Alan

In A Nutshell

  • I live in England with 6 cats, 2 sons, and 1 wife.
  • I’ve lived in several other countries: Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Germany, USA.
  • I built and operate several web sites: Artzia, Eluzions, Kosmoi, diXionary, EncycloZine, Curious Minds.
  • I founded one of NASA’s first web sites, wrote the first web calculator (WebCalc), and founded the first site in XHTML (EncycloZine).
  • Most of my career has been spent as a scientific software developer (e.g. for Hubble), and latterly (since 1993), as a web developer.
  • My wife, Lucy, was a programmer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. We met by both working on the HST Data Management Facility. Our children Neil and Mark owe their existence to the HST.
  • I’ve met Tim Berners-Lee (multiple times, including job interview for W3 webmaster), Frank Drake, Jill Tarter, Kent Cullers (SETI folk, the latter 2 portrayed in Contact). I have a couple of TimBL anecdotes to tell sometime…
  • I founded the Web Developer’s Virtual Library, the first commercial web site for web developers. I sold it to internet.com. Altogether it must have made me a million dollars, but unfortunately I invested heavily in tech stocks…
  • I don’t “believe in” anything (especially Western religions), but I’m fascinated by the speculations concerning the ‘multiverse’ (i.e. multiple universes). Contrary to some opinions, this doesn’t contravene Occam’s Razor (simple theories are preferred to complex ones), because the existence of a solitary habitable universe implies extremely strong constraints, whereas the multiverse implies none.