This is the first blog on my new website, “The Enviro Engineer”. So, why did I decide to start a website now and why call it the Enviro Engineer?
I retired officially from a career in engineering that lasted nearly 50 years on the 25th April 2017. Officially, because according to my accountant my last period end accounts were dated 31 July 2017. Since then I have fixed all things that needed fixing in the house, cut through the weed bed in my garden and even repaired the footpaths and laid a new patio. I still have a pond that needs draining and new pond liner fitted, but apart from that I now find myself with time on my hands.
All my working life I have designed systems using many of the formulae that have existed for many years, such as Boyle’s law, Manning’s equation, Newton’s laws and the Colebrook-White equation. While I am sure a science teacher in my distant past might have told me about the equations, I didn’t really know anything of the people that derived them. When did they live, where did they live, how did they construct these equations? With time on my hands, I could now find out about them. Also, having worked with their formulae, I could link these people and their science to current real-world situations.
Some people might just read about them and others sit down and write a book, but I have decided to produce a website. Mainly for my own pleasure, but if my website is helpful to younger scientists and engineers, then all the better.
So why did I call the website the Enviro Engineer? Well I wanted a name that reflected my career in engineering. After I completed an engineering apprenticeship, I worked as a mechanical detail draftsman, before working on hydraulic design. Later in my career I worked with computers, both hardware and software including programming. By the end of my career I was working as an environmental engineer. Based on my career I could have called my website “The Hydro Engineer”, “The IT Engineer” or “The Enviro Engineer”. After consideration I rejected “The IT Engineer” as it only reflected a small part of my career. When I was younger “The Hydro Engineer” was someone from the “North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board” who came around to read the electricity meter. So, by the process of elimination this left “The Enviro Engineer”.
The website was simple to set up. I used a local company called Spanglefish.com. They provide the webspace and tools needed. Within a few weeks I had the site up and running with my website started and a new domain name www.enviroengineer.scot. Now all I needed was to let people know it existed. Easy, I just create a “Facebook” page, a “Twitter” account and a “YouTube” channel.
Facebook was the first challenge. I already had a Facebook account so creating a new page should have been easy. All went well until I tried to upload a profile picture and cover picture. My Penrose triangle was either too small, too large or Facebook turned the triangle into a circle with the corners chopped off. The cover picture suffered the same fate. After hours spend tweaking my picture in Photoshop, I finally got two pictures that Facebook sort of liked.
I thought Facebook was a problem, until I started to set up an account on Twitter. Everything went fine until I reached the personal details page. They wanted my date of birth, but I have always been reluctant to give out my personal details such as this, so I skipped this bit. Twitter now thinks I am under 13 so has blocked my new twitter account. So much for being security conscious.
Now completely demoralised, I decided to set up a YouTube channel. So far everything seems to have worked OK.
Having worked for some of my career in IT, I know I am not IT illiterate, so I can imagine the problems other people might have setting up a Facebook or Twitter account. To those who have faced similar problems, may I say its not you, it is the software developers at Facebook and Twitter who don’t seem capable of writing code in the way that people using social networks think. Facebook should be able to resize any image to fit their website containers or at least be able to give clear instructions regarding the size of the image required.
As for Twitter, blocking my account because I didn’t give them my date of birth. Most online security companies clearly state not to supply personal details such as DOB or address details. As far as not knowing my age, I cannot believe the twitter management are so stupid that they don’t realise if I was under 13, I would have lied about my age.