Yes, for those who may ask if I do exist outside of a computer, this is me at the Scottish Rocket Weekend in August 1999. The attractive piece of furniture I am holding is a a rocket motor - an Aerotech solid rocket motor called a K-550. This means it produces an average of 55 kilograms of thrust - not bad for a motor of this size. This was just before I loaded the motor into one of my rockets.
Those who know me will realise the anomaly in this photo - this is one of the only times when there is no computer in sight. How did I cope ? Well, there were lots of big pieces of rockets to compensate.
I live with my long suffering partner, Rebecca. She is semi-conversant in UNIX, likes space and is a bit of a techno-babe really. She's very tolerant of my long hours spent hacking code, but gets wound up when I distribute random bits of rocket or circuit boards outside of my Batcave - understandable really. She occasionally drags me along to season-like functions, which is amusing - given my complete lack of dress sense. She also adores Star Trek, Babylon-5 and LEXX. What can I say ?
Our house is a rambling pile in North West London, sort of mock tudor - looks nice, but the wooden beams are a bit of a pain.
I grew up in Rhiwbeina, a suburb on the North Western outskirts of Cardiff (Caerdydd), the Capital City of Wales (Cymru). I then migrated over the border to Portsmouth (England) where I did my BSc degree, spent a year working in a scientific R and D establishment near Amsterdam in Holland(en ja, ik spreek en klein betje Nederlands !), I also worked in scientific R and D in Poole (England), spent a year in Dundee (Scotland) - (where I did my MSc degree), and the rest of the time, have been working in London.
A native Welsh speaker, I also speak a bit of Dutch, from a year spent working in Holland (well, a bit more than the sentence in the previous paragraph, anyway !), a bit of Russian, from time spent involved with the Phobos-2 Mars mission, and a bit of Spanish, learnt both during my B.Sc and during the year I did my M.Sc. I also speak UNIX quite a bit (well most of the time, actually).
Not that it's hard to miss, but I'm a self confessed techno-junkie. I have interests in both computer hardware and software, as well as the wider world of electronics and space technology. If it's got an electrical connection, network it, I say. You'd be amazed what you can put a TCP/IP stack on.
PDA's and portable computers are generally my pet gadgets (I can't choose between them). As a fan of renewable energy, I frequently mess around trying to power various electrical gadgets and systems via solar power, to cut down on battery consumption.
(c) 1999 Richard Osborne,