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    Hi, I'm Gerard Clerkin.

    I'm a computer programmer, which means I write instructions (code) that tell computers how to do stuff. You may well have no interest in that, so I won't go on here about how much I love coding, etc. I may mention it again though ...

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    About this site

    I recently moved from England to the USA, took a nice long sabbatical in Florida, then took up residence in the New York metropolitan area.

    Having a keen interest in web technology, I sacrificed some of that Florida chill time to delve into a framework that is rather excellent for building web sites that work on a wide range of devices, including smartphones. This site is the result. Not much to it yet but it may grow into a collection of gadgets and things, be they useful, informative, or trivial.

    Most useful gadget thus far is the Webster's dictionary. It's the 1913 version, so you won't find a definition for "twitter", but it has a smart lookup interface that sets it apart from other online versions (useful to solving crossword puzzles). While scanning it for a name that works for this site, I came across the word factotum, which I like a lot, probably more than I yet realize ...

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    A person whose job involves doing many different types of work.

    Long story short

    I was born on a small farm in the Border Region of Ireland and started driving a tractor when I was eight. We had cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and fruit trees, but not all at the same time. My father was also a cabinet maker. One of the first things he taught me was that you can't cut glass with a hacksaw.

    My first primary school had one teacher and ten pupils. The heating system comprised an open fire and hot cocoa.

    I attended the University of Limerick and got an Ordinary Bachelor's Degree in Engineering. The degree may have been ordinary but the times were extraordinary. Pink Floyd released The Wall, punk rock came and went and Rory Gallagher played the Mountain Dew festival in Macroom. All while the campus computer, housed in its stately glass room, whirled it's tape drives and spat out reams of stripey paper.

    My brief career in engineering ran concurrent with the rise and fall of the New Romantics. Having decided neither was for me, I followed my daddy's footsteps back to carpentry, eventually owning and operating a small woodworking shop, designing and making furniture for discerning clients in and around London.

    Then along came the internet and it changed everything. For anyone who wanted to become a computer programmer, the door was open. Ably encouraged by my great friend AC, I entered the fledgling world of first-generation web site building. From there, I moved on to more serious programming and never looked back.