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>> Memories of a previous life

Mon, Feb 23rd 11:18pm 2009: Misc

Cleaning up tonight I came across some crusty old documents hiding in a drawer, including a few expired driving licences and this relic: So I cut them up and chucked them in the bin, then a few seconds later fished the security licence back out. It represents such a weird (and formative) piece of my life that I thought it was worth taking a photo. Not many people who know me from the software world are aware that I spent some time around '94 and '95 working as a bouncer. I worked for New Breed Security for a while and got to meet the who's who of the entertainment world at the time, as well as a bunch of famous sportsmen and women. It was a bizarre lifestyle of getting up at lunchtime, having a few hours of free time and heading off to work in the late afternoon or mid evening, then working all through the night at a job that was 95% pure boredom, 4% pure entertainment, and 1% pure terror. A couple of my old school mates ended up working with me for a while and a couple of weeks ago when I was in Sydney for Brad's wedding I was reminiscing with him and Phil about some of the crazy stuff that happened, like the night Phil and I were working at the Conti in Sorrento with just one other security guy and expecting a quiet night with some of the locals when a football team from up the peninsula came in to spend a night boozing up after losing a big game. It didn't take long before the locals and the players clashed, and it ended up in an all-in brawl involving dozens of people and just the three of us security guys helplessly trying to restore order. I have a lasting memory of seeing Phil's back as he headed toward the exit with one footy player in a head lock on each side - which would have been fine except that his feet weren't touching the floor! Things got rough for a while and a minor amount of blood was spilled, but with the assistance of some of the locals and other random staff it all got sorted out and the players headed off to their hotel rooms to sleep off their drinks. Hotel rooms that, unluckily for them, happened to be in the Conti itself! The police attended and spent a while taking statements from us, then went with the hotel manager to drag the players back out of bed. Bad luck for them, they should have left while they had the chance. A couple of hours later I was heading for home when I was pulled over by a police car. I got out and walked back to the cop car with my wallet out and was in the process of removing my licence when I realised that the policewoman who had pulled me over was the same one that had taken my statement earlier in the evening about the brawl. As soon as she saw it was me she just said "Oh, it's you, never mind" and waved me back to my car. Strange, strange times. In a way it's what directed me to where I am now though, because it was through doing event registrations and security that I ended up starting Mission Internet, which is what became IVT. In 1994 I created an online registration system for the Bicycle Industry Trade Show, using a FileMaker Pro database and some really schlonky Applescript and either the WebStar or Quid Pro Quo webserver (I can't recall which I was using at the time). The system generated registration passes with barcodes, and I also wrote some logging software to run on an Apple Newton so trade show delegates could be scanned on entry and the entry time logged. It seems commonplace now, but doing online event registrations in 1994 was pretty much living in Jetsonville. And now, 15 years later, I'm still doing pretty much the same thing. And you know what one of our development projects is right now at IVT? Another event registration / management system. Luckily this time I don't have to write a single line of code though!

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