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Paul's experience in computers began in 1980, from the inside out. Specialist knowledge, gained over the subsequent years, enables him to bring particular insights into the fields of computing and technical authorship.

Hardware

After building the kit version of Sir Clive Sinclair's ZX81 he decided to delve deeper into the nitty gritty of computing hardware by assembling the Elektor Junior, built from the instructions published in a long-running series in Elektor magazine. He subsequently developed a tape-based implementation of fig-FORTH for this 6502-based machine, implemented not from an assembler-listing but from the fig-FORTH model itself. Paul's J-FORTH was commercially available, on audio cassette, until the Elektor Junior Computer was superseded.

Following a brief flirtation with the idea of purchasing a Sinclair QL, Paul graduated through Amstrad's CPC6128 -- the most practical of home computers -- through Amstrad's extremely heavy PPC640D portable, eventually to settle, conventionally, on a bog-standard IBM-compatible 386SX desktop PC in 1991. This, of course, has since been upgraded beyond recognition.

Paul has owned and programmed a multitude of other home computers over the years, including:

  • Memotech MTX -- black satin aluminium, very rugged;
  • Enterprise 64 -- plastic, toy-like, but sophisticated software;
  • Jupiter Ace -- cheapest FORTH computer ever (and looked it);
  • Acorn Electron -- the baby BBC Micro.

For a year or two, Paul was an enthusiastic user of the Microwriter Agenda electronic organiser ("learn to touch-type, with one hand, in twenty minutes" -- yes, really). 

A certified computer nerd (his anorak, however, is in storage), Paul hopes one day to find time to set up a Linux machine.

Software

Paul uses standard office software on his desktop PC, and is familiar with industry-standard word-processing, database and spreadsheet applications, as well as numerous software utilities.

His programming experience ranges from raw machine code for Z80 and 6502, through Symbolic Assembler, BASIC, FORTH and C, to Turbo Pascal and Visual Basic. His preference now, if he had time to program, would be for Delphi.

Articles

Over many years Paul's technical writing has appeared in the computer press -- large national publications as well as small, privately published concerns. Amongst his computer-related publishing credits are Personal Computer WorldMemotech File, Forthwrite and Amstrad Computer User.


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