I spent my early years in Masterton and Upper Hutt, and have since lived in Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton, Auckland, and Whanganui. I have travelled around New Zealand a lot, and feel quite familiar with almost all areas and most major towns and cities.
I have a technicians' certificate in electronics design (NZCS, physics / electronics) and have completed part of a degree in Electrical Engineering.
I have been a Microsoft Partner from the start of the Partner Program, and have continually updated myself as Microsoft's Enterprise systems have evolved and grown. When offered I have attended training programs in many of the Microsoft products I work with.
In the 1990s I gained certificates as Systems Administrator for SCO Unix and Database Administrator for UniVerse. I am expert in D3 database as an administrator and also as a developer.
I worked for DSIR (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research) and Solid State Electronics during the 1970s. Since then I have almost continuously been self employed in various businesses that have all involved development, and at times, research. Most of the projects I have taken on have been technically innovative and challenging.
I started out designing, manufacturing, programming and implementing microcomputer-based industrial controllers. During the 1980s, I switched to commercial applications and developed an enterprise management system called Crusader™. I directed the development of a range of applications designed to complement systems like Crusader, providing for a single integrated operational environment.
I currently develop applications using Microsoft Visual Basic and Tiger Logic D3 Basic. Over recent years, my role has progressively become that of a "Business Process Engineer" and consultant. I offer my services mainly in a contracting role, specialising in business process mapping and automation, systems integration, and the application of mobile technologies. I do much less of the code-writing and support work now than I used to, as other contractors have increasingly taken over this role.
I believe that I was the first to develop a simplified 3-wire “balanced loop” method of wiring security circuits. I developed this during the late-1970’s when 2-wire and 4-wire circuits were primarily used, with variants being 3-wire normally open / normally closed, or the more sophisticated "balanced bridge" arrangement. Two years later, a large international security company came out with their own version with circuitry that was almost identical to my own design.
I then improved this design (the original of which used transistors) to use CMOS digital circuits. It was possible to use these circuits in an analogue mode, to produce an alarm with an extremely low power drain. This was capable of being run for a year on just two AA sized batteries. I believe this may have been another industry “first”. Certainly the use of a digital circuit in an analog application was innovative.
I went on to produce a digital network capable of supporting up to 100 microcomputers or other devices well before the IBM PC and Microsoft’s MSDOS was released. Networking computers together was not all that unique – mainframes had been networked for years, but my network was between microcomputers and could be run over standard power cable using signals that were unaffected by electrical interference. In industrial environments, this was crucial. When the PC came out, I got my network integrated into DOS 2.00, long before Microsoft did much the same with DOS version 3.00. (I used a “device driver” approach to “steal” processing cycles to effectively create a multi-user environment and service my network. This network was controlled by an application written in compiled BASIC that ran on the host DOS system.)
Using this network and specialised hardware that I developed, I was one of the first to commercially use an adaptive program in an industrial / commercial situation. This was a very early form of “artificial intelligence”. I used this approach in networked energy management control systems, totally automated timber treatment plant control systems, and also used it in a process controller that responded in real-time to the consistency of bread dough in a commercial high-energy mixer.
I have two sisters. I was married for thirty years and had four sons, all adult before I was divorced from their mother, Angela. I have made some big changes in my life over the lastfew decades, with more changes yet to come. I now have a great relationship with my wife, Laurie (Lorraine) Wilson, and am enjoying a very fruitful and rewarding life. Laurie has two adult sons. Between us, we have seven grand-daughters and five grand-sons - so far.
For more than twenty years, I was very actively involved in community work. A lot of this work involved personal counselling and support, mainly in a church context. I am also an artist and photographer with a preference for the landscapes of New Zealand. I enjoy getting out into the outdoors and my art works and photos reflect this. Whether painting or working with computers, I really enjoy the opportunities I get to create something new and different.