What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
I left school at 16 without a clue what I was going to do. I got a job as an office junior with a wonderful little IT company called Micronology, which specialised in connecting high-speed laser printers to ICL mainframes. Within two years I was working with the sales team and the rest is history.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Planes, automobiles, push bike, go cart, tram, skateboard - in fact any mode of transport APART from TRAINS! I should explain, due to an office relocation 18 months ago I have to commute to central London on the train and I hate every single second.
Which fictional TV character is borrowing ideas from your life?
David Brent from The Office. It's quite uncanny how closely this character resembles me - it's as if he was modelled on me and, in particular, my management skills.
What is your favourite joke?
An old Mike Read gag. 'I went round to my father's house for the first time in a while and said, "Wow, Dad, your ceilings are very high", and he responded: "Yes, I know, your mother wanted two rooms knocked into one!".'
I was with my teenage son Luke a few days ago, desperately trying to get some kind of conversation going, and I told him that joke. He roared with laughter. The fact he was laughing with me rather than at me for the first time in ages made the joke an absolute favourite.
Is IT well taught in schools?
Based upon the fact that my children are both very IT-literate and have been since they were nine or ten, I would have to say yes. However, I think typing is a skill that should be made compulsory for all children to learn, because in the IT age the ability to touch type is such a massive benefit.
I took typing lessons at school and it has been a huge asset to me. An email that takes many people ten minutes would take me two. Over a year, the time saving equates to days if not weeks.
Print or online news?
Online news more and more, simply because you have to be an expert in origami to read a printed newspaper on my train!
Best business trip ever?
I went to Las Vegas for the first time in 1998 for the Comdex trade show. Myself and a colleague were upgraded to Virgin Upper Class on the flight going out, because of a ticket mix up, and we had the most incredible four days with about eight hours sleep between us. The thing I love about Vegas is that it is what it is - a playground for adults - and it doesn't pretend to be anything else.
If you had a week to live, how would you fill it?
First class flight to Vegas, staying at the Four Seasons with a pocket full of dollars!
What sport should be in the Olympics?
Darts. A British Olympics deserves a British sport (and we stand a chance of winning).
What could prompt you to give it all up and join the revolution?
"In my dreams ..."
...Ryan Giggs is English.
What was the best holiday you ever went on?
My first holiday abroad in 1977. I was eight years old and my parents rented a motor home (well, a Ford Transit with a sink) and the five of us spent four weeks driving across Europe on a wonderful adventure that I can still remember vividly.
...queue behind behind Satan at the post office. The Devil takes many forms.
What would your superpower be?
Fly, so I don't have to get the wretched train to work anymore.
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