Chancery Lane tube station. The pub, Cittie of Yorke, was decorated with dark wooden panelling, with dimmed wall lights to match. There was something rustic, yet homely about the place. The staff and services were excellent, as was the food.
It is my belief that the primary reason we find ourselves in the situation that we are today is as a result of our silence. I believe that I have a similar voice to that of the majority of the people in Britain. Yet I continue to find myself dumb founded by the policies that our government enacts. Often I am left plainly scratching my head saying “Who’s idea was that ?
I had recently been listening to an excellent episode of Coder Radio: Episode 203 “Go Go Golang” Chris and guests were discussing Go, as in golang the Open Source programming language developed at Google. I was looking for an excuse to muck about with golang, as I like compiled languages for performance reasons. The guest got to talking about gobot.io a robot control library suite they had been developing in Go.
The Academic theme enables you to easily create a personal academic website using the Hugo static site generator. Key features: Designed for academic staff, students, or general personal use Includes Biography, Publications, Projects, News/Blog, Teaching, and Contact sections Write in Markdown for easy formatting and code highlighting, with LaTeX for mathematical expressions Academic linking (Scholar etc.), Google Analytics, and Disqus comments Responsive and mobile friendly Simple and refreshing one page design Easy to customize Installation Install Hugo and create a new website:
This is a brief guide to managing content with the Academic theme. Content can include homepage sections, publications, projects, and news/blog articles. After you have read this guide about creating and managing content, you may also be interested to learn about writing content with Markdown, LaTeX, and Shortcodes. To enable LaTeX math rendering for a page, you should include math = true in the page’s +++ preamble, as demonstrated in the included example site.
A Club for the Motorhome enthusiasts community
Bluetooth controlled Sphero droid, with an Internet Relay Chat interface for control commands
I have toyed with the idea of writing technical articles, but never felt confident enough in my written work. However, I decided to take the plunge, and contacted Linux Magazine with an article idea. With help, and encouragement from Lori and the team, I got my first article published. One of many future articles I hope.
Using two aspects of my skill set, I work in two capacities for WiFiSPARK Ltd. My primary role is Software Development Manager, responsible for leading the development team, supporting their individual development and directing their activities in accordance wth the companies product road map. I utilise agile development, including scrum. Responsible for software specification, and delivery against project time lines. I also provide technical consultancy to clients and internal stakeholders. It is my responsibility to match commercial and customer requirements to the SPARK platform, and to work with the development team to expand and develop the product set.
The second aspect of my work is as a member of the Senior management Team. Responsible for the effectivenesss of the business, and its processes. Involved in ISO 9001, and 27001 I have used SuiteCRM as the business centric application to coordinate and integrate the internal systems and processes at WiFiSPARK. This includes mapping workflows to the process patterns ascribed by our 9001 quality management system.
The company is undergoing rapid growth, and expanding into the global market place, and durring this time I have supported and driven the uptake of SuiteCRM across the company. Adapting the system to match business processes, with coverage of sales, support, operations, projects, and software development.
I founded Abazander with the support of my lovely wife Alison, after experiencing the difficulties one faces in small and medium sized businesses trying to get consistency of marketing and an effective sales generation process.
I utilised my broad experience of Linux and Unix systems, coupled with expertise in business systems analysis, to deliver a Software as a Service built entirely upon Free / Open source software.
Abazander provided a Software as a Service, for CRM and Business managment. Operating Debian GNU/Linux servers from 2 datacentres ( UK and Germany ) the system used an Open Source extended fork of SugarCRM, coupled with RCMail, DokuWiki, OpenOffice. The source code for the product iSAM is available from my Launch Pad account.
I built the complete stack from Debian installation and configuration right through to the software integrations and development, and was responsible for its upkeep, development and monitoring.
The business grew steadily from formation, and continued to develop I appointed 3 directors to work with me. Together, we went on developing iSAM, and won many contracts around the globe.
My role was varied covering all aspects of the business.
The OSC is the primary trade body respresenting Open Source systems and solutions providers across the UK. My main role was to coordinate the operational aspects of the OSC. A role that requires active communication, determination and persistance.
Tasked with replicating the successful work undertaken for Super Tramp, in delivering a 100% Linux and Open Source business system. My role was to lead the development and growth of Adaptive in delivering Open Source systems and solutions to businesses in the south west. Here I lead the migration to another 100% Linux / OS system for a multi-site organisation in Plymouth.
The company was in a rapid growth phase, increasing at a rate of more than 40% year on year. The Systems were incohorent, and unreliable, these were the days of Windows 98 and NT4 server. We were advised to implement Windows 2000 AS and Terminal services. While this resolved many of the issue with reliability we were still left with integration and performance issues.
The company grew quickly requiring more workstations. The load and potential for error of manually entering data into two systems became apparent.
I took responsibility for designing and implementing a new business system, to meet the business needs.
I deployed RedHat 7 Server, Mobius ERP, KDE Desktop, and LibreOffice. All these tools integrated to work together as a complete business system. Workstations were extremely lightweight, low power terminals utilising Linux Terminal Server Project via X. Highly reliable and responsive. Ultimately we had one powerful and redundant IBM x86 server driving 40 workstations, and all of our business systems, which then ran uniterrupted for over 1000 days.
I saw my first computer over 30 years ago, a ‘Commodore PET’ and I was taken straight away! Programming engaged my natural desire to problem solve. I have always considered myself a ‘Fixer’ from a young age. My parents bought me a Dragon 32, and that was it! The Chemistry set never saw the light of day again.
At 15 I got my first paid programming job; A friend and I developed software for a digital audio recorder on the ZX Spectrum, in Z80 Assembler. The device went to market 1984 selling thousands. Of course, we sold the software to the company for peanuts! Ah well you live and learn.
After college, I worked for Scan Optics Ltd on large scale mini and mainframe systems for British Gas and Barclaycard, and early laser scanning EPOS systems from ICL International Computers Ltd.
I digressed from Computer Systems engineering, into Mechanical engineering. Developing skills in turning, machining, sheet metal work, welding. I also explored entrepenurial activities in self employment and establishing small business. During this period I learned how to adapt, innovate and overcome.