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About me
Hobart panorama seen from Arthur's office
The professional me
If you want to know about my professional activities including research and IT consulting, please click on the preceding title. I work as an IT consultant and carry out some research with the University of Tasmania.
About me
I was born in subtropical Durban, South Africa, and graduated in electronics engineering from the University of Natal. I entered the computing world in 1963 when I was invited as an electronics engineer to be the system coordinator of what may have been the world's first minicomputer (in Philips NV, Eindhoven, Netherlands: Germanium pnp transistors and core memory, bit-serial, deskside tower configuration, 21-bit words). My research work around Pascal and Modula-2 in the 1980s was internationally regarded as highly significant, and resulted in the (international) Pascal Compiler Validation Suite and a groundbreaking Pascal Compiler for Burroughs computers with unsurpassed levels of correctness that influenced all later language developments. I have also designed about 20 computers and built about 50% of those in silicon. I have worked for three universities, most recently as Professor of Computer Science at the University of Tasmania until 1993 and from 1993-99 as its Pro Vice-Chancellor [US equivalent: University Vice-President]. I am now self-employed, carrying out consultancy, research and writing.
Hobbies
Besides my professional work as a computer scientist, I relax in a variety of pastimes. I cook for us every night, and enjoy the extra preparations for the occasional family get-together or dinner party at Christmas, Easter, birthdays, Mother's Day and other times. I make stained glass windows, probably about 1-6 per year, depending on who asks me for one or whether I have a creative idea, and design and make fused glass objects. I build ship models, and have relished the challenge of putting ships in bottles. I do the occasional wood carving, make furniture, and have recently begun exploring glass fusing & slumping.
The Garden
We have an agreement about our home garden. Elaine has complete design choice over the side of the house alongside the road and I have the river side. I work on both. I experiment and try to grow things that people usually don't think of growing in Tasmania in my half.
I have several different species of palms growing in the open: Archontophoenix cunninghamiana (Bangalow Palm), Arecastrum romanzoffianum (Queen Palm), Butia capitata (Jelly Palm), Chamaedorea atrovirens (Parlor Palm), C. seifrizii (Bamboo Palm), Coccothrinax alto (small), Dypsis decipiens (also small), Howea forsteriana (Kentia Palm), Livistona chinensis (Chinese Fan Palm), Livistona decipiens (Ribbon Fan Palm), Chamaerops humilis (European Fan Palm), Rhapis excelsa (Lady Palm), Sabal minor (Dwarf Palmetto Palm), and Trachycarpus fortunei (Chinese Windmill Palm).
There are also a number of cycads, including Bowenia serrulata, Cycas guizhouensias, C. revoluta (Sago palm), Encephalartos kisambo, E. trispinosus, E. altensteinii, Lepidozamia peroffskyana, and Zamia furfuracea.
I have been able to grow and flower two gingers Hedychium gardnerianum & Alpinia mutica having lost several others to cold, Strelitzia reginae (Bird of Paradise Plant), twelve kinds of ferns on the shady side of the land including a 2m Cyathea cooperi (Rough Treefern) grown up from a tiny pot and a 1mx1m carpet of Blechnum pennamarina (Tasmanian Alpine Fern), fifty or so orchids (mostly Cymbidium, but some Odontoglossum grexes, Epidendrum hybrids, Bletilla hyacynthia, and Pleione hybrids), and about 50 dwarf conifers. The west-facing aspect which gets the afternoon sun even in winter and the brick wall create a sun-trap and wind-break and I can grow plants outside that in many places in Tasmania would struggle to survive.
Elaine has a cottage garden on the other side, with wisteria; pansies; spring bulbs; a tree dahlia; fruit trees apple, wild apple, black plum, yellow peach & nectarine; a jacaranda; and a bankful of native Australian plants including bottlebrushes (Callistemon), tea-trees, mintbush, coastal rosemary (Westringia fruticosa), banksias (B. bauerii, B. menziesii) and kangaroo-paws (Agnisoanthus spp).


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Page last modified on 2001 July 18