Bio

My first Concert
1992 – My first Concert playing bass. (C) Andrew Shirley

I’ve been programming since the Commodore Vic 20!

Decades of experience in Programming, Electronics, Music, Photography and telecommunications.

 

It all started with my first computer, a VIC-20. The games were ok but learning to program was exciting!  Commodore BASIC came naturally to me, and it wasn’t long until I moved to a C64 with a more powerful CPU and greater amount of memory.  This is when I learned Assembly Language and produced my first big project – a bulletin board system (BBS).  It was based on a mix of Assembly and compiled BASIC and featured chat groups, uploads/downloads, and an article system – my first CMS system.  Of course, BBSs worked over phone lines back then.

The C64 introduced a C compiler called Power C – which is when I developed my love for “C” type languages ever since I’ve been working with some flavour of C, whether it’s Javascript, C++ or C#.

College Years

During college, I kept busy working part-time and tutoring fellow students.  As part of my program, I was hired on a CO-OP placement for a company called Celestica. For those in the know, Celestica was formally known as Toronto IBM Manufacturing.  There, I worked as an electronics repairman and performed ISO9001 auditing.

Part-Time Teaching

During my time at Celestica, I began teaching part-time at Seneca College in Markham, Ontario.  I spent my Saturdays teaching a class to repair and upgrade computers.

My Career

I began working for Bell Canada as a field technician in 1999 and have been there since.  In my 22 years there, I’ve installed phone systems for large hospitals, military, police, 911-call centres and more.  This includes Cat3/5 cabling, interfacing with MEGA/T1, VOIP/SIP, centralized voicemail for multi-national companies, fibre runs, programming and, of course, troubleshooting. In addition, I worked on a wide variety of products from Nortel Norstar to BCM to Avaya, Panasonic and Mitel phone systems, along with switches and routers.

Webpage Programmer and Barrie Web

In addition to working at Bell, I was running a Web company called Barrie Web.  There I produced reusable content-management software, CMS, including a full-featured shopping cart with e-commerce.  My go-to technologies were HTML, CSS, Javascript, ASP.NET, SQL and CGI.

Over the last several years, I’ve been researching Microcontrollers and sensors, and I’ve produced several projects showcased here on this site.   One such example is an automated cat-watering dish that uses an ultrasonic proximity sensor to start a fresh stream of water when the cat is near.

In addition to electronics and programming, I’m also a musician/bass player and a photographer.

My favourite subject is landscape, but I’ve shot some weddings and events, both as a hobby and as a paid photographer. 

Here’s a link to my Photos page: Photos

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