About Terry Ellison’s Blog
- Wed 16th August 2006, 2:46 am
I began this blog-site with to help support my interest in the OOo programme whilst I was working at EDS, so that I had a vehicle for making content publicly available outside of EDS strictures. Since leaving EDS, I have used it to add some other papers and articles that some readers might find interesting.
I first learned to program at the age of fourteen and by the age of eighteen I was already competent in Fortran , PL/I and S/360 assembler and to get my first contract work in the industry. Whilst this is quite commonplace today, this was extremely rare at the time over forty years ago. I took a year off between school and university working as a commercial programmer. University (mathematics and operations research at Cambridge) and then a few years as an officer in the Royal Engineers followed before I bowed to the inevitable and rejoined the IT industry full-time. I joined a leading UK systems house / consultancy, initially working in mathematical defence system modelling, signal processing and other real-time programming. I then worked up the consultancy / development hierarchy alternating between technical management and chief engineer on various projects (the largest had over a hundred developers).
During this time the company was acquired by EDS and for the next 15 years I worked within the EDS organisation. With its emphasis on IT services, I moved over into the EDS services arm where my last three posts were divisional CTO jobs. (EDS was acquired by HP in 2008 and was subsequently renamed HP Enterprise Services). Even though I got sucked inexorably into pure technical management, I kept an active technical involvement in the company as a matter of personal policy. I help found the European program for the formal development of EDS system and enterprise architects, and continued to support this including being a sponsor for the establishment of a formal architects career path in EDS globally. In 2005 I was one of the first group of engineers worldwide to be awarded the company Distinguished Systems Engineer accolade largely in recognition of my work in helping to establish the use of virtualisation technologies in EDS, and in leading enterprise system performance tuning initiatives.
By 2007, I was the senior Chief Technology Officer for IT Services in EMEA, but my career of over 30 years was brought to a somewhat crashing halt when I was struck down by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This was severe enough to render me totally bed-bound for over a year and also to force me to give up my career. This illness has been a major factor in my life since. However as I have slowly climbed out of it, I have again taken an active interest in this blog and used it as vehicle to publish articles on various projects that occupy my interests. I still maintain a passionate interest in IT, and I am perhaps a rarity in that in my 50s, I can still talk on equal terms with 20 odd year-old developers and engineers, and regard myself as a current expert in LAMP technologies, virtualisation, PHP, Perl, MySql and C++. I am still an active supporter of both OpenOffice.org (OOo) and VirtualBox. I was one of the founders of the OOo user forums, and I am still the lead administrator developing and running the forums. I am also a moderator on the VirtualBox forums and have also assisted in this forum’s development. I set up a MediaWiki service for a doctor who has been a friend and mentor during my illness, also migrating all of her content from her legacy site into that familiar “Wikipedia” look and feel: www.drmyhill.co.uk.
This site is hosted on a shared Webfusion service. I have found this to a reliable service which provides a rich functionality at a reasonable price. I can recommend it from my personal experience in terms of functionality and SLAs against price. My main caveat is that it can only achieve such price levels by adopting a true “zero admin” approach, and this extends to the on-line support system. So if you are a novice you will need to other open forums and sources for your support.
With the Webfusion package I get suite of standard open tools that I use on this blog subdomain including LAMP – Debian Linux, Apache , MySQL, PHP. (I also use it for other things such as to host my wife's website as another subdomain).
Finally, the first version of this blog engine was a customised version of the eggblog engine, which I discussed in my article “The EggBlog Adventure”. I was less than happy with some of the functionality of eggblog and disliked the new version 4 implementation, so one of the first programming projects that I decided to do was a total rewrite of the blog engine, and this project has become the theme of many articles.
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