Personal Info

My name’s Tom Gilbert, I live in London, England, I’m in my 30s, and I work for Deutsche Bank, where I am an IT Director.

This is my fifth job. Previously I was with Finetix as an OSS/Unix consultant, and before that – Killik and Co, a stockbrokers in the city working as their linux guru, hired to bring a large project to completion. Before that, a consultant for ID-Pro, whose UK operation sadly went bust in October 2000, and before that I worked for British American Tobacco. Prior to that I was at the University of Bath, where I got myself an honours degree in Chemistry.

Current life

To be filled in shortly…

Early history, or me and computers

I’ve always been interested in computers, and initially toyed around with an Amstrad CPU464 when I was a kid, writing dumb little programs in BASIC. Then I got to play with some BBC model B’s at school (although I think we pretty much only played elite and tried to network sniff the teacher’s password). I never really had good access to a computer again until 1997, when I bought myself a PC.

Me and Linux

I didn’t discover Linux until the end of 1998. I fought with the redhat 5.1 installer to get it on my PC, and was disappointed with what I saw (fvwm-95 in lets-look-like-windows mode). I lost interest straight away.

Early in 1999, I got really bugged with the Windows platform, and tried again. I chose Redhat again (by now at 5.2), fought the installer
(and won), and this time met GNOME running under Enlightenment. This was more like it. I took the time to properly explore Linux, and immediately fell in love.

Bash was wonderful, Enlightenment beautiful, the environment was solid and things made sense. It appeared that at last, the limits
of what I could achieve were purely my own – not of the environment, and I decided to “get involved”.

At this point, I had no real computing skills. So, early in 1999, I sat down, and started to teach myself C. I read some, books lots of source code, about every manpage and HOWTO I could find, and started to grow. I got used to the environment, and how to use the tools available. In about 3 months, I had learnt enough to send people patches, it took another 3 to really get my act together.

Along with learning C, there were a number of other things I needed to pick up as I went. So I picked up shell scripting, perl, HTML, XML
(lot’s of Meta languages basically ;) , SQL, m4 and of course lots of *nix system administration, security, networking and hardware

I’ve since developed a real interest in programming languages, and learned python, ruby, PHP, C++, Java, lisp and even a little C#.

Personal Coding projects

  • Various patches and modifications to the Enlightenment window manager.
  • Several epplets and several modifications and additions to the epplet api.
  • Feh – An imlib2 image viewer
  • Geist – An object-based image manipulation package. Currently under heavy development and being rewritten in C++.
  • scrot – a screen capture utility.
  • camE – a v4l webcam grabber.
  • Various patches to imlib2, bugfixes, polygon and ellipse drawing and filling, plus clipping support.
  • Patches for the Apache webserver, including features like DoS prevention and bandwidth management.
  • Various patches to the gnome cvs tree back in the 0.3 – 1.2 days
  • Half a scrabble clone =P Got it going nicely one-player, and was asked nicely to stop. So I did =)
  • Saving and menu modification code for e16menuedut. A menu editor in the enlightenment cvs repository
  • Random patches sent off to authors for software I use

You can chat to me via Google Talk, or some other jabber client – I’m tom.gilbert.

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