About Me

Alan ChandlerMy name is Alan Chandler and this is my site, “Chandler’s Zen”.

I originally chose the name Chandler’s Zen because I liked the sound of it, but I quickly discovered that “Zen” was particularly appropriate, as it is the way to come to understand something by hearing the small little stories that surround it and piecing together of your view of that something.  That is what my blog posts are intended to do.  Each one contains a little piece of me and my thoughts on various subject matter, and by listening to these thoughts, and indeed in entering into discussion about them – please leave comments, I am keen to see them – I hope I can build a picture of me.

I am partially retired after a 37 year long career with Logica the computer systems company, but since I don’t wish to stop work completely,  I am Managing Director of Hartley Consultants, where I can I can utilise my passion for Software Development. I have been programming since the early 1960’s (on paper – I didn’t get to touch a computer until 1968), so I think I am entitled to subtitle this site “Musings of an Ancient Geek”.

My CV may be found on this page of my company’s web site which also provides a summary of my career history.

As Hartley Consultants I offer offer my skills in Application Maintenance – particularly around Microsoft Access and SQL Server. Businesses that have developed a small database application which has become central to their business processes, but have now grown so large that they can no longer maintain it as a “hobby” often employ me on a retainer basis to keep the application moving forward. Another speciality it Simple Machines Forum(SMF) forum software. I can help with either setting up, or migrating an existing site to later versions, developing custom themes, or providing managed hosting – where I host the forum and guarentee to keep it up to date to the latest release. Hartley Consultants and also offers  Starter Packs for Small Businesses which are, I hope, a new approach to enabling small businesses to get on the web for a reasonable price.  But this is by no means the only activity I am involved with, and indeed I believe I have more value to add with overall application development, comprising as it does a combination of skills – html and css but also javascript and php.  I have provided a set of demonstrations of some of the applications I have developed, along with a forum (based on SMF of course) for discussion of them.  Because some of the applications rely on user credentials for correct operation, please contact me, either by leaving a comment below, or via the contact me at the bottom of each page on the Hartley Consultants web site to obtain an forum account which can be used to try them out.

During Season 6 of American Idol (Early 2007) I first noticed Melinda Doolittle in her audition.  I put her aside to be one to watch later in the competition, but almost as soon as the live shows started I became a fan.  Signing up to the American Idol message boards I got in to daily discussion about her.  We called ourselves “Melinda’s Backups” in recognition of the fact that she had been a backup singer herself and that we were now backing her up.

Eventually, after the show finished, and after a summer camping at a different fan site, the group of us decided to create our own support organisation and set up a web site and forum. I was asked to become its IT director, a post I continue to hold today, and form part of the Leadership Team.  In November 2007 Melinda announced she was holding a benefit concert (called Melinda Doolittle and friends) at her home in Franklin (just outside Nashville) and 40 of Melinda’s Backups (including myself and one other from the UK) decided to attend.  We organised an after party to the show and invited Melinda to attend.

She graciously accepted, and that is how I got to meet Melinda Doolittle in person.  It was a fantastic trip and allowed me to meet  all the people who I had had daily discussions on the internet in person.

I have created a complete section on Melinda for the web site, just so I can present many of the videos and pictures that I have of her performances, both during Idol and afterwords.

Many of the applications I developed were originally developed  for use on Melinda’s Backups web site.

Although this is the chandlerfamily domain, I will not say much more about my family directly as this is my personal blog.  I make make occasional reference to them in my blog posts, but other than that the content here is all mine.

One thought on “About Me”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *