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"As seen on BBC TV"

See my talk to AMSAT-UK Select AMSAT-UK '08 Lect 22 from the drop down list, click on the Select button, and click on the Play button on the central video screen.
Direct FLV download (94MB, but no longer available).

I have always been keen on technical things - starting with electronics and Amateur Radio, through all aspects of Personal Computers, to weather satellites and the environment - which I not only find very interesting but these interests have also provided me with a job!  Having recently involved in the forefront of mainstream PCs - which meant the Web, Windows servers and networking, deciding on the company's future strategy - I used to earn a living as an independent software developer and consultant, but am now retired.  Should you want to say "thanks" for any of my software, here is my Amazon Wish List or you could send me an Amazon Gift Certificate for david-taylor@blueyonder.co.uk

I still enjoy presenting papers, and managed to get a paid trip to the DECUS Europe conference in Dublin by presenting a paper on implementing Electronic Mail in my previous company.  More recently, we both attended the 2002 EUMETSAT conference which was also in Dublin, the 2004 meeting in Prague, the 2006 meeting in Helsinki, the 2008 Darmstadt meeting, and the 2009 Bath conference.  I have spoken at two Remote Imaging Group events, in Dover and Leicester, and at a Dutch Satellite Workgroup meeting in Utrecht.  In September 2010 I presented a paper on Weather Satellite Image processing (zipped download) at the 1st National Amateur Observers Symposium organised by the Royal Meteorological Society.  In February 2004, I was a specially invited speaker representing the UK at the EUMETSAT "MSG goes operational" event in Darmstadt, and I am a regular speaker at the GEO (Group for Earth Observation) Symposia in Leicester and the AMSAT UK meetings in Guildford.  I recently help organise the GEO visit to EUMETSAT Headquarters in Darmstadt, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.  Other, more local, excursions have been with the Edinburgh Geological Society to various parts of Scotland.

I'm quite happy to be a hanger-on, sorry, accompanying person, when Cecilia attends James Joyce conferences, since they are a good crowd and computers do come into Joyce studies.  I skip her mid-winter Palaeontology  conferences though - not quite the right time of year for the obligatory post-conference field trip, is it?

Und ich habe Deutsch gelernt, aber leider habe ich mehr vergessen!


In October 2012 I was diagnosed as having Crohn's disease.  This can cause bowel inflammation and despite various drug treatments in late October 2015 I developed perforation of the bowel.  I have been in hospital following emergency surgery (ileostomy) on 2015-Oct-31.  Dec-30: my surgeon is optimistic that the ileostomy can be reversed, and this should be in Spring 2016.   

As I have now developed an occasionally rather painful hernia, he is hoping to fix that at the same time.  2016-March-12, could not urinate, so catheter fitted at the local A&E, and given some antibiotics.  Operation was on Thursday 2016-March-24 successfully fixing the hernia and reversing the ileostomy, and I am now back at home.  

Only seven days after what is considered a major operation (I spent four hours in the recovery room!) I was still quite weak and taking things very easy, but things have gradually got better since then.  On 2016-May-10 I saw the Urology nurses, but the catheter had to be replaced as I failed to urinate without it.  I now have a 16 Ch (larger diameter) catheter with was even more uncomfortable, but I got used to it - they couldn't fit a smaller size 12 catheter I used to have.  2016-May-24 got the shakes which is a sign of severe infection, so went to the doctors who sent me straight to hospital, where they changed the catheter (with difficulty, three people attempted and it was a Urology registrar who managed it in the end) gave me antibiotics intravenously, and sent me home.  

2016-May-25 saw my colorectal surgeon and he was completely happy, although I found it ominous that he said "until the next time" as I left!  A urology consultant appointment happened on June-13, where it was decided that I would undergo a TURP operation to reduce the narrowing of the urethra.  A 3-monthly catheter replacement on 2016-Aug-29 also required a urology specialist to push forcefully enough to get the replacement catheter in.  Although the wait was supposed to be 12 weeks maximum for the TURP, I've still not got a date although I checked and I am still on the waiting list.  2016-Nov-25 was another catheter replacement requiring a wire guide this time - painful and produced blood.  I don't know whether another change is even possible.  When will I get this TURP operation?  Latest estimate is January 2017, but nothing heard, nor could I get a date estimate when I checked.  Due for another catheter change in February, when I attended the hospital clinic I was rather more forceful  in strongly requesting to know what was going on.  They checked, and discovered there was a confusion over who was going to perform the op, and I now have a date of 2017-Mar-01 (St. David's Day!).  The TURP operation has been completed and it's looking good at the moment, although it took a couple of months for the internals to recover completely.  The material removed showed no signs of cancer.  

Following an MRI scan in late March 2017, it's been discovered that some 10 cm of my bowel is inflamed (due to the Crohn's disease) and after seeing the consultant on 2017-April-20 it's been decided to restart my treatment with Humira which I've been on before for Crohn's.  

