What is this?
I guess it’s a web log (a blog to you) of random things I find interesting, irritating, funny. It’s also a
test of new versions of our web authoring software (that, to be frank, is not specifically designed
to create blogs).
Although I dislike the term, I've been described as a serial entrepreneur (I have a farmer friend, I
call him a cereal entrepreneur), one-time programmer, now software designer. Self-made
millionaire at 24, founder of Xara, creator of one of the earliest word processors, owner of
Gaddesden Place historic house. Humanist. Geek.
I’m into science and technology, have an interest in travelling to strange places (such as the North
Pole, treking in Bhutan etc.) and one day I aim to take a photograph good enough to go on
iStockPhoto. I'm interested in graphic design. And in user-interface design because that's what I
do. I'm good at what I do.
Although I dislike the term, I've been described as ‘an arrogant git’.
I built my own early microcomputer in 1978 (which had to be programmed in hex machine code),
and started selling software from my bedroom at the age of 21. By the age of 24 was able to buy
Gaddesden Place for cash. Over the years I created software, and businesses, for various different
computer platforms. (Acorn, Atari ST, Windows PC, Internet). In the early days I was a
programmer, but later the principal designer of a lot of different software, and some hardware,
products. I’ve invented new ideas, such as the first ‘check-as-you-type’ spell checker (23 years
ago) and many, many others, some now industry standards.
In 1996 I created a new business (Xara Networks) which was a early Internet Provider for
businesses (since sold, made another fortune during dot com bubble). Started another dot com
business 1997 (web based software before it was fashionable), lost a fortune in the dot com crash
of 2001. Recently sold Xara to a German public software company. And so it goes on.
Some rather conservative types have said my views maybe, er, unorthodox, they’re not really.
(Although I dislike with a passion, religion, politics, lawyers, software patents and government.)
A web log, a test of my web design software, stories about the absurd, the dumb & interesting stuff.