I was born in County Durham in England on 28 days approval. My father worked down the mines - which for an open-heart surgeon was a pretty silly thing to do, and because of this it was not long before the spectre of poverty loomed large. On 13th August of that year, my mother had to put the cat down after we were forced to sell the living-room carpet. We were also forced to apply for a council improvement grant to have the house demolished, and we could no longer afford a stand-in to do all the dangerous jokes.
At school I proved that I had an IQ equal to none, and I would visit my grandmother's grave and scoff when she told me ghost stories. It was at school that I had an "A" in English, a "B" in history and a "C" in maths - the teacher told me it was the worst spelling that she had ever seen. Around the same time I showed my abilities in the sciences, and took pure meths at "A"-level.
I went to Newcastle Upon-Tyne University, where I studied Computer Science in lieu of suicide, and after three unremarkable years, I graduated with a BSc in 1983, and then for 10 months I occupied a position held by many graduates these days - I became unemployed.
I started work at the University of Liverpool Computer Science Department on the 30th April 1984 as a member of the technical support staff. My main areas of interest include user interfaces (particularly on the Macintosh), mobile and ubiquitous computing, offering assistance and advice particularly on Macs and things iOS, making sure the department's web pages are kept up to date (though not the ones you're reading at the moment), and studying the prolongation of adolescence beyond all previous limits. In 1994 I completed an MPhil (I graduated on 12th December 1994) - yes, that's right - "Phil the MPhil" (Click here to see video of a (thankfully) small section of the ceremony!)