About Me.

My real name is Jon Westgate, I was born in the City of Gloucester (UK) on the 1st of December 1971.

I had a relatively normal childhood. I struggled though the English education system until I was fourteen, when it was discovered that I had dyslexia. This discovery for me came as a great relief because I just couldn't understand why I found reading, writing and spelling so difficult when others seemed to manage with relative ease. I also couldn't understand how others were able to gain so much information from books because anything that I read seemed to get lost somewhere. The only successful method that I found was to tape-record myself reading and then to listen to it afterward. At the age of sixteen I managed (somehow) to come away from school with 3 GCSE grade C (the highest grade that I was allowed to take) and a few E's and F's.

From an early age I became interested in how things worked. Most of the toys that my parents and others gave me as Christmas or birthday presents, ended up in bits, destined never to work again. My exploits with technology weren't all destructive; I did manage to construct from Lego (my favorate toy of all time), a working record player. Quite an achievement for a 9 year old kid.

My father being an electrical engineer for the Post Office (GPO as it was known at the time), tried to encourage me to learn about electronics. He started to teach me about simple lamp, switch, fuse and battery circuits. I soon got very bored with all of this. It wasn't until my father decided to build a colour TV from a kit that came via mail order that my interest in electronics was rekindled. Although it took my father three years to build this TV, I still remember the day he switched it on and we watched the 'Incredible Hulk' in colour. It was amazing to think that all of those tiny parts, when assembled together made a TV. From that point in my life I decided that I wanted to know about the magic of soldering little components together to make something useful.

The first electronic project that I made was a crystal radio. I assembled it using parts from some old valve radios that I had taken apart previously and I used a plastic ice cream tub to house it. It worked fairly well, although it wasn't quite the circuit that was written down in the book. I remember trying to explain to my mum how it didn't need a power supply and that we could therefore listen to the radio during a power cut. Of course, I didn't really understand how it worked at the time, I was just glad that it did.

As time went on my electronics projects grew more adventurous. I discovered relays (electronic switches) and all the fun of building logic circuits using relays, set/reset latches etc and simple alarm systems that used circuit break triggering. It was about that time that I got interested in CB (Citizens Band radio). I starting talking to people on the CB and even managed to chat to a German CB'er by bouncing a signal off the ionosphere (this was something that was rather rare) and I was quite proud of it.

Another turning point in my life came one summer when my family and I went camping in the Lake District and I met another amateur radio enthusiast. What amazed me was that he could take a thirty-foot fishing pole, wind some ordinary wire round it, stuff the wire into the back of his radio and he was instantly able to talk to some guy in Australia. I decided that I wanted to do that as well and so a year later, after much studying, I took and passed my Radio Amateur's Exam (RAE). I sent off for my license and was issued the call-sign G1ZXC. My parents, (also pleased with my achievement), bought me some radio equipment in the form of a Yeasu FT290R 144MHz portable transceiver. The problem that I found was that there was nobody in my age group to talk to.

Two years later having left school and being employed on my first job placement in the electronics trade, I sold my radio kit and gave up amature radio. My first job placement was with a company called Scantronics, who were based in the Forest of Dean and manufactured alarm systems. I worked there for a little under 2 years before leaving to work in the ultra low frequency (ULF) radio research and development department of Meco Mining. Whilst there I spent two very happy years helping to develop radio systems for underground use before being made redundant. Two weeks later I was back in employment with a company called Switch Electronics Ltd.

Switch, as everyone called them, specialised in repairing domestic home entertainment gear ie TV's, HIFI's, VCR's and camcorders. I was employed as an audio engineer and was expected to repair anything that made unwanted noise. As time went on I branched out into camcorders and microwave ovens. The majority of the products we repaired were Sony branded. Sony liked to encourage good quality repairs and held yearly service competitions. I think it was the third year of working for Switch that I was pressganged into entering one of these competitions, so off I went up to Sony's UK headquarters to participate. The rules were explained to us and then we began. Our challenge was to find three faults on a minidisc Walkman in the quickest time, with an over all limit of one hour. I found the first fault immediatly, twenty minutes later I found the second one, replaced the faulty component and it worked. The unit powered up and would accept a disc. The third fault was "no sound." This took me thirty-five minutes to find. I took my findings to the adjudicator and was handed the spare part. Two minutes left, I went back to my bench and started to unsolder the faulty part. I'd just soldered in the replacement component when they called a halt to the competition. No-one finished, but to my astonishment I'd managed to get further than anyone else, I couldn't believe it! I'd won an all expenses paid trip to Milan to compete in the European finals. I didn't win at Milan, in fact I came about 23rd place out of 28 but that didn't really matter because I'd won the UK title and that was all that really mattered to me.

