I was born in 1964. In about 1991 I went to The Royal National College for the blind in Hereford, in the central west of England near the Welsh border. There I took a City & Guilds certificate in structured programming in COBOL.
I was able to see out of one eye back then.
At the end of the one year course I was offered a job at the Milk Marketing Board in Thames Ditton in Surrey, where I had done a six-week placement during the course.
I was programming in COBOL and SCL (system control language) on an ICL VME 3980 mainframe computer, and I loved every minute of it.
Later in the job I also got into writing Clipper 5.0/5.1, and MS Access 1.0 and 2.0.
I left there in 1996 when the Milk Marketing Board was disbanded by the Connservative government of the time.
From then until I lost my sight in 2008 I was a freelance programmer.
I have programmed in these languages:
- ICL VME COBOL, COBOL Manager, SCL.
- Clipper 5.0/5.1.
- MS Access 1.0/2.0 and 97.
- MS Visual BASIC 4, 5 and 6.
- Perl, both on Windows and Linux since about 1997.
- C/C++, including the gcc and Gnu tools and the MinGW32 compilers.
I have detailed knowledge of the Windows 32 API, and the low-level Windows Sockets API (WinSock).
I have worked on these operating systems:
- ICL VME.
- DOS to 6.0.
- Windows 3.1/NT4.
- Windows 95/98/2000/XP/7/10.
- Linux including Slackware, Red Hat, Fedora, Arch, Debian and various Debian derivatives.
I tinker with these things:
- Beaglebone Black
- Various small bits of electronics, although not being able to see, soldering is now difficult, but not impossible!
I never intend to stop hacking and learning.