I'm a Professional Engineer in Ontario, Canada. I was born and educated in Dundee, Scotland, and have lived north of
Toronto since 1966. I graduated in civil engineering in 1959 from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and retired in 2004 after
45 working years, mostly involved, one way or another, with computers (at least from the mid-sixties on).
About This Site
As a telescope lets you find and examine small parts of the universe, this site is meant as a tool to help you find useful,
high quality information from the World Wide Web on selected subjects.
During my career, I was always conscious of the amount of time that my colleagues and I spent searching for information,
internal to the organization and external, some of it new, some of it just mislaid or lost ..
I realized that information is really useful to us only when we need it - at other times it's merely noise - and what we need
are personal JITIS (Just In Time Information Systems) to allow us to find information just when we need it.
I created a number of personal filing/retieval systems over the years to address this issue - some less successful than others
- and from the early 70's began to make use of computers to assist.
With the advent of the Internet and the WWW, a whole new world opened up, and I attempted to make use of this new tool.
(Though no longer maintained, my first web site still exists - though rather ugly and clumsy, it
proved a useful tool for me, and a few of my friends and colleagues, over the years.)
My experience with the Internet has been a very positive one, despite the two major issues of finding information efficiently,
and ascertaining its quality once found (as Walt Kelly's POGO once noted, "we are confronted with insurmountable opportunities")
This new site is my latest attempt to create a useful tool.
I've based it on a number of concepts/ideas:
1. KISS ('keeping it simple', I've found, is ... complicated).
If anyone out there is interested enough in the issues of practical information retrieval to comment on the site, I'd
like to hear from you. Your comments on concept, ease of use, presentation, or suggestions for additions to or deletions from the
site will be welcomed.
2. Effective searching needs interaction between the searcher and the tools - it is not a trivial task, and requires
thought and effort ... this applies equally to the 'person-in-the-street' and the expert! The site should accommodate both.
3. The search process should be efficient - I've addressed this by using a Common Search Window such that the search
parameters are persistent (if you return to the page after a search, your search terms are still there). This allows you to visit,
conveniently and sequentially, multiple selected sites.
4. The information, once found, should be of a 'good' quality - I've addressed this by compiling my sources from the
many 'Best Sites' collections 'out there', and creating my own 'Best-of the Best' lists.
How successful this approach will be remains to be seen - it's my intention to add new search categories as time and energy
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
2006 August 22