gerph.org - Me


Who I Am

My name is Justin Fletcher, I'm a Senior Software Engineer, supporting the Development tools for Velocix Ltd . I'm in living in Cambridge, GB right now.

Who I'm not

I need to say this, 'cos I don't like disappointing people. I'm not the Justin Fletcher from TV, who appears on Tikkabilla and Something Special, provides a voice on Tweenies and has been touring with CBeebies Live. Every once in a while people email me - and it's usually little children and their parents - and I feel so bad to say 'I'm sorry you've got the wrong person'. I'm not him. Sorry.

Physically

My picture

Since you want to know about me, I'm about 5 foot 9 tall (I think), I've got brown eyes (he says, checking in the mirror) and I'm thin. Oh, and I wear glasses. If you see me, I'll probably either be frowning, or looking confused - trying to remember what it is that I was doing. It's more likely to be the latter though. I confuse very easily.

Qualities

If I were to say what I thought was my best quality, I'd think I'd say it was my sense of humour, or my trust of people. If, however, I were to say my worst qualities, then I'd have to go for paranoia, and my trust of people. This tends to lead to one or two 'problems' in my life, but I get through it and live another day. Well, usually I do. There have been a few times I've not lived and had to explain myself to the reincarnation comittee. They seem to take pity on me and send me back for another go. At least I think it is pity. It might just be that there is some big cosmic joke that I don't know about.

Humour

Contrary to popular belief, I do actually have a sense of humour. It's just been very dented, battered and hidden due to something or other in the past. It's always possible of course that it decided that it couldn't take it any more and went off for a holiday. Since I wrote this, I've found a small stash of postcards from the Bahamas which my conscience must have hidden when I wasn't looking. It seems that my sense of humour is having a lovely time and has a wonderful tan. Now why do I never tan ?

Previously...

I used to do a bit of work for RISCOS Ltd. Actually I did a lot, but it's better if we just don't think about it, I feel. Prior to that, I did some work for RCI, and finished off Eddie Edwards' excellent port of Doom (making Doom+) and subsequently ported both Heretic and Hexen.

And prior to that, of course, I wrote lots of free things for people's general amusement. Some of them did silly things. Some of them did dull things but in silly ways. And some had nothing to do with silliness and were merely released to see if anyone found them even remotely silly.

Shortly I'll write about all the Fun And Exciting™ things that I did with RISC OS, but that's just going to take a while. There was a lot of stuff!

The stupidest things I've ever done

Stupid things come in many categories. Many of the things I think are stupid, most people just think are pointless.

I used to say here that getting engaged was the stupidest thing I've ever done. In some respects, it's stupid to say something like that and not mean it. The stupidest thing I've done is to not try hard enough with Caroline. Yeah, it's a bit sad and pointless, but that's just the way it goes. Plus people are fed up of hearing about it.

The stupidest thing I've done in programming is probably something like the changes I made to the Doom program without any reference to source code. The stupidest thing I've done in an exam is probably forgetting how to answer a question and writing a letter on the scrap paper. Oddly, in that exam I did rather well. The letter didn't get sent though.

On the other hand, the stupidest I've ever felt is during graduation from University. I must have measured my head wrongly, so my hat was rather large. This meant that every time I moved I had to keep my head perfectly horizontal. Whilst this may not seem difficult, but when you have lots of people looking at you, you have to walk and avoid walking into things it takes a lot of concentration. What concentration was left was just thinking "Get me out of here".

The thing I'm most proud of

I am not really sure what I'm most proud of. There are exams I could say I'm proud of, but they were really just things to pass. Or there are programs I've written, but then again they are just things anyone could have written, if they had the inclination. I used to be proud of my Pascal decompiler, even though it is so badly written and rushed that it almost didn't make it to the presentation. However, it's really just one of those things that you look back on and realise how poor it was.

[Note for people who found this page through a search engine looking for 'Pascal Decompiler': This decompiler is for Norcroft ARM Pascal. It only works with code produced by this compiler. It only handles addition, simple looping structures and printing. It will not fix your Y2K problems. I am concerned that so many people seem to be only looking for a Y2K fix at this point (added 5th December 1999, after receiving a number of emails from people 'desperate' to find a decompiler)]

The things I hate most

I think the biggest thing I hate at this moment is the way in which I've made mistakes and been unable to rectify them even knowing what I was doing. I'm working on it, though...

