Curriculum Vitae

CV 2017-12-11T20:26:24+00:00

CURRICULUM VITAE

Computer System Professional with over 40 years experience in the appli­cation of technical excellence to data processing systems to the improve­ment of profitability, the solution of operational and technical problems, and the fulfilment of marketing re­quirements. Background includes:–

  • Interfacing with the end-user client to determine the business requirements of proposed and existing computer systems;
  • Identification of technical problems;
  • Management of technical resources (personnel, equipment and systems) to­wards the resolution of these problems;
  • Devising and executing programs of technical education;
  • Analysis and reportage at a government level;
  • Presenting technical information in sales situations at varying levels of techni­cal and management involvement to enable a sales message to become a sub­stan­tive reality;
  • Deep technical and systems programming in a variety of languages on a wide range of equipment.

Quick links to items in this CV:

Westheimer Energy Consultants Ltd.
Misys plc
FileTek UK Ltd. / The Met Office
Consultancy Contracts
GSI (UK) Ltd.
Quantime Ltd.
Solvfield Ltd.
Advanced Information Access Ltd.
Education
Professional
Publications
Personal
Experience

EMPLOYMENT & CONSULTANCY

February 2011-January 2015 Westheimer Energy Consultants Ltd.

Computer Software Consultant on the design and development of a sophisticated data access system focused upon oil and gas seismic data, though from the beginning designed with wider data formats in mind. This archive and access system (ISDS) is designed for storing and handling extremely large amounts of data (for example, many hundreds of petabytes, and beyond), each unit of which might itself be very large (for example, hundreds of terabytes). This system permits large cross-sections of data to be flexibly accessed, and allowing complex subsets of the base data to be recovered without having to retrieve and sift through large quantities of the original saved data.

The initial design of ISDS suggested using the StorHouse system, but was extended to allow additional database systems to be used. One development path followed was the use of Oracle, resulting in the enlargement of ISDS, and increasing its flexibility.

ISDS is designed to permit data access of 2D, 3D and 4D cross-sections, without being limited to just these. ISDS allows data to be recovered from skew and irregular shapes, not related to the original geometry of the data origin. ISDS also allows data to be accessed, in a single query, which comes from more than one base survey. There is no limitation within ISDS on the degree of prior filtering of the data being presented – raw, pre-stack, post-stack, multiplexed or demultiplexed.

April 2007-May 2009 Misys plc.

Senior Technical Author, responsible, within a team, for producing several layers of both user and overview documentation for some highly technical systems, during their development phase. This involved cooperation with colleagues in several different countries (Ireland, India, Germany, USA, UK) to determine the exact technical contents of the systems, and the planning and production of the documentation, using techniques that permit coordination of various documentation forms, with re-use of the documentation material.

The systems being documented were being developed in Java, xml and C++, using the Eclipse engine. The management technique for some of these developments is Agile, with its continually rapid and flexible refocusing of tactical aims within the strategic overall plan. The method of documentation production has to be able to follow these changes of direction, and be sufficiently flexible to adapt to the addition and removal of fundamental system features. The documentation management tool being currently used is AuthorIT.

Consultancy contracts performed by idkk Consultancy Ltd.:

November 1999-January 2007 uc.com Consulting Ltd / FileTek UK Ltd.

Technical head of a team which designed and wrote the interface software for the world’s largest relational database, requiring security clearance for an MoD site. This is the MASS archive system at the Meteorological Office, firstly at Bracknell, then at Exeter. The MASS system archives data from several different operat­ing environ­ments – Cray, NEC, IBM MVS, HP/UX and Windows NT, with extensions to other Linux systems under consideration. Data archived from one environment may be restored to another (with all the implications this has for number for­mats, and character sets, etc.). The controlling software (called mouse – Mete­orological Office Unified Storage Environment) was written in highly portable and standard ANSI C, and Unix scripting, and was design­ed to be extremely robust, and able to cope with many peta-bytes of data simul­taneously.

The archive system itself is the StorHouse system (produced by FileTek Inc.), which uses a Sun Solaris attached to a Powder Horn tape library and robot. This is yet a fifth operating system added to the mix (and from which the mouse central scheduling is performed). The StorHouse system is unique in its approach to archiving and managing very large amounts of data, and has no real upper limit to its capacity. The MASS system has been loaded with several petabytes within its first eight years. By August 2006 there was already over a petabyte of data in the system, with more than 850 terabytes of that being directly managed by mouse.

