doug packer... optimising your business platforms
30 years experience in ICT related projects and subjects
growing up - or not
I'm not so good at writing about myself. My passion(s) is or are others: My Family, People, Helping, Books, Creativity, Technology and more; Family first, but the rest not necessarily in that order. So, to give you an idea how I think and for you to consider if I am the right person to help people with their management, technology or whatever, here is a little background. At the end, if you get that far, you'll get to see what I do. It's the journey that counts as much as the destination.
My Wife Rachel is simply a wonderful person and I get a lump in my throat when I write about her. Rachel's first passion is her horse that she loves. Her horse is called Lusso - she's beautiful. As a result there have been great changes in our lives. Rachel is now starting to compete on Lusso which is coming along well. I come somewhere down the line simply because horses can't look after themselves. Rachel is a very successful trainer in IT and other business tools.
We have two daughters Vikki and Jessica, both by former wives and therefore different mothers (both of whom I remain on good terms with).
Vikki studied an Honours degree course in Design & Art Direction at Metropolitan Manchester University and after a year of living in Manchester post university, returned home with enough stuff to fill a house. She is now living in London and is a very successful freelance designer to some big names. Some of her pictures have been used in magazines.
Jessica, tall slim and somehow so bright I can't imagine where she gets it from studied English Literature at Exeter University on the Falmouth campus. She got a good degree and only just missed a "First" by 1 or 2 marks. She has now entered law school and is studying law part time whilst working as an Internet Marketing Executive and would like to become a lawyer. She's so enthusiastic and so busy. Jess visits us frequently for a big hug as we're a very "huggy" family.
A bit about me
Then there's me. I come from a poor family; my dad rode a bicycle and collected insurance premiums sometimes as little as sixpence per week from some people, but we had to keep up appearances: so it was South African tinned peaches with cream and ultra-thin bread and butter for tea on Sundays. We never had a car or even a telephone until I put one in. Mum, who died over twenty years ago came from South Africa where my great grandfather was a canon in the church missionary. My great grandmother even had a town named after her: Carolina.
Dad, apart from being an insurance man, was a war hero. He was decorated with the Military Medal "for bravery in the field", for a string of acts including going into a minefield to rescue two soldiers who had wandered in and been "blown up". Funny thing, as his stretcher bearing partner explained: when they both prepared to exit the minefield, Jack (the other end of the stretcher) said "which way out?" Dad said, "the same way you came in", Jack said "I've no idea." At that, Dad said, "right, follow me" and they just strode out of the minefield carrying their injured charges, trusting to luck and faith.
Strange background - I started my career as a research chemist in polymers; I had a large laboratory to myself where repetitively I would work on copolymerisation: Getting two types of monomer (liquid components from which polymers are created) to react and polymerise together to form a synergistic set of characteristics such as increased surface hardness or easy formability. Funny how often I ended up with a big solid foamy mess. After leaving the warmth of the laboratory I spent a while in the plastics industry, moving towards sales and product management. Then one day it all came to an end. The Germans said they had no spare material for the UK market (I was product manager at that time) so I was free - to do whatever I wanted. No cash though, as I'd only joined the company a few months previously. Interesting times - I was due to get married the next month. What did we do? We flew to Malta on honeymoon and left the worries for the return.
I've always loved wood and carpentry; it was my hobby alongside the constant necessity of fixing the cars. When I couldn't afford to buy furniture I made it. When my cousin wanted to restore a Victorian drawer unit, I did it. So that's how I got into IT and the computer industry. Somewhat tenuous link you say! Well, I did some interesting things including turning an architects dream of a mosaic into reality. He dreamt up the idea and I put it into practice. It still stands after over 30 years - in the Nat West bank in Shaftsbury Avenue just off Piccadilly. About 20ft high and goes up an escalator to the second floor.
Thats when I got into IT.