Phrases I hate include "You're cute", "We can still be friends", "There are more fish in the sea". If you like, ask me why. I'll go on in long and dull detail <grin>. I really quite seriously hate anchovies and olives - horrible things. But I think the thing I hate the most is the thought that I could do something to look silly in front of people.

There are many things I hate, but with most of them it comes down to "If you do it right, you don't have to fight yourself later to work around your mistakes". There are many things that fall into that category, but most are programming related so I won't bore you with them.

The things I like most

I like all sorts of things. I like my friends (of course), my music and my diary. And before you start to think it, this isn't just a feeble attempt to get you to visit the other sites, it's a statement. Sometimes, I think people forget how much you like things (or them). Just saying you like something (or somebody) doesn't express how much you like it really.

But enough of that nonsense ! I also like peas from the pod, buttons that push, and looking out over sunsets. I'll also add that I rather like thunderstorms. Not the little baby thunderstorms where it cannot really decide what it wants to be, but the big thrashing storms which light up the sky for hours and the thunder sounds more like the colliding mountains.

Books

I like all sorts of books. Mostly the ones with pages in though. I have been known to try to read the ones without, but I think I said it was a bit dull. I'm sort of 'in to' Arthur C Clarke and Greg Bear at the moment, but I do like other authors too; Terry Pratchett (the DiscWorld series), Piers Anthony (Xanth and other series'), Douglas Adams (The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy, and others), Jeffery Archer (most of) and others tend to be about the level I get to. Nothing too intellectual anyhow. Sometimes I read manuals to go to sleep, but it doesn't always work... Sometimes I even understand them...

Television

Well, I tend to like the comedy things, like Fawlty Towers, Red Dwarf and Friends. I also like Quantum Leap, X-Files, Twilight Zone, and things like that. I rather enjoy Caroline in the City, Cheers, Spin City and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but recently have been watching Buffy, The Vampire Slayer (for Willow, you understand - why they can't just call it Willow, The Vampire Slayer's Friend, I don't know), and Cold Feet (a UK comedy, for anyone reading this from abroad). Then there is Mystery Science Theatre 3000, which I would watch, but SciFi seemed to lose that quite some time ago. Then there's more recent things like The West Wing, Stargate (both SG-1, and Atlantis). I really can't watch Friends any more, though.

For the last few years I've avoided TV news - mainly post September 11, actually. Whilst I like to be informed, I had noticed that I get upset by even sad films a few years earlier, and this came through to anything news related because it's so utterly depressing that 'people are just nasty to other people'.

Basically, I don't get to see as much TV as I'd like; 'It all comes', said Pooh. 'from not making the days long enough.'

Other things

Of the other things I like, I think the one that sticks out most is probably the 'tinkly bits' on certain music tracks. These are the sort of bits of music that I hear and go all gooey (is that a word ?) at. You'll notice me when I hear one of these, because I tend to look quite bouncey. Somebody said that I tend to look like a muppet when I'm bouncing along to things like that. I couldn't possibly comment. I would give some examples of this sort of thing, but I can't think of any that are relatively well known.

Soft piano tracks are a current favourite of mine too. Two Beds And A Coffee Machine, by Savage Garden is a good example, as is Believe, by Celtus, or why not try Winter by Tori Amos.

Girls

I'm not sure what to write here. There used to be a little bit of a nod toward Helen here, but I'm no longer trying to fool myself about that. I could say how much I hate myself over Caroline but that, too, has its own back-story. For the last few years I've not really cared enough about anything to even think about girls, so it's difficult to even frame the right question. I can't even say that the answer's 'Yes' these days; I've pretty much given up all hope there.

The Diary generally has my latest rants about girls, and tends to be more up to date than these pages (well, you'd expect that wouldn't you ?). Generally, I feel a little lonely at the moment, so it's a case of deciding what I want to do - do I want to meet people and be sociable, or do I want to be dull and just write web pages forever...