The work included liaising both with the user and with the primary systems supplier, analysing technical requirements, pro­ducing coherent technical designs that both matched those requirements and also left room for future expansion – even though the directions of expansion were not yet known, managing a team of experienced technicians who produced the software, overseeing the documentation and ensuring that milestones were met without compromise in quality.

The mouse system has subsequently been rewritten and extended, to cover new requirements, and to take advantage of what was learned from the initial use of the system. The extended system (mouse 2) uses high-availability clustering, more efficient data-caching techniques, more advanced C++ and Java, and is intended to allow the archive/retrieval to be available from even more systems.

The user in this project is not just one user, but several theoretical meteo­rologi­cal and analytic teams, each of which has its own viewpoint, and differing tech­nical needs. Each of the base operating environments has its own “sub-culture”, and balancing the wishes and perceptions of each of these groups of users is a political, as well as a technical, job.

The technical side of the job required expertise in systems design, man man­agement, quality C programming, integration across differing operating sys­tems, database design, and the production of quality documentation at all lev­els.

Languages and systems on this project: C, C++, SQL, Java, Fortran, Unix shell scripts (C shell, Borne shell, ksh, bash), MVS JCL, StorHouse control, Sun Solaris, HP/UX, Windows (NT, XP, etc.), Cray, NEC, HTML, Linux.
Web References: Met.Office: http://www.meto.gov.uk/
FileTek and StorHouse: http://www.filetek.com/

August 1999-October 1999 Eurobase Systems Ltd

Technical analysis and systems updating on Eurobase’s Client-Server system, which is sold specifically into the insurance market, which involves C++ and embedded Oracle SQL. The Eurobase systems (including “Synergy”) use Win­dows NT Client stations, and Unix Servers. The Unix varieties currently sup­ported are Dynix (Sequent), AIX (IBM) and HP/UX (Hewlett Packard).

June 1998-June 1999 DST International Ltd

Technical consultant and developer on systems involving DST’s system AWD (Automated Workflow Distribution), which involved work at several of DST’s clients, in­cluding Centraal Beheer (Holland), NatWest, Barclays, Prime Health, EFDS and (for about six months) Legal & General. Added client-spe­cific sys­tem components written in C and C++, running under various operat­ing sys­tems, including Unix (HP/UX, DEC and SCO), Windows (NT and 95), OS/2, and IBM’s MVS. These new components also involved MVS JCL, Unix con­trol shell scripts and SQL scripts. The AWD system uses (largely) the Ora­cle database, and at Legal & General, within the FPF system, it is interfaced with a large number of other, different operating environments, in­cluding VMS and CICS. AWD systems are Client/Server, and are connected by a vari­ety of dif­ferent connection protocols, including Ethernet, Novell, Token Ring and Mi­crosoft Networking.

Was involved in the correction of problems discovered by clients in parts of the (rather complex) AWD system, which involved analysing the origin of the problems, correcting the source code or control files, testing the corrections, implementing the updates at the client site without interference with their pro­duction running, and documenting the altered systems.

Because of the complexity of the AWD system, several C/C++ compilers are used: MSVC 1.5 (16-bit), MSVC 2.0 (32-bit, Server code), MSVC 4.0 and above (32-bit, Client code), Visual Age under Windows (OS/2 code ported to NT), Visual Age under OS/2 and C/Set under OS/2. One of the requirements of development is to produce code compatible across all of these environ­ments.

April 1998-May 1998 Ç-Dilla Ltd

Was involved in the production of (a) conversion tools, for the automatic modification of Windows-based software, and (b) advi­sory reports, indicating the scope of the translation problems and their solution. The Ç-Dilla systems are written in C++ and PC Assembler language, and are primarily aimed at the Windows 3.xx, Windows 95/98 and Windows NT systems.

April 1997-March 1998 The Dodge Group

Senior Technical Manager, responsible for the conversion of an in­tricate soft­ware system from an “English language” only environ­ment to one capable of producing messages – and handling data – in Japanese. This software is writ­ten in Oracle and Sybase SQL, C, C++ and Visual Basic, and runs on a variety of Unix platforms, as well as the client front-end on PCs (under Windows NT, 95 and 3.1). The Dodge software deals with banking and accounting, and is in­stalled in several countries, including the UK, USA, France, Hong Kong, South Africa and Japan.

Also involved in planning the technical parts of future development projects, prior to their being undertaken by the development teams.

October 1995-March 1997 Cedardata plc.