Following an MRI scan, I had another colonoscopy on 2017-Oct-19.  I find these interesting if you are allowed to follow on the screen, but the preparation isn't something to which I look forward!  Well, that was most revealing - I could see the inflammation of the bowel and it looked just like any other inflammation.  Diverticula were also present near the end of the colon (diverticula are small bulges or pockets that can develop in the lining of the intestine as you get older) and it was really helpful to be able to visualise these.  The consultant called these "wear and tear"!  Post colonoscopy I've still had to keep near to the loo for several hours, though!  

The provisional conclusions are that the Humira drug isn't working well for me (after all, I was on a double dose of Humira when the bowel perforation developed!), so perhaps a drug change is needed, and that the diverticula are not currently a problem.  An increase in fibre and more fruit and vegetables seems to be recommended to help with those.  Next step is to start on vedolizumab (Entyvio) which targets the bowel inflammation specifically.  Vedolizumab was started Monday, 2018-Jan-08 - I have to attend the hospital for infusions of this drug, rather than the fortnightly/weekly self administered injections of Humira, so not as convenient.  No obvious side-effects after week 0 (2018-Jan-08), nor weeks 2 or 6.  Next is 2018-Apr-16, week 14, and a consultant review in May.  It seems that the Vedolizumab may not be working as expected, so although I had a further infusion on 2018-June-11, the experts will review my case and decide how to proceed, and I am now on a 4-weekly dose rather than the usual 8-weekly.  Following a consultation in December, I had another MRI scan in early January 2019 which showed a stricture, so I am trying another drug - Ustekinumab (Stelara), and the Entyvio has been stopped.  By October-2019 my calprotectin level had risen, so I have moved onto 4-weekly Stelara, which may be having slight side-effects, but the calprotectin is dropping.  A video consultation in September 2021 has been my most recent, and I had  another MRI in May 2021 - the outcome being that there was no degradation.  In August  2021 my Calprotectin level was below the 250 mg threshold (204 mg), and CPR was also good.  A possible reduction of the Stelara frequency was mentioned but not yet actioned.  However, a later October check showed 327 mg so what that may, or may not, signify is yet to be discovered.  The calprotectin has continued to rise slowly, and an actual appointment at the hospital in August 2022 resulted in an MRI scan in late September.  Consultant appointment booked for October-06.

On a recent visit to my GP he commented how deaf I had become.  He referred me to the local Audiology Clinic who tested me on  2019-Nov-05, and I got two rather neat hearing aids on 2019-Feb-19.  They are free, as are replacement batteries and all my other treatments, on the UK NHS (National Health System).  Thanks, NHS!

Following the 2020 coronavirus pandemic I have been declared as being at extreme risk, so it's no going out for me.  Whether I'll get out before the Winter isn't currently obvious (I didn't).  I do miss lunches (no restaurants open either, of course) and trips to town, but as I've been working from home for the past 20 years in that respect it's not greatly different.  I've now had three primary doses of COVID vaccine (two Astra-Zenica and one Pfizer) and two Moderna boosters..  Another booster (and 'flu) is booked for October-09 2022 - a race day!

If you have Crohn's or know someone who does, please consider joining the PREdiCCT study - it may be available at a hospital near you.

As I will be taking things more easily, please do not expect e-mails and orders to be answered immediately, but I am continuing to develop my software.  My health must come first - I am sure you will understand. 

How did we make these pages?

We still use Microsoft's FrontPage 2000 for Web page creation.  Computing-wise we've moved on from Z80 S100 systems (at least with a 16MB hard disk) through to his and hers Pentium systems, now multi-core running Windows-10 with 2-32 GB memory.  With these computers I've written various programs some of which I am prepared to give away, sometimes with the source code so that others may learn from them.  I might ask you to pay for support, though!

Some of my photos

Events 1999

Total Eclipse Munich

2006 July - GEO meeting & Cow Parade sample - Edinburgh
July - GEO and AMSAT-UK - Guildford
2007 July - GEO Visit to Darmstadt (multiple contributors)
December - Edinburgh-Muses Xmas Lunch
2008 May - GEO Symposium - Leicester
July - GEO at AMSAT-UK
September - Werkgroep Kunstmanen meeting
October - 60th Birthday
2009 Antarctic adventure on MS Fram
2010 Northern Norway Winter Northern Lights holiday

GEO Management
Team Meetings

  2007  2008  2009 (with ENVISAT Setup)

Some PowerPoint Presentations

Weather Satellites
2010-August - RMetS, Reading
2014-April - GEO, Leicester
2014-September - EUMETSAT, Darmstadt
2016-April - GEO, Leicester
Amateur Radio
2019-July - DMR Breakfast, Edinburgh - SDRangel software
2019-November - DMR Breakfast, Edinburgh - low-cost RF tools, nanoVNA
2020-October - DMR Breakfast, Edinburgh - ADALM-PLUTO & SATSAGEN

Copyright © David Taylor, Edinburgh   Last modified: 2022 Oct 01 at 05:16