About the nerd

BenHi from the Newtown nerd. I am a “computer hacker” in the traditional sense of the word.

It all started in 1980 when I bought my first computer – A Radio Shack Coco 2. Within days, I had mastered BASIC and had moved onto machine code to get the thing to do cool stuff – even if I did have it plugged into a old black and white TV I had salvaged.  I was a late comer to the Commodore 64, then my first XT based PC, then Windows 286 etc… These days, I have built a home to house my ever growing bundle of kit.

I started working in at the age of 20 in 1986 as a night shift “operator”.  My job was to change the backup tapes on a Wang VS80 and make sure all the nightly batch reports came out OK. Eventually I was promoted to code in SCOBOL and COBOL85 on a strange Tandem Nonstop system.

For the 20+ years since I taught myself to code in all sorts of weird and wonderful languages – BASIC, COBOL, Pascal, T-SQL, VBA, C, C++, C#, Powerbuilder and Delphi. I worked on some really cool projects in Adelaide, Sydney, Toronto and Washington DC. Some idiot thought I might be good at managing coders and from then on I was team leader and then general manager of others like me. I have worked in Retail, Government, Electronic Payments, Banking and more recently Wealth Management – from small scale PC systems to mission critical distributed systems. I have been an officer of ASX and NASDAQ listed companies.

Along the way some of the stuff I designed got approved as international patents.

These days I contract to corporations on anything they want to pay me for and I help micro businesses setup their web presence and IT infrastructure. I specialise in database development, cloud computing and virtualization – eg Google Apps, HyperV, VMWare, Terminal Services, Citrix etc. In my spare time, I like to sail on the harbour and take panoramic photos – like those on the banner of this blog.

I have grown up with and watched the Personal Computer and Internet mature and flourish. One of the reasons it has grown so quickly is because people were so willing to help others and promote the advantages of modern IT and networking systems. So many people out there dedicate much of their spare time helping others – including me – to learn about new stuff – through blogs and forums. I still tinker – a lot – and love learning all there is to know about a topic. This blog is my opportunity to learn WordPress and Adsense while giving something back to the industry that has helped me. I hope to post stuff that I learn regularly so others do not have to or can build on what I have learned. After all, this is how we all got here in the first place and there is still much to learn.

I live in Newtown in the inner west of Sydney, Australia with my wife and two kids.

I hope you find something of interest. Let me know through the comments.

Ben – The Newtown nerd