About Me

Hi. I live in the tiny village of Y Felinheli, north Wales in an old renovated farmhouse. I'm married with three lovely children. When not staring into a laptop I'm usually be found either working on the house or perhaps pottering about outside.

Skills

HTML5 & CSS3

I first learnt HTML in 1999, but it wasn't until 2005 that I started to pick up CSS, and realised its full power.

Like many others I followed the HTML5/CSS3 buzz with interest, and started experimenting with the technology in mid 2011.

All my sites are now built with HTML5 with as much CSS3 as those pesky browsers will allow.

PHP & MySQL

Having six months to design and build a SMS application for the 2006 Urdd Eisteddfod, I had to learn PHP and MySQL fast.

The first few applications were built using my own code only, but I found the Codeigniter framework after a year, which became my weapon of choice.

To further cut corners I may use Wordpress or Drupal as a CMS for websites. I first used Wordpress in 2007 and Drupal late in 2010, and have developed custom plugins or modules for both.

My .htaccess skills are also well honed.

Javascript & jQuery

Sharing a similar syntax to PHP, Javascript was simple to pick up. I first learnt using Christian Heilman's book Beginning JavaScript with DOM scripting and Ajax.

Since then I've picked up jQuery along the way, and have used it in nearly every single project since.

My experience with the framework - since version 1.2 - enables me to develop code quickly and efficiently.

In mid 2011 I used jQuery Mobile for the first time for Gwyl Arall, a local cultural festival.

Flash & ActionScript

Although having not touched Flash since sometime in 2010, for completeness' sake I include it here.

I mostly developed games using Flash, the first was a Fifi and the Flowertots game for S4C's website.

I've also experimented with Augmented Reality, utilising the papervision library and FLARtoolkit in Adobe Flex to interact through webcams.

Linux & Ubuntu

I have used linux in a desktop and server enviroment.

My current VPS runs CentOS5, on which I set up a LAMP stack to run some sites.

I have used Linux on the desktop on and off since Ubuntu 6.10, and it powers my parents' laptop of which I'm a makeshift sysadmin.

Python

I have an admittedly tiny bit of Python knowledge, and managed to teach myself enough to build a simple todo app using the GTK library.

Goals

Learn a New Language

Having a good grasp of PHP and Javascript, I would like to add another string to my bow. Presently my biggest obsatcle is my indecision: I can't whittle this list down to one.

  • C++
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • ASP.NET

Publish an App

Although I have ideas sketched out ready to go, time conspires against me and I'm yet to commit fingertip to key and build the killer app.

Hopefully 2012 - with the children all being a year older - will give me the time to develop and launch.

Personal

Fell Running

After retiring from rugby at 29 years due to a recurring injury, I took up running. I soon started racing in the local mountains for a more extreme challenge.

In 2010 I completed the Snowdon Race, a 10.5mile 3500ft (16km/1085m) trek on Wales' highest mountain. I again completed the race in 2011, and I hope to smash my previous times in the 2012 race.

Community

My playing days are over, but I still try and take an active part in Caernarfon Rugby Club. I was the club Secretary from 2005 - 2010, and I still serve on the committee running the website, mailing list and social media side of the club, as well as general technical advice and know how.

I try and take and active part in the local community, organizing and helping out at local events.

DIY

After buying an old farmhouse in May 2010, I condemned myself to a probable lifetime of DIY.

The house itself is of stone construction and roughly 130 years old. The ground floor was heavily renovated and we moved in six months later. Apart form the skilled jobs - plastering, plumbing and carpentry - I did most of the work.

There is plenty to do in the house and garden to keep me going for the next 20 years!