Two years later, I left Switch to go an work in the computer industry. I went to work in a small computer company called 'Reference Point' that wrote and sold electronic point-of-sale software. More than just a computerized till, this software can almost run your business for you. It was at Reference Point that I really discovered Linux. I had played with various versions of Linux before and was using it at home as a way of sharing my dialup Internet connection, but I didn't really know much about its inner workings or how to configure it. Whilst I  worked at Reference Point I learn't about routing and other Internet things like DNS, I also learn't a lot about the electronic goods retail trade. I worked for Reference Point for a little over one year, I mostly enjoyed it, strangely the best and hardest working period there was during my final month.

The reason for leaving Reference Point was because I had been head-hunted by a Croydon based Computer consultant firm, 'Top Hat Computing Ltd.' So I packed my bags and headed for London, well Croydon.

London was a total shock to my system; tall buildings scrape the sky. Life here goes on twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Cars are almost useless due to the massive volume of traffic. If you need to get anywhere, you have to take trains or busses. Back home in Gloucester, busses took so long to get anywhere and seldom ran at regular intervals or at sensible times that I never used them. The London transport system, even if badly over crowded at times does work quite well, compared to Gloucester anyway.

So began my time working for Top Hat or THC as we all called it. It consisted of traveling to customers sites and ether advising them on how to go about fixing a problem or getting on and fixing it. During my time at THC I visited many clients, but by far the biggest and most impressive was the BBC. I got to work in many departments at the BBC and made some good friends there. I even managed to sneak a peak at some TV shows being made for the Millennium.
I really enjoyed my time working at THC, in particular the great outings and trips we used to have organised by the company social club.
As with all good things my time came to an end at THC as I was again head hunted  only this time for both my skills in both electronics, Linux and general networking by a mysterious web development company.

The Name of this company is Mysterious Ways Ltd.
I'm employed here to look after networking and server maintainance, I've been here since May 2000 and although the work can be very hard and long, I'm enjoying it very much.

On The 15th April 2002 I met with my first girlfriend Sarah. We met via the internet and I took her out to alton towers, we both came back with bad sunburn, having very much enjoyed ourselves. I didn't plan on a relationship but love blossomed and I am now very much in love with Sarah.

Well it seems that all good things come to an end and my working at Mysterious Ways is no exception. The distance between myself and Sarah has gotton to be too much for me. So I quit my job at Mysterious Ways and I'm looking for new job closer to York so that I can be closer to her.

On a sureal note you might be interested to know that I actualy quit Live on Virgin Radio, on the Daryl Denhem Breakfast show. as part of the Murphys Competition

You can listen to a recording of it here in MP3 or higher quality OGG/VORBIS

After a year my life got turned upside down, I moved back in with my parents in Gloucester, Sarah and I have decided (with great sadness) that its best we just stay friends but not have a closer realtionship as its currently impossable to spend the time together that a closer relationship requires.

In June 2003 I joined MicroCore Microcore A small computer firm based in longlevens in Gloucester.
MicroCore turned out to be great fun. We got a great contract which envolved going out to lots of sites in the UK and staying in lots of hotels. I prity much know every Premer TravelInn in the east of England.
In December 2004 Eden and I discovered each other.

This relationship took a while to establish its self, slowly emerging from IRC chatting to a few short very long distance phone calls. Then Skype and finaly after getting fed up of leaving my PC on over night and due to wanting to learn about it I set up an asterisk box Asterisk is a great open source PBX. I setup phone extentions in Eden's shop and Home. I also setup 2 accounts with Sipdiscount Who were offering Free calls to both the USA and UK at the time. I even setup an voicemail service for Eden's shop that would email her the messages. This worked Great for nearly 2 years. I visited Eden 3 times so far and enjoyed every visit.

I still don't understand what happened next and I'm not going to even go there, but serfice to say 3rd parties started feeding me missinformation. This missinformation lead to doubts about my relationship with Eden. This same missinformation caused Eden heaps of trouble at her end. So in December 2006 We kindof drifted apart.

January 2007.
I'm still getting the odd instant message from Eden. Mostly bad news from her end. I don't know what to do, its all so very sad. I miss her like crazy. Our bonds of trust are broken and I'm helpless to do anything with or for her.

February 2007
Much as it pains me to say it, I've given up on Eden. We've hardly spoken in the last 4 months so I guess its over...

Whilst all this stuff was going on state side I have gotton back into lasertag. Its a great way to keep fit and I could really do with that :P I'm quite interested in the internal workings of lasertag. Check out my lasertag pages for more info.

February 19th 2007 I've found a great dating website. Pity Most of the folks on it seem to not reply to my messages. I don't understand why people just cant come out and say "thanks but no thanks" or just plain old "no". Guess they are shy. I'm prity shy in real life, but for some reason I'm able to talk my heart out to a computer.

March 11th 2007 I got feed up with my website after leaving it stagnate for 5 years I finaly have decided to update it (whilst waiting for emails from perspective dates {if they ever come}). So here you have the start of the new look. Other pages will be online shortly. Hmm this is starting to look like a blog..

If anyone reading this knows can they let me know what the font is that I used for the title of this page. Its so long ago that I did this site I have forgotton it and I can't find it anywhere :(