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November 10, 2010
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Welcome. I'm a Belgian electronics engineer, living in sunny Madrid, Spain.
I still remember the first radio I made. A "crystal" set, using a germanium diode.The coil was 50 windings of copper, wound round a cardboard tube, held in place with my sisters' nail varnish. Somehow, this was how I got started, and I haven't stopped since.
Some time later, my interest in computers was kindled. First, there was my uncle's shiny new Hewlett-Packard 67 programmable calculator. Then the local Radio Shack stores started carrying the TRS-80: a real computer, with 1.77 MHz processor, 4 kB of rom and 4 kB of ram, expandable to 12 kB rom and a whopping 48 kB of ram. But who would ever need so much memory, when a chess game needed 4 kB and a word processor ran comfortably in 16 kB?
I graduated as an Electronics Engineer from the State University of Ghent, Belgium in 1989; a few years later I got an additional degree in automation from the University of Leuven, Belgium.
Both times my graduating thesis had something to do with video.
First time I wrote a microcode simulator, as part of a team which was
developing a 111 bit-per-instruction horizontal microcode processor to
process video in real time. This was '88: Amd29k bitslices glued
together with 22V10 PAL's was all you got. This also was my first
introduction to a simulation language called HILO, which later would
grow into Verilog.
Second time around, I made an analogue computer which worked with PAL video. This allowed a researcher to simulate reaction-diffusion equations at 25 iterations per second, seeing the dynamics of the reactions right in front of his eyes. Nice.
I worked at Alcatel in Antwerp doing ATM research until I got drafted. After my military service I worked for Bekaert, a steel wire and cord manuafacturing company, doing unix system administration. Working long hours, learning the different unix flavors. In one of the affiliates I came across a 2400 baud UUCP connection to something called the Internet. The people on this network were struggling with the same machines and problems as I, and soon I was hooked. The UUCP connection was upgraded to 9600 baud IP-over-X.25 - slower than a rheumatic snail - and we could do file transfer and browse the first web sites. I set up the first commercial web server in Belgium - www.bekaert.com - and moved on.
I went to work for the ISP, first doing servers and routing in Belgium; later moving on to the Network Operation Centre in Amsterdam, Netherlands, as part of a team keeping the international and transatlantic lines of autonomous system 286 running. I visited ISP's between Oslo and Lissabon, from Paris to Bucharest.
Settling down in Madrid as Linux and Internet consultant, I noticed TV technology was changing from analogue PAL to digital DVB. Since then, I've been experimenting with digital tv using linux as a development platform. It's an interesting concept; and I use it to watch commercial-free tv.
As a self-employed engineer, fully licensed in both Belgium and Spain, I'm always open for business. If you have an interesting project where I would fit right in, need some consulting or support, just send me an email: