Welcome to flatpack.microwavepizza.co.uk, the spiritual successor of emeritus.microwavepizza.co.uk. emeritus is currently sitting looking rather sorry for itself in the bottom of a cupboard in the office, and rather than drag it out of retirement again I've stuck my boring home page on a more capable machine.
There's not a huge amount to be seen here. The following should give some rough overview of who I am and what I do, but not why you care. That is between you and a qualified professional.
— Ben A L Jemmett, 28th May 2007.
I'm a software developer by trade; I work as a consultant through my company, Jemmett Software Development Ltd.. The vast majority of my time is spent working for Sysgem, who write cross-platform network, system and identity management software.
For the past few years, on and off, I have been tinkering with hobby electronics. In particular, I decided to prove that I was paying at least some attention during the Introduction to Computer Architecture lectures in my first year at university by putting together a computer from 74-series logic chips. The resulting machine has found itself called System/1, and is documented here.
I appear to have accidentally started to collect cameras; as of this writing (2007), I have fifteen of them sitting around the house. It's not much of a collection, but when one considers that a year ago I had two (a film SLR and a digital SLR), the future does not look promising for my endangered shelf space.
Unfortunately my enthusiasm for collecting the equipment does not translate to any particular artistic proficiency. That doesn't stop me trying, though, and to prove it I occasionally inflict samplings of my snapping on people.
I am, for various reasons, a fan of Digital Research's GEM graphical environment for DOS. I was first introduced to it at the same time as I was introduced to computers, when my father purchased an Amstrad PC1512 in late 1986 or early 1987. Many happy hours were spent colouring in the TIGER.IMG illustration supplied with GEM Paint, before I discovered the Locomotive BASIC2 User's Manual in the drawer. The rest, as they say, is history; I've enjoyed programming ever since.
I (allegedly) maintain some pages on GEM elsewhere on the web. One day I hope to find enough time to properly update these, but for now the following links will have to do.
I've recently (2006) made some bugfixes to the GEM/XM codebase, mainly fixing the broken INT 16h handler to provide proper keyboard support to DOS apps. The following downloads might be of interest to anybody wanting to tinker with GEM/XM — it's an interesting multi-tasking system, but pretty limited and requires some hand-holding on a modern system.
In 2003, my cohorts and I unveiled Zinc to the Interactive Fiction world. It combines Z-machine (v1-5 and v7+) and TADS2 interpreters with a mapping function and collaborative network play, as well as being extensible through plugins for different game types.
Unfortunately, as with a lot of good intentions, we haven't really managed to work on it since the completion of the university course that spawned the project. One of these days I'd like to have enough time and enthusiasm to do a proper job of fixing up the rough edges on my Z-machine implementation, as well as making the network protocol more flexible.
Perhaps I should get back into playing IF to give myself an incentive!
I am a regular on several newsgroups; most consistently novell.community.chat, the regular posters (to greater or lesser extent) in that group are known as the Novell Community Chat Irregulars.
Any other junk that's lurking on this site might be linked to from the sporadically-updated contents page.