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 are.

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 don't object.

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
Denis Howe