Mike on a beach
I’m Mike and I am super excited to be taking over from Georgia on the IC, answering technical questions and getting to know you all.
The plan is that I start answering new questions from this week (April 4th, 2016) and Georgia will look after any asked before then, and help me out until her final day here (April 8th). We all wish her well and while I have only met her briefly she really is, as Tim said, one of the nicest people ever.
A bit about me…
I have been working for Tim for about 3 weeks now doing various IT related jobs around the office and making changes to the helpfulbooks.co.uk website. I thought I would share some of the things I have been up to for Tim so far… and some he doesn’t know about…

  • -3 days before start. Tim asks me to pick out which laptop I would like, I picked a nice looking one and added a second monitor and some other bits. However, I failed to order the correct cable to connect the monitor… and also ended up with a French keyboard… Oops… (Photo of my awesome setup below…)
  • Day 2. I felt it would be a good idea to try and fix a buzzing noise in the lights, I then broke the bulb, nearly fell through the box I was stood on and had Laura laughing at me for quite some time (note to self: postage crate’s from Royal Mail are not for standing on!) Stay tuned for an update on this in future posts
  • Day 4. Started updating the template on the main website and fixing a few broken pages
  • Day 6. Put my changes live on the website… broke the whole website! (Tim if you are reading this I fixed it less than 4 minutes later…)
  • Day 8. Swapped an old & broken but very important network cable, connecting us all to the internet connection, for a new shiny one. No more errors! I take this as a win, and faster internet for us all!

Life before working for Tim…
I have done a few different roles in various jobs, ranging from another book publishers where I was updating and developing their website, to a local IT company where I did all sorts of random things including:

  • Web development for the NHS, John Lewis & some other well-known brands I can’t mention – think proper 5* hotel chains and a high-end leather manufacturer…
  • IT support for local businesses, fixing computers, swapping broken keyboards, working out why the internet didn’t work for ½ a local film companies offices (Someone has plugged hair straighteners in rather than the network switch!)
  • Video recording & editing for presentations, including a video of a really, really slowly moving robot which we speeded up dramatically, and a thrilling (not quite real time) car ride down a local road which was getting a bypass… Think Police action car chase from the viewpoint of a dashboard camera, but much, much slower
  • I have also done some work for Kimberly Clark, sadly I didn’t meet the Andrex puppy, or get any free samples!
Mike catching the train across Canada

Mike catching the train across Canada – more photos here

And in my spare time…

  • I really enjoy walking in The Lakes or along a nice beach, or to anywhere that sells chips…
  • I love taking photos. I won’t claim to be the best but with my trusty compact camera in one hand, a fantastic guide to the local area^ and a getting better photos book^ in my case, it is really good to be out and about outside
  • Listening to the radio is a fantastic way to learn new things and hear music I would never hear anywhere else, favourite stations include Absolute Radio, BBC R6 Music, BBC R4 & BBC World Service. Some shows I try to tune into are Just a Minute, The Infinite Monkey Cage, More or Less, 6 Music’s Jukebox & Bob Harris Country. I am excited for the launch of the new nationwide DAB stations. Top Tip: Re-tune your DAB radio now to see if you can get them. My old DAB radio is in the photo below, see if you can spot it!
  •  I (shamefully) love Chips, Crisps, Chocolate and Coke (the real stuff out of a glass bottle). I especially like Reece’s peanut butter cups which used to be a huge treat from the USA, but now Tesco sells them… A friend of mine (a doctor so it must be true… right?) once told me that anything beginning with a C does not have calories in it…
  • My last holiday. I took a friend to Canada where we spent a week in Vancouver & Vancouver Island, then caught a train part way across the nation, it felt like it stopped at every station (24hrs) arriving into Jasper in the Canadian Rockies at dusk. The highlight for me was the train trip, imagine a Poirot style dining car with white linen, but amazingly only paying $12CAD (~£6) for a full cooked English Breakfast while watching the lakes and mountains and the odd bear roll by…

My Geek Setup…
Mike's desk at work

I really am looking forward to getting to know you all, if you have any questions please leave a comment below.
Mike =)
^ Ok ok shameless plug for my friends range books and our very own Helpful Books, but I think they are really good and should be shouted about! I have got my mum the ‘Getting Better Photos’ book for her birthday later this month, just a few days after mine as it happens!
* I was offered a proper laptop stand, but this is just the right height and it hides all my mess of cables really nicely.
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