I was born in January way back in the 1970s in south-ish London in the UK, and I appear to be typically Aquarian...
After several years at Brighton College, I managed to do the minimum quantity of work required to gain some A-levels, and then took a year out. I suddenly realised I ought to be doing some work, so got a job at PC World in Croydon - until I couldn't stand that any longer, and went to work for SJ Research in Cambridge. September came around again, and off I went on to read applied physics and electronics (OK, so it sounded a good idea at the time!) at Royal Holloway College, part of The University of London. They even gave me a degree after three years of "work" so some of what they said must have sunk in...
When I left academia, and faced with the harsh reality of the real world, I did the obvious thing and went and worked for SJ Research again - not that I ever left. I was one of their "Terminate and stay resident" employees! All of this went a bit wrong when SJ ran out of money and I ended up amongst the masses of the unemployed.
Several of my friends, alarmed by the fact that they were propping up my ailing bank account (and aided and abetted by my account manager at Barclays!) marched me down to the computer centre at Sussex University, and made me look for a new job. I subsequently ended up at PSI Net UK as a network engineer, and was thrown in at the deep end assisting in the migration of EUNet GB - which had been recently purchased by PSI - to the fledgling PSINet UK.
After two years of working on the network operations and engineering teams at PSI UK, I moved to the LINX (London Internet Exchange) where I could break pretty much all of the UK internet in one go :) I ended up migrating the FDDI-based LINX from three racks in one room of Telehouse, to multiple sites with a gigabit Ethernet backbone around London Docklands. I did have immense fun there, but was tempted in May 1999 to return to PSINet to design and implement the network for their UK Data Centre. This proved to be an enormous challenge, but worth it in the end. At the beginning of 2000, I moved into the PSI Global Hosting engineering team where I assumed the role of the ultimate escalation point for all the really ugly problems. An ex-boss coined the phrase "Jetsetting network engineer" which seems all to familiar... I spent the first half of 2001 in the wonderfully excellent city of Sydney working on the PSINet data centre there. I returned to the UK in July (where it was still cooler than Australia in mid-winter) and continued to work around Europe for PSI.
At the start of 2002, I finally moved back to working full time for my own consultancy company PRT Systems which had been in existence for some time but not actually doing anything. This is keeping me busy - but if you want any high-end networking or general consultancy done, you now know exactly who to call :)
Currently, I'm busily working with some of my ex-PSINet colleagues on another high-tech startup doing wireless microwave connections which I'm hoping will be able to work full time for real soon now.
I currently live in the middle of nowhere, somewhat near-ish to Gatwick Airport; for the curious, its actually a village called Chelwood Gate on the edge of the Ashdown Forest. So I am, in fact, contributing to the overcrowding of the south east. Such is life...
I used to live in Cambridge, England (as opposed to the one in MA), which is a truly wonderful city an I thoroughly enjoy being back there when I can!
PRT.ORG came into being when I was first working for PSI, and the frenzy of the free-for-all that we now see with domain names had yet to come about. Had I know this, I'd have registered far more than that one .org (registered to the "Preservation of Redundant Technology" as those were back in the days when you felt at least marginally honour-bound to pretend that you were using the domain for the correct type of organisation). It is by a strange quirk that this also happens to conveniently stand for Paul Robert Thornton, and therefore made for an excellent personal domain.
For those of you who like such things, here is an admittedly not to flattering picture of me (The astute amongst you will notice that there are actually two similar photos - the first is from 1998, the second from 2004):
You can send e-mail to: prt at prt dot org, but if you send spam we'll hunt you down and feed your packets to the cookie monster! My PGP public keys are here
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