Systems Programmer, involving work with both in-house and client Unix and VAX/VMS systems, and Y2K verification. The software produced by Cedar­data uses Oracle, and is written in both the Oracle languages (SQL, Pro*C, De­signer/2000), and in C, as well as being supported by substantial scripts in the Unix shell languages (for the “make” proc­ess). Responsible for the pro­duc­tion of the software for both build­ing and installing the latest GUI version of the cfacs system, as well as evaluating enhancements to, and fixing problems on the internal LAN (Ethernet and TCP/IP).

1987-1999 LaserPrint Services Ltd.

In a consultancy rôle, which it was possible to overlap with other projects, responsible for the de­sign, pro­duc­tion and support of the ROLO (XPFC) laser-printer support package, which operates under IBM MVS/JES2, Unix and Windows NT. This involved the design and pro­duc­tion of soft­ware written in IBM Assembler language, and in C, suitable for easy transfer between many different versions of the Unix system. User docu­menta­tion, training and support for users in several coun­tries were undertaken. More detailed information about this (rather complex) software system may be ob­tained from the web site http://www.xpfc.com/.

Experience prior to idkk Consultancy Ltd.

1983-1995 GSI (UK) Ltd.

Technical Services Manager (and later, Head of Research and Development) firstly in the UK, then in Paris. The work involved both the management and production of complete systems as well as systems programming under both VM and MVS on GSI’s international network of IBM (and IBM-clone) ma­chines. Some of the design and development work was carried out on Unix systems (SCO, AIX, Sun and HP), as well as on networked PCs. During the twelve and a half years with GSI the programming lan­guages used included: Cobol, Fortran, MVS JCL, C, VM control, REXX, Pascal, Basic, IBM Assem­bler, MS/DOS control, PL/I and for­mal notations for language description. In addition, a great deal of French was spoken (especially during the 18-month secondment to Paris).

Was involved in the updating, and correcting for Y2K, of the internal machine accounting system for the MVS mainframes – a suite of PL/I and Assembler programs which take the SMF records generated both by IBM’s own software and by GSI’s enhancements to MVS.

(Note that subsequent to my employment there, GSI was bought by ADP, and now exists as a part of that company).

1980-1983 Quantime Ltd.

Programming Manager of a company specialising in the production of com­puter software for market research. Responsible for identify­ing, designing, re­sourcing and managing the production of software to support Computer As­sisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). This job also involved liaison with prospects during the initial selling, and support of the customers thereafter – a substantial amount of this being overseas. During the development phase of this software, responsible for a team of eight (including a technical author). These very successful software systems were implemented in Fortran, Assem­bler and ‘C’ on Prime, VAX, Perkin-Elmer and various micro-computers. Op­er­ating systems included Primos, CP/M and Unix.

1975-1980 Solvfield Ltd.

Director of a private company providing consultancy and technical support to users during software conversion. Responsible for identi­fication of problems arising from language and machine incompati­bilities; for client education, the design and construction of compil­ers for translating automatically between high-level languages (using our own, very sophisticated compiler-compiler), and reporting at all levels in the terms appropriate to those levels.

Researched for, and wrote a very substantial report for the Commission of the European Communities on software con­version tools and aids, as part of the large three-part “Studies in Software Portability”. This in­volved interaction with colleagues in France and Germany to obtain a broad European picture by inter­view, questionnaire, literature search, and commer­cial analysis.

1972-1975 Advanced Information Access Ltd.

Chief Analyst, reporting directly to the board, responsible for the design and initial implementation of a multi-user real-time operating system. Tasks in­cluded the specification of job-descriptions and the selection of requisite per­sonnel, technical design of the operating system and its interfaces, the evalua­tion and selection of hardware, the design and implementation of user lan­guages, and the day-to-day management at a technical level of the writing, in­tegrating and test­ing of what became the ADAM system – the first micro-com­puter system to support PL/I.

1969-1972 Olympic Computer Services Ltd.

Technical Support Analyst, firstly with Computime Ltd., and then (after the dissolution of that company) with OCSL, which was set up by a selection of the technical staff of Computime. Responsibili­ties included answering clients’ technical queries, systems pro­gramming for the various IBM OS/370 systems, with the mainte­nance of user interfaces on a range of machines. Also involved were user education, program realisation, and considerations of opera­tional ef­ficiency.

