These days you could say I mostly spend time studying and writing. Formerly an IT techie... I'm Australian born and nationality, UK raised and resident. I went to school at RGS, Guildford, Surrey, UK, briefly attended Imperial College, London, and studied IT at NESCOT, Surrey. I mainly write about boats and railways. In IT Identity Management, Networks and Infrastructure were my chief thing, although I do a reasonable web site (of the simple, fast and functional variety) as well. Out of the office I tend to sail, play music or just sit in front of a PC. The surname is French in origin.
My first full length book, a study of GWR steam locomotive classes is is out now and has received some pleasing reviews.You may order it from here, and of course any number of other booksellers. Its intended to fall somewhere between the RCTS books, now long out of print, and Russell's books of illustrations. I'm starting to think about options for another one, and have also added some short pieces on the railway pages, which are mainly concerned with myth demolition! I've also been doing a fair bit of web site support, including a rescue from vandalism for one poor chap, and a redesign for the International Canoe Association to something that's reasonably responsive and device agnostic. I've also been engaged in refurbishing the house!
In my IT days I did an awful lot of work with SuSE/NetIQ/Novell, lots of Windows, and a fair bit of IP networking. In recent years I've spent a lot of time working with Novell's Identity Manager product to integrate user data from different systems, notably eDirectory, Active Directory, Lotus Domino and various SAP modules. I'm also quite a fan of the LAMP combination, particularly PHP. With the permission of my past employers we've made some of the utilities I've produced available under the University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License, and the collection is available from here.
Until the summer of 2013 I'd spent a good few years working for the IT Department of Surrey County Council, an English Local Authority.
A long time ago I used to do what I guess could be called semi-pro Sheep farming, and also worked at Bretts Burgers, Guildford, which seems to have been widely regarded as being the best Burger shop in the UK. The extent to which it comes up on the Guildford Past and Present Facebook pages is quite amazing! I also spent a few years working at bike shops, notably Cranleigh Motorcycles (which has now moved twice and been renamed as Haslemere Motorcycles). I was an instructor and then examiner for the RAC/ACU Motorcycle training scheme, a long standing voluntary scheme of rider training up until the early 1980s. I dipped out of all that when CBT and government came in. The bureaucracy was really not my thing - ironic when you consider where I ended up working for many years.
Its good for the mind to have something to study that's utterly different to what you do for a living, so while I was working in IT heavy engineering in the last century or two certainly fitted that bill. I tend to write up what I do, including the following on the GWR modelling website:-
There are also some articles on this website
The GWR was my grandfather's local line in his youth, so that's the connection.
I write up a lot of events both for my sailing club and for the Sailing Class Associations. I ran the UK Cherub Web site for some years - that is an archive.org cache from 2003, and I assembled or wrote much of the material. Some of it is still present on the current site. Currently I run the International Canoe World web site and contribute the odd event report. I also contribute the occasional event report on the Yachts and Yachting Web site, and in the past wrote many a Wednesday series report for the Island Barn Reservoir web site.
I fear I am little more than a beginning level amateur with an SLR, but I do have various images reproduced on the Yachts and Yachting website and elsewhere as part of event reports for my Sailing Club.
Those who know me or are interested in any of the above can reach me with the link above. Spam, yes, even including SEO spam, is most unwelcome. I'm quite happy with default google page ranking thank you.