I am a photographer, designer and Linux fundi living in Hamilton, New Zealand since 2007. My background is mostly in IT, but cameras and the photography line developed alongside.
I started with COBOL, PL/1, FORTRAN, BASIC, Pascal and C. I built a successful career on my Unix and Informix 4GL skills. I find Bash scripting really easy. I picked up the web development stack as it became mainstream. When Informix folded, I moved to Oracle and MySQL, mastering Perl - and more recently, dabbling with Python.
Across three decades I worked in everything from two-man IT teams up to Fortune 500, and across a dizzying variety of industries and many variants of Unix. Integration and coding in multiple languages at once to create small tools that join to make big tasks simple was my strength. I've seen this role labelled as a 'plumber' - glueing disparate bits together. But one gets tired of the corporate BS…
My real focus is photography and creative work in graphic design as well as web design. My exposure to photography goes back to childhood memories of my Dad blacking out the bathroom to develop and print photos. At ten I got a Kodak 33 and by high school was exposed to 35mm.
From around age 25 I got into cameras more seriously. People liked what I shot and showed, and so I kept shooting. Several weddings followed and the sideline was good.
And then along came digital. In 1998, when most people were still taking their spools down to the chemical laundry, I jumped to saving 640x480 VGA images on a 3½" diskette with a Sony Mavica. Eventually digital got to being equivalent to 35mm film (about 6mpx) and I moved to a Canon 10D dSLR in 2003.
Much water and equipment has flowed under the bridge since then. At the end of 2004 I completed the NYIP Professional Photography course which I had first heard about some years earlier.
I remain firmly in the Canon EOS camp for my serious photography. For a daily carry I have a Panasonic Lumix, my 'budget Leica'.
With the 2020 Covid crisis, PPA allowed people to join for free. Not being in the USA joining just gave me access to a wealth of materials and videos. When this lapses, it lapses - it did add value and improve a few rough edges.
And then, there is Linux. I had been messing around on the periphery since 1998 - near "the beginning" and always kept an eye on Linux over the years. I was using many varieties of Unix and later Linux in the workplace as the main platform during my IT career.
By 2008 it was clear that I had to switch all my home computing to Linux. At first I tried Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron but very quickly landed on Mint 6 Felicia. After a few months of dual-booting I went all-in. Today the whole household is on Linux, mostly Mint. As I have gained experience, Manjaro has been adopted for some uses.