I left Bowthorpe school with 4 A-levels to attend the University of Kent, at Canterbury (UKC for short) in Canterbury, Kent, between 1980 and 1983. I studied Computer Science (with honours) for 3 years.
The first year was much like many "Natural Science" students, from Mathematics to Electronics or Physics, we all did the standard first year course. I still remember the mind-blowing "Grad and Curl" lectures, but much more enjoyed the computer and electronic courses we did.
My third year projects were:
• An individual project to write a flight simulator for a PDP vector graphic machine (model: DEC-GT40). Remember this was late 1970's technology, and it was an interesting project but I only managed to build the flight console dials, no outside view. But it flew!
• The group project was to simulate an iAPX432 bit slice processor. We managed to simulate many of the instructions, but like any simulator any CPU work we had was very slow!
It during the first months of the second year at university I had my first child, Emily.
Outside of studies, I was a member of the motorcycling club, but spent most hours either in the computer labs or with the computing professors and staff learning much computer industry and technology over and above the usual computer science courses. This is where I first experienced UNIX (in November 1980) and have been addicted ever since!
I also much time in the Radio Station (UKCR) as an engineer, a DJ, and on the management commitee (as the secretary as I had computer skills and access to be able to printout the minutes of the meetings, and the famous permuted index of all the records the station owned).
As an engineer,
I helped in a rebuild what was referred to as studio 1 (the smaller of the two studios)
with (at the time) very tech equipment.
My main task was to design electronics so the stop/start button of the record decks
to be accessible remotely by separate start and stop buttons at the main console.
We used to put on many outside broadcasts (as loved to do by Adam Kirtley) and helped with a number of the technical aspects of university concerts (with such bands as Human League, Toyah, and Slade).
As a DJ, I had various shows filling in for missing DJs, but eventually got my own slot in as the regular DJ of the Saturday lunchtime show (10am to 2pm).
The graduation ceremony would have been at the famous Canterbury Cathedral, but I decided not to attend since a week later I had a wedding! In hindsight I think I could have done both, and would have loved to have had the graduation experience for me, but also for my parents.
Here is UKC's alumni website.
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