Ben Chalmers

Ben Chalmers

My CV on a Business Card

It all began with a BBC model B.  Back in the early eighties people didn’t realise that computers were hard and programming was only for geeks and nerds, so when I got the computer alongside games both educational and fun I got books to teach me how to program.  Mainly in BBC BASIC, accompanied by little pictures of ghosts and robots.  When Marshall Cavendish released Input magazine, I got that too.  Once I had mastered BASIC, I progressed to 6502 Assembler.  Why not?  I didn’t know any better, I was only 8.

Later my trusty Beeb began to have some power supply unit problems, and it was time to upgrade.  I made my way through an Acorn BBC A3000, then a RISC PC.  I was an Acorn boy (it was inevitable – my parents were teachers) until my stint at Cambridge University when I got my first PC.  I have a Mac now.

I’ve been coding professionally since 1996 when I first took a work experience job – and within a month had disassembled code from a device which programmed pagers… then figured out what the code did, modified it to support a new protocol, then burned it to an EPROM and got my new improved device up and running.  I’ve been working in the IT industry ever since – generally low level bit fiddly stuff.

I’ve touched multi-platform data storage systems, digital tv (we were a few years early… and its only now that home systems are catching up with what we could do), artificial intelligence – detecting number plates and identifying both terrorists and bad Italian drivers,  large scale long term cctv video storage, complex event processing, ultra-high speed networking – including the first 10GBase-T network cards, high speed low latency financial software and virtualisation technology.

Outside of work, I play roleplaying games – where I’m a sucker for a well designed rule systems.  And I’m fascinated by the IT industry, and the new business models that are growing in the modern, connected, environment.  My love is for ideas – new ideas, ideas I can play with.  This blog takes my experience and eye on the industry, and talks about the technology trends I see occurring – and the thoughts others may have missed.

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