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John : Biography

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Picture of John at fifty

John's Biography

Who am I?

Hi! I'm John Ward, aged 60 years (in the year 200) and living in the centre of Chatham in the Medway Towns area of Kent, England. I am a technologist (primarily in electronics) by inclination, and over the years have specialised in various "techie" subjects such as hobbyist electronics, sound recording and other audio, ciné and still photography, and computing.

Former jobs

My jobs have generally been involved with one or another area of technology, and I usually change topic when I move job, occasionally even to a non-technological position. I have been involved with electronics development, hi-fi and audio recording, and most recently IT support. Note how my work has often been similar to what I have done as a hobby/interest, though not necessarily at exactly the same period.

What now?

I was made redundant from Central Government in mid-1996. More than two years later I managed to get back into work, and once again I have moved into a different area of work, mainly because my previous subject (computer/IT support) has become much less interesting—not here at home, but elsewhere, as it's virtually exclusively "Wintel" computers and systems. One-horse races are always boring, and the mainstream computer market is effectively one such, dominated by Intel processors (and their clones) and Microsoft software—not exactly fascinating stuff.

Computers

Here I have mainly RISC OS (formerly Acorn) computers and a Husky Hunter ("indestructible") portable. I recently added a Wintel-plus-RISC OS dual-system portable, the Wintel part mainly to allow access to the Council's internal systems when this is finally made possible, very soon now.

So, to my present job

Then I went into retail, working as the night-time Greeter (non-Scottish type of "Greeter" by the way!) at the local Asda Superstore, of all things, but I left in late 2001 to recharge my batteries, so to speak, in order to concentrate on Council work.

Voluntary activities

I have worked in a voluntary capacity for the Kent Talking Newspapers at the Kent Association for the Blind headquarters in Maidstone and hope to do so again whenever I can, although since I became a Councillor I have not been able to do this very much.

KAB event: Sightline launch

This was an event at the KAB: the launch of Sightline, a national project that provides publications on CD-ROMs so they can be spoken by computer to visually-handicapped "readers".

I have been involved in the local Residents Association and have also been elected as a councillor in the local Council Elections that were held on 4th May 2000. I left the Council in March 2008, but might return one day if I am selected to stand and then elected by the people in the ward.

Likes

My likes (apart from the "special interests" for which there are pages on this site) include dining well (with some home cooking involved) and sharing such culinary delights as we have here; reading; walking/exploring; computing (RISC OS of course!) and music of various kinds, though rarely songs: I prefer any words to be separate from the music. One exception is the work of Neil Innes. Some of my favourite television programmes are highlighted in this section of the site.

Idiosyncracies

I am something of a punster, a reasonable impressionist, and have performed on stage in a number of different parts/types (plays, monologues, M.C.) as well as behind the scenes in several capacities. I have also written some poetry.

My Christian faith

My strong Christian faith (my beliefs, my church, a page of prayer requests and a few links) is covered in some detail in the pages accessible from here.

Pets

I am owned by one or more cats—Scooter who is a permanent resident, and any others currently staying with us. At present there are no others living here, though in early November 2001 I was nearly followed home by a kitten who seemed to think I was its mother.

For several years I have been taking rescued or rejected cats, most of whom have moved on to permanent homes elsewhere and one has died of old age (Sooty had an excellent life, though!). Now it's just Scooter who shares my lovely home with me, and you can see him on Scooter's pages, along with other cats such as Lady and Lucky, and for dog lovers there is a separate page of pictures of Pip, our Corgi, who lived with us some years ago and who was a special friend to me.

Picture of John: Cheers! Cheers!