Random Stuff About Me
I live in Dunedin, New Zealand. This is a small city (population around 130,000) on the south-east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, at longitude 170° 12' 00.0" E and latitude 45° 55' 59.9" S. I have been a Macintosh computer consultant and programmer for the University of Otago for many years now. Before that I did computer support for a couple of companies in Invercargill.
I use various aliases in my virtual life. I use OJB as my name on many web sites, etc, and if that isn't available I often use OJB42 instead. My iChat and dot Mac name is OJB, my Skype name is obaxter, my ICQ number is 5049314. I use Wile E Coyote as my name in games (you can draw what conclusions you wish from that) and I have another name that I use for more nefarious activities which I don't really want to mention here.
I think of myself as a Mac generalist. I'll tackle any computer project as long as its small enough for one person to handle and can be done on my Macs (that includes just about anything). Projects I have worked on include small application development, database creation, web design, and many others.
I'm a serious amateur and mainly do landscape work, but I also enjoy photographing people (mainly family), and just about anything else. I especially like to enhance the interest of photos by using unusual lighting.
This is probably the interest I developed first (even before the big two interests I have now of computing and photography). I previously did some real amateur research, then teaching, but now stick to more casual observing. I have a Celestron C8 (with carbon fibre tube, starbright coatings and fastar compatibility) on a GP equatorial mount with goto functionality.
When I was young and naive I took UFOs and other paranormal topics seriously. But when I went to University one of my lecturers was a leading skeptical investigator of the paranormal, and then everything changed. Now I do a lot of reading and listening on the paranormal, including religion and other forms of superstition, and am highly skeptical of it all.
I developed an interest in wine many years ago after attending a wine course. Since then I have tried to take wine seriously and always make notes when trying a new wine. I have recently extended this to beer as well. I mainly concentrate on wine and beer from New Zealand, especially the South Island, which is gaining a lot of prominence internationally.
I'm not a professional scientist, but I do have University science training and like to keep up with new discoveries, especially in cutting edge physics and cosmology - by the way: I don't pretend to understand it all! I often discuss interesting new science in my blog.
I have lots of expensive gadgets, such as a high-tech cell phone, iPods, many Macintosh computers, a high power digital audio system, lots of camera equipment, etc. Previously I was a real hifi snob, but now I am more realistic and listen to the music instead of the equipment!
Cars and Planes
For many years I have been interested in cars and aircraft. I don't have the money to fly too much or to buy expensive cars, but I spend some time learning about what's new, and take a keen interest in local air shows.
My family used to have a table tennis table many years ago, and we recently discovered one in the basement at work. So I play a few games most days against some of my colleagues at work. Yes, that's the closest I get to being involved in a sport!