• Hampshire, United Kingdom
  • Member for 3 years, 11 months

Long retired life-long IT player. Wrote my first program using Ferranti Autocode on 16k Ferranti Sirius in 1965. Joined IBM in 1968 and learned Assembly Language and RPGII under IBM DOS on System 360 mainframes. Set up my own service bureau buying time on various IBM mainframes in the early/mid 1970s before moving into micros. Taught myself 'C' on a Zilog 4MHz Z80 on a Cromemco System 3 microcomputer in 1978 and forever fell in love with that language! Hated MS DOS after CP/M but then found beauty in Unix (or rather Xenix) running on Intel micros. By 1986 had joined forces with one of our dealers and set up a systems provider for the insurance and insurance broking industry. Lifelong supporter of 'thin client' systems and had difficulty coming to terms with Microsoft's dominant thick Windows systems. Retired in the mid 1990s and taught myself C# (a decent language), Java (very good), C++ (intellectually challenging but too complex), and finally grew to love Objective C (of course it's just C with Objects!). I'm fascinated with celestial navigation and wrote a Mac application in Objective C under Cocoa and Quartz to calculate celestial positions, moon state, sunrise/sunset etc. Recently was documenting my notes on the Astronomical Triangle, which involves spherical triangles, and was annoyed at how difficult it was to find software that allowed one to draw lines on spheres! And then I discovered Tex (although I've got Donald Knuth's magisterial 'The Art of Computer Programming' in my library) and of course Latex and Tikz. I've always hated macro languages (especially Microsoft's) but Tikz's superb capabilities of manipulating 3D rotations in a 2D environment is quite wonderful.

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