Here are some of the dedicated Webcentre staff:
And a number of people so talented, so worthy and so willing to be called upon that they rate a mention here too:
In the mid-80s, I spent six inscrutable years in Japan working for a great little computer company which later got swallowed by a giant (Toshiba). Some of my time was spent refereeing a development team consisting of stroppy Kiwis, Irish, Nihonjin, Koreans and one token American. When I wasn't doing that, I was jet-setting all over the world, learning interesting things about the insides of hotels, airports, offices and restaurants.
In '89 Vicki and I spent a few fantastic months re-visiting these places, and discovered that they had museums, architecture, scenery and people! Then we came home and settled in Christchurch, New Zealand, which is a great place to live.
And started this business...
When at work, I manage the rest of our team and devote my remaining seconds to designing and developing software, generally high-performance client/server database and Web applications. Most of this is done using Borland Delphi, and runs on WinNT and its successors. At the moment, I'm up to my neck in electronic publishing applications, particularly Web automation and ecommerce. I really enjoy this stuff!
Otherwise, I go boating every chance I get, fly whenever the bank balance is almost in the black, travel whenever I can't get away with flying (and I'm dying to get back to Antarctica!). I also dress up in impressive clothes to pose as a 12th-Century scoundrel, and help wrangle David, Perry and Erica. That is, when we're not up on the roof playing petanque.
I write stories too, at least one of which was described as "amusing" (Alex Heatley), "Splendid stuff" (New Scientist, Feb 20, 1999) and "You cannot be serious!" (Dave Jones). It even got published in Phlogiston.
I've also been known to act, but I won't bore you with the reviews...
Email Peter (be gentle).
After abandoning Auckland to start a Canterbury science degree in astrophysics, I wandered through a startlingly diverse range of departments in search of a major, and ended up with the perfect academic background for a science journalist I know a little about everything, but not a great deal about anything in particular.
I spent my sojourn in Japan working for a science and technology database and, later, as a science and front-page editor for one of the four main English daily newspapers, The Daily Yomiuri..
I'm a self-confessed science groupie, which explains 10 years of work on the New Zealand Science Monthly and my current role as managing editor of SciTechDaily Review. But the bulk of my time these days is spent in project management for Webcentre, advising clients, organising site development and keeping an eye on the long-term view.
Actually, the Web stuff can be a lot of fun and very satisfying. I really enjoy the strategic planning side of things where we can help people think beyond the next six months. It does mean I spend far too much time slaving over a hot computer though...
Other things I do include being Chair-entity for the New Zealand Skeptics, which involves (among other things) early morning calls from radio stations every Friday 13th. *sigh*
If I'm lucky, I get to put on my 16-gauge steel helm and camail, my breastplate, my padded gambeson, my knee and elbow pads, my groin protection, my puncture-proof trousers and my boots, and go out and shoot arrows at Peter (see SCA).
If I'm really lucky, I hit him.
Email Vicki she doesn't bite. Honest.
After five years on a factory floor I left and headed for England, then came back and started at The National College of Design and Technology with a course in Computer Graphic Design. What was to be one year and back to England become another year at the College getting my Diploma in Multimedia. After some months of contract graphic/web design work I was lucky enough to get the job here and I've been working hard ever since.
Usually if I'm not on my computer or doing something around the house I find time to do some pyrography (burning images onto wood), sit back and read, draw or just watch some DVD's.
I picked up a degree in Psychology at the University of Canterbury while working there, and moved on to many years at Tower Financial Advisory Services, fewer at Mountfort Park Accommodation Limited, and a brief spell of Temp work for a variety of others.
When I have several spare moments in a row I read, embroider, knit, sew, make lace and teach all of the above.
After a decade or so as a university student and part-time tutor, I sort of drifted bit by bit into a job with this place. Not as much fun, but the money's a bit better and I still don't have to have a haircut or wear shoes.
Aside from slaving at work, I sleep, read, argue, listen to music, procrastinate, play games... you know, sort of like everyone else really. Some day I may get around to updating this page and doing a comprehensive sloth page.
During the Uni I had been working for a small company writing accounting software in FoxPro 2.6 (anyone remembering it?). After graduation I took a well deserved 3 months break, doing nothing
As I said, we love to travel so we try to visit as much of New Zealand as possible. We're also interested in scuba-diving (that one time diving in Mediteranean Sea was so amazing), so maybe one day we'll be able to find some warmer waters to go down again. During the winter nights we usually watch TV (some will say it's a bad habit) wondering about the inteligence and stupidity of human race... During the summer, we go out with friends, you know, have a chat, a BBQ and a couple of beers I still hope one day I'll have my own, private, powered aircraft (scale model, that is) and also I hope I'll manage to jump off a real aircraft (with a parachute at my back, of course).
In May of 1998, I've found myself drafted into the role of International Software Development Agent Extraordinaire for Webcentre Ltd. I thank Peter for being, at that time, busy enough with other business matters. I was therefore ready to take my lifetime career challenge: help TurboNote+ become real and successful.
Now I discover myself busier than ever: as the father of my two children: Cristian, my 8 years old son and Diana, my 19 months old daughter.
I live in Sibiu, which is an historic town in central Romania (keywords like: Transylvania, Dracula, Fagaras Mountains - spend five spare minutes and relax by visiting this page http://www.mountainguide.ro/en/trekking.htm - tuica, sarmale, brânza telemea may say something to you).
And don't forget to use and pass TurboNote+ to your friends. My best reward is to see everybody enjoying it!
Many thanks to Emil Fickel (software developer in Germany), to Paul DiLascia (editor for Microsoft Systems Journal) for replying to my emails during 1998 and to Bartosz Milewski for writing the pragmatic and useful Win32 programming tutorial http://www.relisoft.com
Email Alexandru Matei
"If this program, TurboNote+, works, it was written by me. If not, I don't know who wrote it" - adapted from Paul DiLascia - MSJ