Information Technology & TheHairy1

Working on the iPad

Working on the “big” screen in the garden. On holiday.


Early IT Career

Long ago, in a place far away some person introduced me to computer programming.

Well, actually it was in 1980 at university in Durban, South Africa. I was hooked, and a couple of years later dropped out of my electrical engineering course to become a programmer. Various jobs, contracts, periods of freelancing, moved me through the ranks of analyst programmer, solution builder, project manager, development manager and so on. Eventually, along with a wife and four children I emigrated to the UK, where the children have grown up into careers of their own (one is even in an Information Technology position!). I emigrated as an IT Manager, a position I still hold.

Not only did I start my career before the internet, but also before the PC! In fact I started using PCs in the era of dual 5.25″ floppy disks, and first used Windows at version 3.0 in 1989 or 1990. To be honest, I’ve used pretty much every Windows that came along, but some early experience with UNIX and Linux showed me the right direction and my home systems are Linux – Mint Linux to be exact.

Cloud Computing

Having built and maintained a website in 1999 (finally shut down in 2008) I became convinced that the web was the future of information technology. As a result, in 2005 I initiated a discussion about a server scheme. That type of design is now known as a “private cloud”. It wasn’t feasible. In 2009, with virtualisation, not only was it feasible, but a few service providers were offering it with a full service package. I drove the adoption of private cloud in our systems, across multiple sites, in 2010. We also threw away PCs, replacing them with low-cost, firmware based thin clients. This is a far more efficient way to run a system in the modern information technology world.

Always Connected, Cross-Platform Information Technology

In the background, largely at a personal level, I have long believed in the possibilities of cross-platform information sharing. I should be able to make a note, or take a photo on a device, be it mobile phone or tablet, and then go home or to my office and simply switch on a different device and work on that note or photo. I do that all the time now. In order to achieve that I have developed useful knowledge of products like Evernote, OneNote, IFTTT, cloud storage, and the many apps which make it feasible to work away from a home base without a full on computer.

It IS possible to generate a photo blog post from a mobile phone. It is totally possible to administer a Windows server from the same device. It’s simply a matter of the right apps and a bit of thought.

Alongside that, goes the whole question of making use of the web, With a couple of web marketing diplomas completed, that is now down to making it work.

The Future

The future is simple, though perhaps not that easy to achieve: apply that knowledge get out from the 9 to 5 to where I can work from wherever I am.




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