1966-1969 CEGB

Systems Programmer with the Central Electricity Generating Board. Responsi­bilities included the running of a technical advice “clinic” for more than 150 programmers, the provision of support software in providing clean user inter­faces, and the measurement of system usage and performance statistics. Exten­sive use was made of train­ing courses, including OS Internals.

EDUCATION

1963-1966 University College, London

Read for and obtained a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Mathematics, after a course which included as specialist subjects Numerical Analysis, Computing and Mathemati­cal Logic. Was a “Generating Board Scholar”, receiving a grant from the CEGB awarded after competi­tive interview.

1956-1963 Sloane Grammar School, Chelsea

S-Level: Pure Maths.
A-Level: Pure Maths., Applied Maths., Physics, Chemistry
O-Level: Maths., Physics, Chemistry, French, Latin, Music, English Language, English Literature

PROFESSIONAL

Member of The British Computer Society, and was (for seventeen years) Chairman of its Natural Language Translation Specialist Group

Associate Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications

PUBLICATIONS

Technical

1977 “PROTRAN – A generalized translation tool for natural and algo­rithmic lan­guages”, in Overcoming the Language Barrier, Verlag Dokumentation, Munich. Proceedings of the third European Con­gress on Information Sys­tems and Networks, EEC. ISBN 3-7940-5184-X.

1979 “PROTRAN – An Introductory Description of a General Transla­tor”, in Practice in Software Adaption and Maintenance, Proceed­ings of the SAM workshop, Berlin, April 1979. North-Holland Publishing, 1980, ISBN 0-444-86449-5.

1982 “Translation by computer of open-ended responses” in Proceed­ings of the 35th annual ESOMAR congress, Vienna, 1982. Euro­pean Society for Opin­ion and Market Research, Amsterdam, 1982. ISBN 92-831-0082-4

1987 Computer Translation of Natural Language (with W. Goshawke and J. D. Wigg). Sigma Press, Wilmslow. ISBN 1-85058-056-1

1989 Progress in Machine Translation – Natural Language and Personal Comput­ers (Conference papers). Sigma Press, Wilmslow. ISBN 978-1-85058-156-7

2000 C Unleashed (with Richard Heathfield, Gus Miklos et al.), MacMillan Publishing, USA. ISBN 0-672-31896-2. Three chapters on Arbi­trary Precision Arithmetic, Compiling Arithmetic Expressions and Natural Language Processing.

Non-technical

2002 A Lad in Knaphill & his Magic Lamp, Agrintha Books, Exeter. Pantomime script.

2005 Cinderella and her Bearded Sisters, Agrintha Books, Exeter. Pantomime script.

2007 Emerald Pie, Agrintha Books, Exeter, ISBN 978-0-9553399-1-2. A comic novel for children, originally written in 1981.

2007 The Carpenter’s Carpet, Agrintha Books, Exeter, ISBN 978-0-9553399-3-6. A set of short teaching stories for children, drawn from the old traditions and religions of the world.

PERSONAL

Date of Birth: 22nd April 1945

Health: Excellent

Marital Status: Married, with two children (and one grandchild).

Other: Speaks very competent French.

Has a deep interest in music, playing the piano, church organ, violin and recorders. For several years conducted a ladies choir – as well as the Met Office choir. Reads a great deal: philosophy, linguistics, poetry, science-fiction, law, fairy-stories, general science and comparative religion – indeed, al­most anything to hand – as well as considerable technical updating.

Has the ambition, one day, to learn more languages and more about linguistics, and is currently studying both Sanskrit and Farsi. Already has a smattering of Russian and Italian, together with extremely rudimentary (reading) Spanish – but can explain comput­ers only in English and French!

EXPERIENCE

Fully fluent in the following computer languages: Pascal, C, Cobol, For­tran, IBM As­sembler, MVS JCL, PL/I and the various Unix shell script lan­guages, as well as make and awk.

In addition (although a little rusty on these, their not having been used for some time): Algol 60, Algol 68, basic, RPG, PLAN and Lisp.

Has made technical study of HTML (for the Internet), TCP/IP and Ether­net, as well as the various techniques for interconnecting PCs in Local Area Networks.

Is fully competent in the use of various tools widely used on PCs and net­works (e.g. Word, Open Office, Windows (3.1, 95, NT, 2000, XP, 7, etc.), Ex­cel, Visual C++, Powerpoint, Mac OS X, Linux), the Internet (active site at http://www.idkk.com/) and of e-mail systems (with active account attached to web site [idkk@idkk.com]).