About Me

I am a Northerner, I was born in Yorkshire but I have spent most of my formative years in Lancashire mainly growing up in the Ribble Valley

Since I left school I have moved around abit and I have had two careers, I have spent most of my working life as a Civil Engineer including a reasonably long stint in Local Authority.

However my passion is Computing and Technology, I am heavily involved with the North West Linux and Open Source Community. I am a member of the Blackpool Linux Users Group and I regularly attend Geek and Open Source Culture events around the North West and the UK and help to organise and run some were I can, including Barcamp Blackpool were I helped to record content from the event and help setup on the day, I have also been a member of the Crew for Oggcamp

I have been using a Linux Operating System Distribution since 2002.  I have used most of the leading Distro’s including: Mandrake (Now Mandriva), Red Hat and Ubuntu. Then in 2005 I decided I needed to get under the bonnet of Linux and after abit of advice from IRC and various Forums I moved over to Gentoo. It was a bumpy start and it was a miracle I kept going with the installation, it was over a week before I was able to get a fully working GUI and most of the credit for this needs to go to the great community on the Gentoo Forums and in the IRC Channel irc.gentoo.org/gentoo.  I continued to used Gentoo for about 3 Years and probably being intensely irritating to most of the moderating panel of the Forums constantly asking how I could do various things, only kidding these guys were a great help and I learnt alot from using the Distro.  One of the few downfalls of Gentoo was having to compile most of the operating system and applications, there were binary builds available and Gentoo does boast the ability to utilise binary packages for other distribution such as RPMs and DEBs but I rarely had a good experience with these so tended to air on the side of caution and compile everything against my system, in the end I lost patience with this approach and I decided I wanted a more simpler approach (especially as I was only on Dialup Internet at the time!!). In 2009 I moved back to Red Hat or Fedora as the community distribution had now become I stayed with it until the introduction of Gnome 3.0 Desktop Environment.  I found it difficult to work with and alot of the tools I had been used to using on 2.6 had been removed including desktop widgets and applets.  I moved onto Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity, yet another differing Desktop Environment, I was able to get on abit better with it than Gnome 3, however this didn’t last and with 12.04 saw then end of me using Ubuntu, I did briefly tried the Gnomebuntu Remix but it was fraught with bugs as there was a very small community working on it and no official support from Canonical. So I moved onto Linux Mint and that is pretty much were I’ve stayed I enjoy using the Cinnamon Desktop Environment, it’s light, easy to navigate and has some of the Gnome 2.x functionality but a fresh 21st Century look.

In 2012 I started attending the Blackpool Linux Users Group after meeting the majority of it’s members at another community event called Ucubed which was hosted at Madlab in the Northern Quarter of Manchester.  At the time it was being run by Les Pounder, Jon Spriggs, Bob Clough and Michael “Heeed” Rimicans.  In Mid 2012  Les Pounder, Tony Hughes Jon Chamberlain and I took over the recording and production of the Full Circle Magazine Podcast we regularly discuss our experiences using Linux and Open Source Software, the Latest News from those Communities.  In February 2013 Jon moved back to New Zealand, after a few guest appearances FreakyClown joined the show as a full time host in May 2013.

I have recently been undertaking training and certification including Cisco Certified Network AssociateMicrosoft Certified Systems Engineer and Information Technology Professional and am currently studying Red Hat Certified Engineer. My intention is to pursue my passion as a career and do what I do best!!

Other Interests/Hobbies

Motorcycling: the skills of motorcycle riding where once a key to my job, now it is a relaxing hobby that helps me clear my head, I may Blog about my bikes and related stuff from time to time.

Photography: I am also a keen amateur photographer and you can find my work on my Flickr profile, I will also post photos on my Blog from time-to-time.

Miniature Wargaming/Miniature Building and Painting: Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer 40,000, Flames of War and Historical Stuff, I will also be Blogging about my projects when I get chance to work on them.

Electronics: really goes hand in hand with computing for me really, I hadn’t done much for a while but with Arduino and the Raspberry Pi there is a whole new world of possibilities out there!!

Bushcraft: yes sometimes I just want to get out into the “Big Blue Room” without any Tech to hand and get back to my primeval roots. Sometimes just sat under a tarp and drink tea by an open fire just does it for me!!

Real Ale: since I could drink legally 😉 I’ve always drunk real ale, never really been a massive lager fan. I am a member of CAMRA and you will find me talking about what I’ve been drinking recently, which will more than likely creep through into the Blog


You can find me around and about on various social networks, see www.ollyclark.org for details, so you get catch me through those, I also use Skype, I’m ollyclark.org (yes I know it’s horribly proprietary but most of my non-techie friends used it so I had to be pragmatic 🙁 )

You can also email me contact at ollyclark dot org

I still use alot of Open Source IM networks, Jabber is a free open standards based IM protocol. You can get information and clients from Jabber.org, I’m ollyc@jabber.org, you’ll also find me in alot of IRC channels on the freenode.net network, I’m ollyclark.

I also have an ICQ Account from back in the day, if you still use it my UIN is: 637226699


Geek Code was invented by Robert A. Hayden in 1993 and is defined at geekcode.com, It’s pretty much died out now, but this is a throw back from my original website that I had back in the early Noughties and before that Usenet, I decided I wanted to keep The Code going, My Geek Code is below:

Version: 3.12
GCS/E d(--) s:+>:++ a C+++>$ UL++>++++$ P+>++++$ L++>++++$ E- 
W++ !N !o K? w O M@ V? PS+ PE+ Y+>++ PGP+ t+ 5 X++ R+ tv- 
b++>++++ DI++ D+ G++ e+>++++ h r+>++ y+>+++

You can read it if you know Geek Code 🙂 or if you’re lazy you can hit this link which will feed it into an automatic decoder which was written by Joe Reiss