About

I’m Mike Taylor, 41 years old, very happily married to Fiona for the last 17 of them, and father to three boys: Daniel (12 years old), Matthew (10) and Jonno (7).  [Those ages were correct when I wrote this in 2010.  If it’s not 2010 when you read this, you can figure it out.]

Me with (left to right) Jonno, Daniel and Matthew, in front of a baleen-whale skull at the Oxford University Natural History Museum

By day, I am a computer programmer for the good folks at Index Data, and I will be writing a lot about programming here.  In my spare time, one of the main things I do is work on dinosaur palaeontology: my Ph.D is from the University of Portsmouth, and I’m currently affiliated with University College London.  My publicati0ns are all freely available.  But dinosaurs are the one subject I won’t be covering here because of my dino-blogging is over at Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week.  I made this blog specifically so I’d have a place to talk about everything else, in fact I nearly entitled it Everything Except Sauropod Vertebrae.

So this is a blog about everything else.  There’s a lot of stuff that I’m interested in, including (from left to right across the banner) Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1980s microcomputers, sushi, Doctor Who, (and now going off the edge of the banner), the science/religion interface, music, and of course the nominal subject of the blog, computer programming.  I promise not to post photos of my cats (I don’t have any), but I might post photos of my various dead-animal skeletons: I have a wallaby, a juvenile rabbit, a monitor lizard and a turkey nicely prepared; and a badger, a fox, a rat and a hamster in various stages of decomposition.  (Come to think of it, parts of the wallaby are still decomposing, too, but other parts are nicely cleaned.)

If you want to contact me, email to mike@miketaylor.org.uk is the best bet.

22 responses to “About

  1. Great! A real-life Sam Neill! I don’t suppose you will do an article on “Programming the Jurassic Park”? :-) Anyway, I found a link to your blog in slashdot today and resonate very closely to what you are saying. I have 30 years software engineering experience, including writing a C++ framework for large-scale distributed transaction processing systems that is used to implement the manufacturing execution system (MES) software which runs about 80% of the semiconductor fabs world-wide. As a result, I understand precisely where you are coming from, and I have to say that you put it very cogently! I look forward to future posts from you.

  2. You are not alone. But the old-timers fight-back:

    http://gwan.ch/

    Pierre.

  3. Mike,

    I really like your writing. Could we discuss your possibly writing something for PragPub?

    Mike Swaine

  4. I’m also interested in some if not all of the topics you have mentioned. I’m not really a programmer but I have spent a lot of time with C-64s and C-128s over the years. I’m parting out the last of my Amiga stuff now.

    Thanks for the article on Dr. Who, another mutual interest.

  5. I saw your banner after clicking over from slashdor and was like, Wow, all things I really appreciate!

  6. What do you know about more Torchwood episodes?

  7. Sorry, John, I know and care nothing about future Torchwood, sorry. I did force myself to sit through the entire first series out of a misplaced sense of duty to its Whoishness, but by the end of it I hated all the characters and wanted them to die (with the possible exception if Ianto, maybe, just). I’ve not been able to bring myself to look at series 2, even though by common consent it’s more highly rated.

    I might blog about Torchwood series 1, though. I think it’s valuable to figure out in detail how such a terrible train-wreck can occur.

  8. Pingback: From “The Reinvigorated Programmer”: Are you one of the 10% of programmers who can write a binary search? « Brendan Graetz

  9. Thought you would appreciate:

    http://twitpic.com/1mzxuq

    Cheers,
    Drew

  10. Drew — Wow. That picture is my LIFE.

  11. Hi Mike – a paleo fossil freak! I’m a geologist turned geek… had some good Uni conversations with the paleo kids in my classes during upper division studies…

    Hey – I run a site called Tekpub and I’d like to offer you a free coupon for our Git series. Your posts are very… “academic” and I think you’re suffering from not having enough to go on to get you to that “aha!!!!” moment. I’d like to get you there.

    If you send me a note at robconery at gmail, I’ll send you a coupon. It’s all of 3.5 hours and it will get you on your way. I know you’re frustrated – but when you give your mind over to it (in other words open it a bit :) you’ll be surprised at what Git can do.

    Cheers,
    Rob

  12. Pingback: The Little Schemer | Bookmarks on Programming and Music

  13. Paul Eckersley

    I am asuming your into ancient history due to your love of that extinict bird known as the Liver Bird, which can be seen on that extinict football team know as Liverpool FC. Funny how things change in football isn’t it!!! Hi about to move to North Wales cos I’m in love I know even City fans can find love. Fraternal greetins to your children andthat marvelous flute player you married!!!

  14. Hi, Paul, good to hear from you. Yes, I am very, very pessimistic about the future of Liverpool football club, and that’s not at all to do with any possible weaknesses in the team. Frankly, football is now the last thing LFC needs to be worrying about.

  15. Hey Mike:

    You let me know if you want any and all Andrew Peterson music. Andrew is a friend of mine, and I can get you stuff sent to the UK. You just let me know. Emailing me at this email address is fine.

  16. Thanks for the offer, Geof. But I won’t be taking you up on it: there are already channels where I can buy AP’s music (including of course buying the MP3s from Amazon.co.uk). What frustrates me isn’t that the music is intrinsically unobtainable, but that I can’t buy it with money that’s in a specific pot (Amazon.com store credit) that should be perfect for this purpose. And in fact it turns out that I can’t use that money for anything sensible. (Among the non-sensible uses would be to buy AP’s CD. Then Amazon will happily ship the plastic disk across the Atlantic to me — slowly, expensively, and damagingly to the environment, so that I can then rip the very same MP3s off the disk and then never touch it again.)

  17. The rightmost part of your banner is now _Doctor Who_, but it’s still described as _Veronica Mars._ (Feel free to delete this comment)

    [Mike says: thanks for spotting this — now fixed.]

  18. Hey Mike – another Buffy fan here. Do you like BtVS fanfic? If so, you might want to check out tthfanfic.org – not all of them are good, of course, but the “top fic” link should reveal at least a few gems.

  19. Hi, Marcel. No, sorry, I’ve never read fan-fiction. Not for any universe. With the sole exception of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, which despite some horrible flaws is absolutely fascinating.

  20. Interesting start, thanks for the pointer. I enjoy crossovers – especially between Buffy and SG-1 – so tthfanfic is much more suited to my taste than ff.net.

  21. I have found a solution in order to use an amazon.com gift card. My goal was to by an ebook. What I did:

    1) set up a vpn so that it results you are in the US, maybe you don’t have to do it (i did) and proceed to step 2) immediately
    2) add a US address to your amazon.com account (google maps can help you find all the details)
    3) be sure your gift card has been already charged to your amazon.com
    4) make your purchase and have it delivered to your kindle
    5) done!
    6) eventually move back your address to your country, or stay there until you have spent all your gift card.

    By the way, the book had a price of $7 in my country, and just $2.99 in US. So by applying their strange policies they lost $4.

    Enjoy!

  22. Thanks for this hint.

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