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About me

I'm currently a freelance technology and writer (see my blog for more details), but I took a rather long and devious route to get here. I was born in East Yorkshire, but I now live in the south of England. After graduating in 1976, my first overseas job was as a survey chainman in the Middle East. A school friend who was working there as a surveyor got me the job, and I spent 6 months there learning the ropes of surveying, travelling between Bahrain, Qatar and Dubai,  and having a ball to boot.

Coming back home I realised I'd caught the travel bug, but didn't know how to get work abroad again. I needed a career, and I ended up applying for a post with the Admiralty in Taunton as a hydrographic draughtsman, which I didn't get. At about the same time, the friend I'd left behind in Bahrain met George Dunn on an SSL crew change and asked about how to get a job with them. He gave me SSL's address and I applied to them and got an interview for a job as an assistant surveyor.

I passed the interview and was offered the job, and at the same time got a letter from the Admiralty saying someone had dropped out and would I like the job in Taunton. Thankfully, I decided on SSL.

After 6 great years with SSL, as a surveyor, seismologist and eventually Party Chief (on Party 140/280 in Libya), I was getting restless again, and decided to try my hand at QC work (birddogging) for the seismic QC agency Exploration Consultants Limited. I worked for ECL for 12 years in total, and had some good times, but it was never as enjoyable as the time I had with SSL.

In 1991 I moved back the UK with my newly-acquired family, and I continued with ECL after a brief intermission. Contracts were fairly thin on the ground, and I started looking around for work to occupy me between contracts. In 1992 I spotted an advert for freelance labs testers for the recently-launched PC Magazine published by Ziff Davis UK, and found that I loved the work. After 4 years mixing freelance work for the magazine with ECL contracts, mostly in Yemen, ZD offered me a permanent job which I accepted in 1996. Fittingly, the last contract I worked on was supervising an SSL crew in Kuwait.

In 2000, Ziff Davis UK was bought out by the Dutch publisher VNU Business Publications, and by 2002 I'd progressed to deputy editor of PC Magazine.  But the mag was closed shortly after my promotion, and after a year running VNU Labs I became deputy editor of Personal Computer World magazine. I became editor in 2007 and remained there until it was closed in June 2009, when I was made redundant.

You can see my professional CV on LinkedIn, or even follow my personal rants and raves on Twitter if you wish.

Other sites I run are my tech writing blog at and my wife's Indonesian cooking blog at

I've also recently started SeisMovies, which is a compilation ('curation' is a more appropriate word these days) of seismic-related videos that I've found on the web.