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Me at beach with a bad haircut
Me at the beach,
squinting at the sun,
with a bad haircut

Tortoise_74 (Bruce S. O. Adams)

I suddenly had my first inkling of the gulf between his dreams and his powers... (H.G.Wells)
a tortoise with 74 painted on the side


Welcome to my new personal website. This site is an egocentric & self-indulgent attempt to order my own thoughts and feelings and air my opinions. Its purpose is largely therapeutic, in the manner of a diary or a blog. A secondary purpose is to test out various website features that could be useful in commercial sites such as forums, Faqomatics and shopping carts for example. Personally I don't like the blog format because its strictly time ordered. If you talk about the same thing twice its unlikely to be cross referenced. With a web-site you are free to organise things by topic and shuffle them around as necessary. I intend to take full advantage of this. As I said, this site is largely for my own benefit, if anyone else gains any insight or entertainment from it that's a plus but its not something I'm specifically aiming to achieve (its just self-indulgent pap like most other home pages). The exception being when I refer someone here to avoid having to write the same old crap out ad infinitum whenever I create a new profile for some site or other. If one day I do hit the big time this should also make it a lot easier to write an autobiography. I also fancy myself as a bit of a writer and its good practice to write this if it is a load of old tosh.

Let me just reiterate I didn't start this site with any great illusions of it becoming high volume.

What's with the .me.uk thing?

Some time ago some new top-level domains were introduced among them ".people" and ".me.uk". The purpose of these is for people's own personal sites. E.g. www.madonna.people. It doesn't seem to have taken off very well so far, partly because so few people seem to be aware of it. I know of very few .me.uk or .people sites at all despite the names being around for a good few years now. Anyway, I wanted to do the right thing and set a good example. I'm not quite famous enough internationally (yet =) to warrant a ".people" so I've stuck to a ".me.uk".

What's in a name?

I started using the name Tortoise when I first went online many moons ago. I first used it on IRC (Internet Relay Chat), the precursor to chat programs like yahoo and MSN messenger. The original meaning was something along the lines of I'm a little shy and slow to come out of my shell but I'm going to win a race with a hare once you get to know me. After a little while on IRC I was shocked to discover someone else using my name. Though, he was more shocked cos I'd logged in first so he couldn't use it. This happened a few times. Anyway to avoid possible future confusion I added the year of my birth. This combination seems to be sufficiently unique I've been able to use it everywhere I've signed up on the net so far. Sometimes they don't like the underscore so I have to shorten it to Tortoise74. Anyway, chances are if you see the name on the net anywhere its me.

Believe it or not I'm not the only Bruce Adams in the world. My first encounter with another one was in Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein. The Bruce Adams in this delightful old comedy is the intrepid reporter who saves the day while Abbot and Costello bungle about as usual. I first met a Bruce in real life slightly earlier than this (I think I was 8 or so) when some friends of the family came to visit bringing their son Bruce with them. I was quite miffed that someone had dared to steal my name. Bruce is a relatively unusual name down my way and outside of Oz. Looking at the net though its actually more common than I would have thought. "Bruce" is actually a place in Normandy (Northern France for the less geographically inclined). There is at least one other Bruce Adams in the UK. My namesake is an accomplished trumpet player as I discovered when I mistyped my own domain name as .co.uk rather than .me.uk. To visit his site go here. Any others you find are probably American.

Recently someone looking for a particular Bruce Adams enterprisingly attempted to email every one of us she could find on the net. She wasn't looking for me alas but I complimented her on her style. Its a fun diversion to look up people you know on search engines. If you search for Bruce Adams on google you wont find me anywhere near the top. I ought to work to change that I suppose. However if you search for tortoise_74 you will find me. Tortoise74 without the underscore doesn't work quite so well. Add my third name and I show up again. Sorry to spoil the speculation but its not Otto or Octavius though being doctor octopus does have some appeal. Its actually Ottley, which was a surname of a great grandparent. Apparently the origin is Scottish but I've been unable to find a tartan. If you know anything drop me line. My knowledge of my own family history is really quite pitiful but that's another topic for another time.

Where am I from?

I'm actually from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse (pronounced beetle juice by me and many others). I was cast into human form ("static_cast<human_form>" sorry poor C++ joke) at 3:15pm in Perivale Maternity Hospital on 14th-June-1974. The hospital closed down some time later, presumably to prevent further mistakes. I still reside in the general vacinity of Ealing (North West London) but have been known to venture out occasionally.

About this site

This site is organised into two partitions a personal one and a technical one. Although I'm pretty intertwined with my geekdom and scientific interests I'm endeavouring to separate then out in an effort to see who or what else I am.

Listed on the contents page you will find a brief summary of topics and places to visit.