Merry Christmas 2014


Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic 2015

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I will be back blogging in 2015 … on the wonderful world of embedded software development using C and C#. Yep I changed company in September and joined www.analox.net to “retrain” into an embedded software engineer doing cool stuff for submarines. It has been huge fun… but I have been heads down on work and let this blog gather some dust.

Check out my “side project”  – an STM32-discovery board powering the Xmas lights 🙂

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In March you can find me…


Coding against Sharepoint Online in Office 365 in Waterstons

Coding against Umbraco 6.1.6 using Visual Studio 2013 in Waterstons

Playing as nelerk on Battlefield 4 on PlayStation 4

Playing as erknel on Battlefield 4 on PC

Walking the Yorkshire Moors

Admiring my shiny new Yoga 2 11inch on the sofa Smile

Which should lead to some blog posts on Sharepoint, Umbraco, Gaming, Sheep and Gadgets …

T-1 day and counting – I’m back (nearly)


After 4 months away from work, tomorrow I set out boldly from the Yorkshire Moors to Durham to find a desk at my new company, Waterstons – who I am really chuffed to be joining.

“Normal” service will be returning to this blog in due course…

Hope you all have had a wonderful 2013 so far. For me it has been excellent – the four months have flown by with the time filled with setting up a new home in Yorkshire, family, holidays and diy. But I am excited (super excited – MS joke :)) to be heading back to work, especially in a development centric role.

So long, and thanks for all the fish


After 16 great years with Microsoft, Friday 21st is my last working day. I am spending it in our new home in the chilly North York Moors with the company of sheep, rabbits, grouse and a rather fine bottle of Yamazaki Whisky bought by my friends in Microsoft DPE.  The Whisky apparently has the subtle taste of peach, cookie and vanilla – which should be easy to identify when I consume it as a chaser to the cider with a sherry top also bought for me 🙂

A massive thank you to everyone who made those 16 years so much fun. I will miss so many of you. The good news is I will be keeping this blog going … hence I won’t really have gone far 🙂

Have a wonderful Christmas and a fun 2013

…which is certainly my plan.

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So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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1996 to 2012 – still no evidence… I give up!


In 1996 I was happily working on large Unix applications when I was approached by Microsoft to join a brand new European arm of the (then famous – apparently) Microsoft US Developer Relations Group as something called a “Technical Evangelist” (Which incidentally caused all sorts of problems when I put that down on a mortgage application form the same year!)

My plan was simple.

  • Join for two years.
  • Use those two years to “understand the enemy”
  • Get insider confirmation of just how sucky Windows really was and how arrogant all those Microsoft folks were.
  • Once this was done I could then get back to my beloved Unix for development and Apple Macintosh for design and fun.

Well, after nearly 16 years I have given up looking.

The people are lovely – smart and caring. The technology is competent and some of it is fantastic. Yes I did find some sucky technology and even had to evangelise the merits of some (but even Entity Framework 1.0 blossomed in time)  – but overall Microsoft makes great stuff.

I therefore give up 🙂 Mission aborted.

I have decided it is time to leave Microsoft and spend the beginning of 2013 with family before working out what to do next. I’m sure whatever I do it will be fun – and definitely different to the last 16 years 🙂 Oh – and it will be “up north” as I’ve moved from sunny Bath to chilly North Yorkshire. We had snow today!

An enormous thank you to everybody I ever met, presented to, advised, sort advice from, drank with, ate with, slept with (Mike T knows what I mean there).  I have been incredibly lucky to have worked with and met so many smart people. I could list them… but I have my tea waiting downstairs…

Take care all

P.S. I’m still working for Microsoft through December…

It is that time of year… change of blog theme


Each January I try to revisit tools and processes … and as part of that I tend to tinker with my blog in some way.

Just switched over from this rather formal theme (coraline):

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To something a little more relaxed (Boldlife) – which is line with my mood as we enter 2012. I also liked the date and comments getting a raised profile and the menu heading to the top of the page:

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Could also do with another mugshot – as I’m over 6 stones lighter these days Smile