Hi folks, my name is Michael Brown. I have had a deep love of technology since childhood, and that has helped me to get jobs at some wonderful and interesting places. Little known fact, I have always been asked to join each company, and each time I have stuck with them until the end.
Let’s think about where it all began. The ZX81, typing in a program from a magazine. RAM expansion pack, thermal printer. BBC Micro Model B with the amazing 6502 processor, I first cut my teeth on assembly, trying to figure out how games managed to update the screen so quickly. Amiga 500, my first C compiler, learning how to do 3d transforms and rendering a newtons cradle. Acorn A5000, my favourite of them all, I learned to write my own compressed filesystem and a highly optimised Conway’s Game of Life. Then the PCs arrived, initially running Windows, but later early versions of Linux. I taught myself perspective correct texture mapping and physics based collision simulations, this was before 3d hardware was a thing.
That was at home. At work it was Sun Solaris with the Sparc processor, and that lovely slick UI, but ulaw sound wasn’t fun. Digital Alpha systems running the first non x86 port of Windows. It didn’t take off, but what an amazing architecture. It had virtual memory without the need for page tables, it was all done through software interrupts. AIX systems, if you poke around uninitialised memory you will find 0xDEADBEEF. Oh the joy of the 20 year old me finding that little nugget on the heap. Pyramid systems and their crossbar technology, having to figure out how to make our software take advantage of this massively parallel system.
Then there are the people, and the ideas. The software and the learnings that I have collected. Such amazing minds to have worked with. I’ve worked with Jim Westwood of all people, an absolutely lovely guy! I was taught C by Martin Reed, plus my first fourth generation language, M4GL. Tail compression on trees, I have never seen it again, and yet such a brilliant idea.
In all those years I have led two lives. One of technology, and one of family. In 2002 I was married thinking it was love, then our first child arrived. That’s when you learn the real meaning of love, not trivial infatuation, but the real put your life on the line to protect somebody kind. My wife helped to shape me into a proud father, a good husband and somebody with ambition. Yes, even that had to come later. I have two children now, both wonderful, bright, playful and complete fruitcakes (look it up). I love them deeply.
My life is good. I have travelled all over the world, learned Russian, seen meteors breaking up in the sky, watched Hale-Bopp from my garden, slept next to a black widow spider, suffered heart issues and now. Now I am running 25km a week in preparation for a marathon. Totally insane, but it’s happening.
If you hadn’t noticed, I’ll make it clear. I am totally unfocussed. My mind goes anywhere and everywhere. I can sit down to dinner, have a spoon of curry and then suddenly fancy the ice-cream. I always want to do the right thing, to help build a better world. I have a moral code that I follow, and yet have no religious beliefs. And how could I, when I can’t entertain any hypothesis that is not testable.
I want… I want, my family to be happy, and my job to be rewarding.
I want to create the next greatest thing, and die an old man in my bed at home, proud of my daughters.
If you want to see who I am, this is me.