Not just because everybody's doing it but a genuine attempt to enlighten and an excuse for me to sound off on a number of topics that tend to exercise me.
I'm starting up two blogs here. The first is about stuff related to my work, the current state of the internet, other web sites and software development in general. The second is about life in and around Calgary, Alberta, Canada and my interaction with the infrastructure, the people and the administration of this amazing part of the world.
But first, a little bit about me. My name is David Sawers and I was born in England in 1952. You can find out a lot about me and my family history on my genealogy website. Genealogy is a minor hobby of mine. Like many other things, it would merit more of my time, but...
Anyway, I am a chemical engineer by training and a computer programmer by inclination. I first discovered computers in 1970 as part of my University degree course and have used them as part of my engineering work ever since. I first worked for a chemical manufacturer (ICI) in Tees-Side and Runcorn (England) for a few years, and then moved to KBC Process Technology Ltd. a small oil refining consultancy in 1980 where I developed oil refinery simulation software. During my time at KBC, I travelled the world visiting oil refineries just about everywhere except for South America and Australia. In 1999, KBC sent me to Calgary to work on integrating KBC's simulation models with a process simulator called Hysys to develop what eventually became Petro-SIM. When that project got bogged down in litigation for a while, KBC wanted me to move to Houston (Texas) but I declined, left KBC and set up Activeminds Software Ltd. as a web site development company.
It soon became clear to me that the perception of most small companies was that web development was not a particularly highly valued occupation. Many of the uninitiated out there seem to think that $200 should be enough to get a web site developed! I therefore moved towards software development for the internet to provide dynamic online applications as the main thrust of Activeminds' business. KBC also called me back to do some contract development on Petro-SIM. One of the conditions I made about that was that I would work from home for most of the time. The arrangement has worked out well and allows me to develop oil refinery simulation as well as web applications from the comfort of my office which is just a 10 second commute from home. I'll probably retire one of these days, but not yet as I'm having way too much fun.
So, in summary, I'm reasonably intelligent, well educated, well travelled and somewhat opinionated. If you like what I write or you vehemently disagree with my opinions, I want to hear from you. There is an opportunity for you to comment on any and all articles in my blogs. Whilst I reserve the right to censor outright abuse, any reasonably well argued contrary opinion is welcome. Who knows, I may even change some of my own opinions as a result.