I once, a long time ago promised myself that datalas.com wouldn’t become a fairly typical “My name is Dave, this is my cat” style website, however I shortly after this gave in to my own ego and started blowing my own trumpet. Or at least attempting to point out that I possessed a trumpet, albeit a rather unshiny and badly tuned one (can you detune a trumpet, or does it have to be bent out of shape?, ahh well, perhaps my trumpet was broken to start with)

A few people have asked me who I am, well actually they usually ask me if there is a medical name for what is wrong with me – but the answer to both is pretty much the same.. “bordom”. I shall however trundle off into an egotists daydream and make myself appear all shiny and funky. I’ll try to make this as painless as possible, however I have a tendancy to stray off onto long winded tangents and so to be honest, this page has a distinct chance of straying off into a long winded rant about whatever happens to be annoying me as I write it…

Oh who am I trying to kid? I always disapear off onto some random topic that makes no sense, I think partly as a form of therapy I just vent steam randomly in a place where no one is likely to read it.

Age: yes (i.e. I was born in ’79 work it out yourself)
Birthplace: Yorkshire, England
Education: Masters Degree in Software Engineering (MEng (hons)), Diploma in Electronic Engineering

Abilities: Electronics, Microelectronics, C / C++, Perl, Java, Pascal, Basic, HTML, JavaScript, Flash, CSS, TCP/IP, ATM, ASM (Intel), Alpha Processors, Parallel Computation, Some Linux stuff, Webservices, XML, LandRovery bits, Cheesy 80’s Music and I make a mean Chicken Kebab.

Non existent Abilities: Spelling, Counting it would seem :(, Typing, Getting up in the am :-P, Any form of (musical) instrument and seemingly being happy :'(

Interests: Well, I like Land Rovers and surprisingly enough from the list of things above computers. I started off with a rusting bucket formally known as a Land Rover Series 2a, now lovingly referred to as “titanic” as it has a similar turning circle, it’s about as waterproof too ;) Technically, it was refered to as “Petrovich”, and there’s a brief diary of his life with me linked from somewhere on this here page :D

About Me!

I used to study at – well go to – UMIST, which is the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology which is in Manchester (surprisingly enough) in the North of England ( England is the little dot, above the E in Europe, to all you merycans and “the North of England” is beyond the known regions of space and time – i.e. beyond the M25 to all those Londoners)

Manchester is a unique city, some love it, others despise it. I fall into the third category which, whenever it tries to think about it just sees the word Grey and wonders why. It’s not that there is anything wrong with the city per say, it just that rain fall shouldn’t be measured in terms of suicide rates, crime-lord shouldn’t appear on application forms under “occupation” and nowhere should ever feel the need to have a bridge which has been assigned an award by the “concrete society”…

I Mean COME ON! a concrete society? what next a “it looks damn ugly” society? I dislike a lot of architecture, and concrete is both lazy and ugly. Changeling is an architect and he agrees with me, as does the official opinion (i.e. Weasil) so there… I suppose it’s not so much the medium as the fact that the award was given out in 1968, I challenge ANYONE to find a picture of a building, built out of concrete in 1968, which isn’t too ugly to look at.

Post University I moved to Scotland and spent copious amounts of time working for a company called Aneda (formally “Edinburgh Biocomputing Systems”) in Edinburgh, which is Scotland. I spent a lot of this time playing with C, Linux, asm, Intel :( and Alpha platforms and trying to do biological searching programs in as little time as was possible. To some notoriety I seem to have managed and my Assembly implementation of the “gold standard” smith-waterman algorihm was (to the best of my knowledge) the fastest around.

Since then I’ve subsequently moved to other locations and now spend my days writing firewall applications based on linux, using C, C++, Perl and lots of other fun toys.

C code, C code run, run code, please?

Oh The Irony

Just to be true to form, this is my cat (Max), my name, alas is not Dave however, I wish it were Dave, then this page would at least have some sense of Irony. I know a Dave, used to work for one in fact… Perhaps this would be better if this were his cat, but it isn’t and so, by inference this isn’t.

I’m afraid to say that Max is now an ex-cat, having died from an illness that his (Feline) AIDS type immune system was unable to cope with. Regardless of this he was a good cat, and one of the few pets that have ever been able to convey such emotion so well. It is rare that you hear an animal chunter under it’s breath whilst your chastising it. So this entry ( and picture ) will remain as a memorial to Max, a cute cuddly little death maker on legs.

Max : 50 (a shed load of field mice, two magpies and a badger (!?!?))
Life : 1

Me and the Knights

Many (well one so far :) people probably want to know what the Dark Knights stuff is about. Well, it became apparent after me and “Dooferlad” had been playing Quake in the cyber-cafe at university that a) he was really good at quake, and b) I wasn’t. However it was either him, me or Grimoire that suggested we start a clan. The name was derived from my own collection of Sci-Fi (of which I am a major fan) and so the clan was born. At the time it seemed that all the official Quake clans that were around were very elitist and rather stuck up certain parts of their own anatomy (“hey I can see my tonsils from here!”), and so the Dark Knights was initially formed as a parody of this. It’s not that I have serious issues with any other clan, it’s just they seem so anally retentive, and I didn’t see the point. The concept of us being the “worlds worst” clan, and the “inept” tag came from the fact that we systematically never managed to play together, let alone register as a Clan.

Me and Land Rovers.

I got roped into Land Rovers at an early age (blame the parents :) and simply like them. If you have never driven / owned one you probably don’t realise why anyone would like an aluminum (pronounced all – u – min – i – um — grrr) bucket with the steerability of the QE2. The only explanation I can think of is that it is a disease, a mental disorder. Something about the fact that Petro was 30 odd years old, still here and still on mainly original parts makes me respect it. It breaks down, it’s noisy and slow, but it keeps going. It’s been treated like shite, and is still fun to drive. It has a personality (it argues with me I swear) and bounces down the road like a bunny rabbit. Most of all, it’s because on whatever occasion I drove it, it seems happy and excited just to be driving down the road. The ability to intimidate everything smaller than it was purely a bonus.

Currently I have a shiny hairdressers car refered to as a Discovery, still it’s more suited to my current needs than Petro was, and I’ll be replacing it sometime hopefully with something funkier.

It was after a long winded and increasingly drunken conversation with Neil “Nelly” Brownlee, Ian “Susan” Stuart and Dave “HRH” MacGregor that we decided to found Mud-Club.. That was years ago now and not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what I used to do with evenings.