This is a journal for myself for random thoughts on academia, system admin, development and things linked directly or tangentially to those areas.
I’m currently keeping several things spinning at once: working on Suura, an authentication and metering system for wireless internet access; finishing my PhD; moderating on boards.ie; playing with several side programming projects; contributing to a few open source projects; and lecturing for CS7004, the Introduction to Embedded Systems module of the Ubiquitous Computing MSc course in TCD.
These days I’m mostly working in C doing low-level cross-platform networking stuff, mucking about with RADIUS modules and client-server stuff and so on, with a dash of C++ thrown in; on side projects I’m working in Python and I occasionally tweak some PHP. And for the CS7004 course, it’s all low-level ARM C code.
Previously I’ve worked
- in PHP for a few years doing LAMP-based website stuff
- in Java writing back-end code for Tomcat-based stacks
- in C writing Linux device drivers
- in VB and ASP while really wishing I wasn’t
I’ve taught C, C++, Java, numerical methods, electronics and assembly code in university courses for computer engineers (and C and Unix in industry courses).
I’ve spent a lot of the last decade chasing after a PhD in robotics, mainly because of having to restart from scratch halfway through (being beaten to publication isn’t pleasant, even if is the German nuclear emergency response team that beats you to it). So I changed the topic to applications of some slightly esoteric nonlinear mathematics to robotics. Oddly, doing a PhD in your spare time leads to slow progress…
I’ve worked with MySQL, Postgres, MSSQL, Jet and Access, Perl, Shell scripting, PC/104 systems, ARM7 systems, PIC chips; and dabbled in a dozen other areas. I’ve been a sysadmin at one level or another for a decade, and if you asked me to choose, I’d find it hard to decide whether systems administration of large clustered sites was more or less interesting than writing the code that ran on them.
Outside of work, I like to cook (especially desserts and baking in general), I’ve been looking to go back to training in Aikido for ages but never seem to get round to it, and I’m very involved in Olympic target shooting. I’m the secretary for the Wilkinstown Target Shooting Club, a Range Officer for the Dublin University Rifle Club and an ISSF qualified Class B Judge. And very occasionally, I actually get to shoot as well (if there aren’t more than four other jobs that have to be done – did I mention my pet hate is the 2% rule?).