WRITING AND SOFTWARE BY IAN SHARPE
Click the About button on the left if you want to know about the author and why this site is here. Titles in the list below are clickable links.
Apply my presentational tweaks to your everyday work for more professional-looking documents that are easier to read.
Print diary/planner pages with two months per a sheet of paper.
Explore random numbers that don't repeat, randomly ordered lists and generating lottery numbers.
Can you beat the roulette wheel? I test a popular system, and so can you with my Martingale simulator.
Sometimes it's easy, sometimes impossible. I share my discoveries and the drastic step I took to get what I wanted.
A small program available for download enables you to set up an auto-dial phone book on your desktop.
Describes an Excel workbook with macros to randomly arrange square tiles.
This download enables you to set screen resolution, colour depth and refresh rate from shortcuts and scripts.
Take control of Control Panel – put anything you like in there!
I offer professional services in software development, databases, data manipulation and writing. Find out more at IanSharpe.com.
IanSharpe.com and other sites I manage are hosted at DigitalOcean. I am happy to recommend this company for Linux VPS hosting.
I get a commission if you open an account through this link and stay a while. DigitalOcean will credit $10 when you add a payment method. That gets you a generous slab of Linux-based VPS hosting for nothing and helps support this site.
This is the personal web site of Ian Sharpe, a software developer and writer based in Bath, United Kingdom.
Before taking up software development full-time I had a career in computer magazine publishing. A hobbyist obsession with programming diverted me into magazines from an even earlier career in railway civil engineering. That was in 1986 and for the next 16 years I was a writer and editor on high-profile titles. Some visitors may remember me from publications of yore such as PC Plus, PC Answers, PC Today and CPC Computing.
Much of the material on this site originates from that period and was written to fill column inches to short dealines. I created the software as an adjunct to the writing so not a lot time was spent on it!
There used to be a lot more (I reckon I wrote over a million words over my magazine career) but I drop items that become too outdated. The remainder survives while it stays popular, which remarkably it does.
And so the articles do not represent current interests or recent experience although I occasionally refresh them with new material.
There is no binding theme, just whatever came into my head to publish. Hence '@random'. That said, several pages deal with aspects of randomness. I don't know how that came about and it certainly wasn't a plan.
Some of my publishing experiences were exceptionally satisfying and many were great fun. But the world changed and the tide turned against the big-circulation magazines of the eighties and nineties. The gravy train was running out of juice and it was time to disembark, re-invent and move on.
I had an ambition to write software professionally. I also had some ability, always having done it as a sideshow to my writing. I got my first magazine job partly on the strength of my ability to crank out publishable code in Z80 assembly language and Basic. Over the years I edited reams of programming tutorials in a variety of languages written by some very capable people.
So I switched career once more and spent five years as a developer at a busy digital printing outfit.
Now I work freelance, dividing my time between projects at local technical software/electronics company Dot Software and whatever else I am engaged in. My professional services site is www.iansharpe.com.
Because my personal site is mostly old material, writing emails about it is not my favourite activity. Even 'quick' questions can take longer to answer than you might expect. It feels rude not to reply and sometimes I will respond, but forgive me if I do not.
If there is a real problem (or opportunity!) my address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The download is in progress and should be visible soon.