Saturday, 31 December 2005

About me

DSC_0125_crop I'm thrilling. You care. That's me at 7.

Many many moons ago I started a blog, which is now After what seemed like a long time but actually was only a few years that moved over to ScienceBlogs; but that has recently closed, so mustelid lives again. There's an archive of all the "ScienceBlogs years" at If you're interested in ancient history, this post traces my recollections of those distant days.

I contribute to wikipedia too as User:William_M._Connolley (though less nowadays, and mostly reverting nutters) which is some source of my views on things, though beware, I don't just push my own opinions. There's a wikipedia article about me (William Connolley) which isn't totally wrong. There's an article on Conservapedia which is nearly totally wrong, but is quite amusing.

I also have a "personal" blog, That mostly consists of book reviews and holiday write-ups. If you want pix, there are far far too many at Flickr.

Last and least is my personal website,, which dates from the unimaginably distant days in which people bothered to have personal websites.

Those are the public sources. I'd say: I am a software engineer, which seems to be my metier. I work for the ex-CSR part of Qualcomm in the Bluetooth firmware "division". For diversion I argue with idiots on the internet, row, run, climb mountains all too infrequently and keep bees. I have two children and one wife.

Update: ZOMG! I forgot social media, how could I? I'm on fb, heiaheia, strava and, once rarely but now rather commonly, Twitter.

You want more?

No, you probably don't. But that won't stop me. For basics, you can see the wiki article, which as I say is substantially correct, or at least it is as of this revision.

I grew up in Berkhamstead. Perhaps like many people, I didn't appreciate how pleasant my home town was. Having moved away, and been back to visit I do now appreciate it. But alas it is my home town no more. I find I haven't blogged it; the closest I come is this. Berkhamstead has the Grand Union Canal running through it, and we lived only a few minutes away from it; we could play in the "canal fields" (now alas rather tamer) and explore along it; or cycle up to the Common and Ashridge and the roads around. I went to the Boys School (as in, for those not familial with England, the Public School, which is to say the private school; England can be like that). This was a good school - it plus my native brilliance got me into Oxford - but perhaps not too inclined to foster initiative or originality. As a teenager I was fascinated by electronics and computers, and made some of my own, complete with programming in boot code I'd written by hand byte-by-byte by wiggling wires for 0 and 1. Eh, times were tough in the old days. the school was given a primitive computer it didn't know what to do with; I think I may have been the only one to use it; it could be programmed to read punched tape, but we had no punched tape, so I made my own.

I went to St Edmund Hall, Oxford, to read Mathematics. This was great, I learnt lots of maths, and ended up with a first. I also took up rowing (which my school did, but I hadn't, because the rowers at school did a thing called "circuits" that sounded like hard work). Partly in order to continue rowing, partly due to a (now seen to be) distressing lack of initiative, I stayed on to do a doctorate, in Numerical Analysis (which topic was largely a matter of chance, indeed I have a strong feeling I was cycling to Budapest when it first came up and my parents handled some of the admin) which was a mixture of maths and computing. This too was fun but although I ended up with a DPhil I can see from this distance that my heart was not truely in it; I spent too much time rowing and playing The Mines of Moria.

At the end of that time - which must be 1990 - I now needed a Job. Although I now see that the British computer industry was just getting going then, particularly around Cambridge, I missed all that, and instead joined the British Antarctic Survey to do Climate Modelling. This sounded interesting, and was, but (again, in retrospect, how easy) I got too sucked in, too settled down, and failed to raise my head and look around. But this, of course, is where I learnt my climatology and when I first started contributing to Usenet - especially sci.environment - wiki, and then blogs. There's a sort of history of early blogging at The dim and distant history of climate blogging. BAS was effectively part of the Civil Service (part of NERC, a Non-Departmental Public Body, in the jargon) and pretty good about "public understanding of science".

After 17 years, and a couple of things I will skip over, I did raise my head and decide on a change of career; this was quite a wrench. Fortunately I fell on my feet, thanks partly to helpful "pimping" from ECM, and went to Cambridge Silicon Radio. Who built Bluetooth radios controlled by processors little more powerful that the things I played with as a teenager; so it all worked out in the end. CSR got bought by Qualcomm so now I work for an American Megacorp. But they're fairly touchy (as, TBH, were CSR) so I'll say no more about that. I write C, mostly, and Python; only rarely can I say anything vaguely related to work.

Wait, there's more!

Really? Well no, not yet. But there soon will be. I'm going to write down my early involvement in wiki, before it all gets lost. I have begun: The dim and distant history of Global Warming on Wiki: Introduction. Follow links therein, if you wish.

1 comment:

  1. I'm always in search of reliability and truth especially from those gifted and who use those gifts for such purposes rather than to deceive. With great appreciation to William Connolley, who not only performs so admirably, but also clearly has these amazing records of his efforts on behalf of reliability, truth and anthropogenic global warming. wcb in St. Louis, MO (once USA).