Historical info

I’m a programmer, a code hacker.   I even have some paper somewhere that says I am!  I’ve spent the largest part of my life surrounded by those funny machines.  I think the first one I ever touched was a ZX81.  My first coding steps was on a ZX spectrum and on a VIC20.  I’ve pursued other interests in my life besides coding like system administration and as customer support engineer on and off site.  I’ve worked all over the world in places like Bermuda, Spain, UK, Ireland , USA, The Netherlands and so on.

Jobs I’m proud off includes employers and customers like Mchugh Software Int.  Levi Strauss, Worldonline, Openwave.com (software.com), Tiscali , PearlDoc, HSBC bank and Record Bank.

I’m a consultant in the broad sense.  I try to build products that sell.  If this requires building code, that’s what I do.  If this requires me being a bridge between coders and product management, or a simple case of selecting the hardware , do R&D and propose a prototype I’m interested.

I want to use my personal network of smart people along with my own experience.   It’s only fair to admit, that when I feel like I don’t ‘own’ enough knowledge of some particular subject I bring in others that do.  It’s been the way I’ve built professional relations over all those years.  I think that is an asset in my life in general.

Current work

At the moment I’m working as a technology researcher specialist in the Track and Trace field where we monitor assets using GPS/GPRS technology since 2006. I currently specialize a lot into MariaDB, couchDB , nginx and various GIS technologies more specifically geocoding. Most coding is being done in PHP.  I spend my days between managing the current systems , doing research and a fair amount of coding work.    My specialty is integrating hardware, software or other application systems and other technologies,  bringing them to common ground so they behave with each other.    Usually from the hardware signal to the PDF report as a finished product.

More specifically, I’m profoundly specialized in KCS Track and Trace hardware. I’ve implemented and supported more than 3000 of them for about 150 Benelux customers. These advanced communication modules are being resold and re-branded by plenty of people. Not all of them will provide you decent and knowledgeable support concerning these units.

I’ve been doing this since starting R&D in the Track and Trace Market in 2006 starting with the Rev5 and a direct ‘engineer 2 engineer’ channel with KCS. Right now the Rev9 in all it shapes has been sold for a while now. Since then KCS has grown at an incredible pace and expanded their production drastically. If you don’t order them per 500 at once, you will need to go via a re-seller.

I would personally recommend Streamline this is my current channel as well to KCS. I have a good understanding with the owner Jean-Paul from Streamline. After a few hiccups we seem to see things eye to eye and he is also a hands on technical person as well.

A-typical implementations

  • Boats/trucks/trams/generators/bikes cranes etc.
  • Serial implementations (traceme unit talking to a serial device and controlling it).
  • External Ibutton/Badge/RFID implementations (Mifare secured sector readouts) with some high profile customers
  • SMS/GPRS flavoured implementations
  • Canbus/Fuel gage/temperature sensors read-outs
  • Garmin FMI integratie
  • PDA integratie / in-car screen integration
  • Personal trackers (Nano model, Alcaline power modules)
  • Trailer versions with 4 month autonomy

Also, check the list for idea’s concerning of the sort of implementations possible, except for a few strange claims here and there it’s truthful of the possibilities. A combination of programming, settings and firmware together with the classes they support. There are few limits with what you can do with these tracers.

Supporting software

I’ve built a server daemon to control all the units involved in a very economic way, so no http overhead in the GPRS transmissions. This is key to get great performance, the examples at the KCS site are to be run from a webserver. having 3000 units talk to you at the same time on a webserver/mysql combination is deadly. I wrote an application that is able to cope with such a load glueing exciting and performant ‘alternative’ technologies like sqlite / nginx / couchdb / mariadb that scales very horizontally.

I’ve built up a huge knowledge base of particular problems and solutions concerning these modules.  Also, I have extended knowledge in my head concerning the behavior of these modules.  Where others spend days I probably spent hours sorting something out I’ve seen before.

In case you landed here looking for information or need help implementing these units, send me an email. I’ve done several different types of projects, not limited to this list.

Current sotware work