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Apart from historic photographs, unless otherwise stated, all photos on this site were taken by  members of my family. 

Please don't republish them without my permission.  Thanks.

2008 Mark Collins

10-06-2010

Although I am an IT professional by trade, I still enjoy leisure computing ...


 

Ever since leaving University, where I first encountered computers, namely the DEC PDP8 and PDP 11 computers running the Focal programming language (and I bet not many readers will remember that!), I have been absorbed by computers and programming them.

I have written software applications in Borland Pascal, Visual Basic, Microsoft C, Assembler, Fortran 77 amongst other languages.  The most satisfying applications at work have been real time programs controlling large mechanical or communication systems.

The computing world has come far from the days of big main frame computers with dumb terminals - some of the most advanced software I've ever written was on the DEC VMS operating system, purely interrupt driven, multi tasking and multi threading. Despite the huge advances in the Graphical User Interface (GUI) in products such as Windows 2000/XP, the underlying operating system could still learn a lot in terms of reliability and functionality from older systems.

My largest personal project is probably a huge text based adventure game, written in Borland Turbo Pascal - it contains 20,000 lines of code and has many difficult lateral thinking puzzles and large number of locations to explore.  I am told by friends it is absorbing and time consuming to play.  Watch this space, as I plan to make it available here for you to try.

In terms of future projects - I one day plan to build a computer based controller for a 24 channel stage lighting dimmer system I constructed a few years ago, but perhaps I should re-establish contact with an amateur dramatics group first!  Don't have much call for 60KW lighting systems about the house!