About Daniel

[Photo of Perran dressed as a medieval ship's captain]

Hi. My name is Daniel Dickinson (f.k.a Perran f.k.a Dox, while online) and you've entered my weird and wonderful world. For those who are curious, I have finally completed a Baccalaureate in Computing taken at the University of Guelph [redacted: personal]

I must admit that, since working pretty much full time as a programmer, my view on what role school and experience plays in making a good programmer has changed. I used to think that the small projects that I worked on for computer science courses represented enough experience to say I knew a language. Now I know that, while small course projects are enough to begin to get a feel for a language, experience has an important role to play in being able to quickly formulate good solutions in a given language. I believe that in school one covers a much broader spectrum of topics than will be applied in a given workplace, which is why some students complain the courses aren't relevant enough, but I think a broad topic range is actually a good thing and that making a course focus too much on specifics, and not enough on understanding principles, limits one's ability to apply knowledge from one domain to another.

Ongoing research, especially in a field as young and computer and information science, is an important activity I to which I hope to contribute. I also happen to feel there is no substitute for experience in the trenches, and therefore want to work in industry as well in order to better understand my chosen profession.

At present the computer pages I have are only a few technical documents I have written including two how-to guides that I wrote when I was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Guelph. I also have done up a web page with the specs on some 486 machines which were rescued by friends of mine (and of which I now own a few).  I found and listed the specs so that we could get the machines into useful shape, and to have a template for the pages I want to make of all the computers I maintain, and as I build new systems for family or friends. With all the systems I have and intend to build I will have a veritable computer zoo. And finally, I have recently added my fourth year A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) course project.

Other things I do include roleplaying and reading science fiction and fantasy novels.  I am the past president of FLASH (the University of Guelph's club for Fantasy, Literature, Anime, Science Fiction, and Horror).