Webbist is a phrase I've coined to describe a part of who I am. I'm working on the grounds that if I'm a bassist by virtue of spending time playing on the bass, I must be a webbist because of the amount of time I spend playing with the web (and other computer technologies)! In the past, I've even made it into the computer industry press.
I have recently taken up a new post working for the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, which is part of Oxford University and based in the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. My responsibilities will include working on their public-facing website.
Much of my professional work is hidden behind multiple layers of secure firewalls but the public website of The Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust is available for all to see. I am not responsible for all the decisions about content but do the work to pull it together and am pleased with the fact it looks clean and observes guidelines on making a site standards-compliant and accessible.
I also run the website for my church, Hither Green Baptist Church. This serves both as a way of people finding out about where we are and what we do and also to keep friends and members informed of what is going on.
You could also visit the website of my brother, Magnus, who now lives in Wales. His site is bi-lingual, English and Welsh, and will inform you about matters from folk tunes to toasty fillings.
I am very interested in computers as a creative tool, including their role as 'graphics studio in a box'. The main program I use both at home and professionally is the GIMP. This has very similar capabilites to Adobe Photoshop but has the significant financial and philosophical advantage of being Open Source Software (free to use and developed by people who want to make a good product rather than a fast buck).
Most of the graphics on this site have been worked on with the GIMP. I have written several short tutorials, illustrating some of the things I have learned:
- Creating a Bevel Effect
- Pseudo-3D by combining different gradient fills to create an illusion of depth.
- Creating a Neon Effect
- This show you how to create an effect similar to that which I used for the navigation buttons in an earlier version of the site
- Web Image File Formats
- This talks about .gif and .jpg images and illustrates the principle of antialiasing, illustrated by my work on the M-space Logo.
I also have a page with a couple of pictures of myself and my wife Jane, which have been put together with the GIMP. One shows how it can be used to composite photomontages and the other demonstrates varying levels of transparency.
Operating Systems and Other Software
I am familiar with several families of operating systems and regularly use Linux, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows (as well as having made some use of others such as Novell Netware and various flavours of Unix). My main operating system for web development is Linux (Ubuntu is my preferred distro) and I have written a page describing my earlier adventures with Linux, although this is presently quite out of date. At work I also use Windows (Server 2003) while I have a Mac Mini at home giving me experience with OS X (and a VMWare Fusion-powered virtual Linux box).