Why do I do it?
I started because I couldn't find anything similar available for FTP
(this was in the days before even Gopher, let alone WWW) and because I
wanted to play with net software. I carry on because I enjoy
providing a service that's used by thousands of people around the
world. It's great to get all the positive feedback and help from the
net and to find out what the hot topics in the world of computing
I've learned a hell of a lot about computing, comms, maths and other
interesting subjects, thanks to many excellent contributions from the
knowledgeable and kind people on the net.
It's been amazing watching the access statistics growing as more and
more people get on the Internet. The dictionary aims to help new
Internet users cope with all the terminology, buzzwords, and acronyms
they run up against.
Apart from all those important reasons, it looks good on my CV.
Why don't you try to make money from it?
When people hear how popular FOLDOC is, they often say "Why don't you
charge for it?" or, more recently, "Why don't you sell advertising
space?" Initially I was just not interested in doing this and I
didn't need the money. In about 2009 I was approached by an
advertising agent with a good offer and decided it might be fun.
After discovering that college policy now allowed advertising, I
signed up. When that deal ran out, I did what everyone else does and
started showing Google ads.
I hope that all the good folk who've helped make FOLDOC what it is
What qualifies you as an expert on computing?
I'm more of a jack-of-all-trades than an expert. I'm 49 years old and
have worked on or studied many aspects of computing, including VLSI
design, electronics, logic design, processor architecture, parallel
processing, assembly language, BASIC, C, Lisp, Prolog, functional
programming languages, natural language processing, AI, Visual Basic,
Java, Perl, networking, Unix kernel hacking, Windows registry hacking,
COBOL, VMS, umpteen Unixes, RISC OS, NEXTSTEP, George 9, DOS, Windows
and quantum mechanics. I've worked in industrial research and
development, academic research, and corporate IT. Having said that, I
rely on help from contributors and users for the vast majority of the
knowledge contained in FOLDOC.
Last update: 2010-02-24 23:48