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. Technologist, 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 Unsplash. 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’.

My history

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 23 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 (35 years ago) and 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. I sold Xara to a German public software company. Then started a new company (a subsidiary of Xara strangely) 6 years later doing cloud (web based) software. I retired from Xara in 2023, the company I started 42 years ago. I remain a technology enthusiast. Some rather conservative types have said my views maybe unorthodox, they’re not really. (Like many geeks I dislike, with a passion, religion, politics, lawyers, software patents and government.) I’m now an official grumpy old git.
A web log, a test of my web design software, stories about the absurd, the dumb & interesting stuff.