I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Birmingham and my first job was at Mather and Platt as a design engineer working on centrifugal pumps and large electric motors. Finite Element (FE) analysis came along in the late 1970s and I started writing in-house FE programs in Fortran on a Computer Automation Naked Mini. This quickly led to a full-time role in IT, developing software applications and system tools together with responsibility for operations management. I am now at GE (though it was GEC when I joined, then GEC Alsthom, then Alstom, then the Alstom energy sector was sold to GE in November 2015) working in IT with skills in networks, telecoms, system programming, hardware interfaces, ITIL, project management, etc. I have worked with many different computer systems including DEC VAX, IBM 370 mainframe, ICL 1900 series, AS/400, PCs, a variety of mini-computers (CA Naked Mini, PDP-11, DECmate, DEC Professional 3xx, etc.) and now Raspberry Pi. I have programmed in IBM Assembler, Fortran, PL/I, Cobol, C and REXX. Why was an engineer using Cobol?

My initial introduction to Unix was with SunOS 4 and the Sun SPARCstation 2 back in the early 1990s. The cryptic and illogical SunOS commands were foreign to me as I had been brought up on DEC's VMS and IBM's VM and MVS operating systems where you could detect at least some forethought in their design. To me, it was almost as if Unix had been developed with commands so abruptly succinct that its use was intentionally discommodious and inconvenient. However, I have mellowed in the passing years and now just accept Unix, and Linux, for what they are - and that is why I need my own website as a reference!

JST Lawrence, © Copyright 2013-2016