A brief biography for Bob

Bob Dunlop's face

Bob Dunlop

As the picture shows I'm a forty something computer hacker from the old school complete with long hair, although I rarely wear sandals. I using the term "hacker" in the old sense of "A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities" not the mindless vandals who enjoy breaking things for the sake of it.

I was born and raised in Southall, West London and had a fairly normal childhood attending the local grammar school etc before going on to university.

In the year before university I served an engineering apprenticeship with EMI one of the local employers, and it was during this time that I encountered my first computer! It was an even then old teletype with a 300 baud modem connection to a timeshare system running BASIC. It was love at first type.

I got the bug. By the time I'd got to university less than a year later I'd already built my first home computer to my own design. A Z80 based system with 2K bytes of RAM. This was soon supplanted by the huge machines at UKC. The ICL-2960 filled a room, ran a timesharing system called EMAS and we programmed it in ALGOL-60 using teletypes. Then for a project I was given access to the PDP11 running AT&T V6 Unix. Suddenly I had a new love :-)

From then on it was C and Unix all the way. In the second year we leapt upon the new VAX machine and the new BSD Unix. It was also at this time that I was rescued from pure geekdom when I met my future wife Kelly. Sad to say but from then on computers would be the second love of my life.

After leaving university the world of work is probably best described by checking my regular CV. I quickly became disillusioned with EMI and it's large company slow moving culture and went to work for a series of smaller firms. Most notable was Chase Research which I helped found as a three man outfit and which employed some seventy people when we sold it.

After living in London for ten years following university, Kelly and I took the plunge and moved out into the wild and have settled in North Hampshire where we now have a nice bungalow on the top of a hill overlooking the village. Neither of us would ever go back to the city although we do miss the luxury of good restaurants within walking distance.

Interests have diversified over the years and to some extent have become more countrified. We go clay pigeon shooting at Lains and other places, 4x4 driving with the Discovery Owners Club, and visit many country shows and events. I'm also interested in pyrotechnics and work on public and private fireworks displays for Fantastic Fireworks.

Recently I've been studying geology with the Open University and going on walks and trips with the OU Geological Society. An aside from this saw me working on an archaeological dig for several weeks.

Computing is not forgotten and we're active members of the Hampshire Linux User Group as well as subscribing to many other LUGs via their mailing lists.