Odd things I'm known to do

I do tend to do odd things. I tend to get quite silly when I'm in a good mood, and my usual IRC comments of 'Gerph giggles' and 'Gerph bounces around the room' are not just comments, but quite often a reflection of my state of mind and probably what I'm doing at the time - so much so that it's even been questioned whether I am actually male. I also tend to do things impulsively after deliberating for four or five days and finally deciding not to do something. I won't give examples, but those of you who know me from IRC or the talker may remember memorable episodes of doing things that I really wish I ought not to have.

Alternatively, people can mention a program to me, I'll say "Oh, it shouldn't be too hard...", and then I just have to go off and write it, just to prove how easy it is. Usually it isn't and I end up spending much too long on it. But, this does mean that there are lots of semi-useless programs which I've written.

That said, I'm not very spontaneous when it comes to important things. When it comes to saying how I feel to people that are important to me, I'm just stuck. For some reason I always spend my time worrying that they might not agree, or be offended, or think less of me. I've been trying to change that for quite a few years. I've got next to nowhere with it, so all in all I think we should just write it off as a dead loss.

Things I am good at

Unlike the things I like, I'm good at a totally different set of things. I'm good at avoiding any physical activity. I'm good at keeping Shreddies on my spoon when I have my breakfast. I'm good at cracking my fingers, even though I hate it. I believe myself to be quite good at programming, but most of the people I speak to are infinitely better than I.

I'm good at being confused. I seem to spend so long being confused that I must be good at it by now. You know those conversations people have where there is always someone at the edge of the group who just nods and laughs but you know isn't understanding a word you say ? That's usually me.

Sometimes, I'm good at remembering lyrics, and I seem to be able to remember some (I can't say most any more, because there are just too many) of the songs I have in my collection. If you're very unlucky I may even start singing them. It is now illegal for me to sing in three counties, and two others have restraining orders on me. Such is life.

Things I'm not so good at

This list could go on forever really. Firstly, I'd like to say that relationships are not really my forte. One might even say that I'm a little bit useless when it comes to relationships. Ok, let's not beat around the bush. Relationships are things that happen to other people and I just get involved in 'accidents' which might, from some peculiar perspective, be called relationships. But that is stretching the word to its limit.

I'm not all that great at getting to bed at a sensible hour. Well, actually, I am. It's just that what I call a sensible hour and what the rest of the world calls it are two totally different things. One of the things that most people tend to notice about me when I write to them is the state of my handwriting. People have actually contested the fact that it is a form of communication. It has even been hinted that my scribblings are not writing, but infact maps of rabbits warrens. Fortunately, the art of Leporidae Cartography has been saved from my attempts by the joy we call the Internet.

I'm not so good at remembering birthdays. Come to think of it, I'm not actually all that good at remembering what month it is never mind anything else related to the date. It usually takes about 3 months for me to remember that we have entered a new year. By the same principles then, it should take me until about 2025 to realise that we are in a new century.

I'm also not very good on a bike. Or swimming. Actually anything that doesn't involve sitting in front of a computer screen. I think, in general, we can say that I suck at just about most things. At least then we have a very high likelihood of being correct.

Plans

I remember having a plan, long ago. I think I had a (different) plan in 1999, but since then things have kind of drifted. I tried making a plan more recently and it turned out to be a design for a bank vault security system. It's possible that I may have accidentally switched the plan with one from the bank heist I wasn't involved in. No. Not even slightly

Plans need to have some sort of goal. I'm not sure what sort of goal I'd like to aim for.

What I would like to see in the future is peace, harmony, and a settlement on Mars. The last one isn't for any particular reason, just it seems like a fun idea - 'because it's there' syndrome. There's just two problems with that, though, and they are that 'because it's there' no longer really seems to be worth much (maybe the currency has been devalued over time?), and settling on Mars seems like a huge waste of resources which could be otherwise spent on more useful things. Oh, and I don't see peace and harmony happening any time soon.

Computery plans

I had a long ramble here. But I've come to realise that computers are just evil, and you shouldn't plan anything because nobody else does...

Signing off

Anyhow, I can't think of much else to write, so I'll sign off and let you get back to whatever you were doing...

Have fun !


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This page is maintained by Justin Fletcher (gerph@gerph.org).
Last modified on 19 January, 2013.
This site is copyright . The accuracy of anything on this site is entirely limited by his belief system and memory at the time of publication - neither of which should be relied on. The opinions are entirely his, except where he's changed his mind. Quotations are copyright their respective authors and whereever possible attributions have been included.