canberra2008-sm

The author/owner of these pages shortly before leaving for Canberra 2008.

Hello and welcome to the personal pages of Andy M. As you can probably tell, I am an avid motorcyclist. I have been riding motorcycles since the age of 6 and have owned many motorcycles since the age of 11.

My first motorcycle was a Gemini 50cc mini-bike. I loved that little machine and rode it every chance I got, even though it would stop whenever it got too hot. The Gemini, a Taiwanese Yamaha, was able to be registered on the road and consequently had all the lights and indicators required by law, but it also had a set of foldable handle bars and was able to be loaded into the boot of the family car.

This was rather convenient for a youngster such as myself, as I could con dad into loading up the bike and taking me out to a suitable area to ride it. Although I seem to remember that on at least one occasion, the chosen riding area was less than legal, as the local constabulary reminded us. Still, i wouldn’t trade any of those experiences for anything. Not only did I learn to ride and control that machine safely, but I also learnt a little about the law … both of which have come in handy ever since 😉

My second bike was a Yamaha YZ80B. A racing machine from the start, I ended up racing this machine, unofficially, against the local lads in and around Maitland N.S.W., on the local motocross track. A lot of fun and learning was had with that bike and a few skinned elbows as well.

Since those times, I have ridden and raced many many motorcycles and I still enjoy every minute of it. If you haven’t ridden a motorcycle then I suggest you try it at least once.

Somewhere along the line, I became interested in electronics and I dabbled with them as time and money allowed. However, since the advent of SMD’s (Surface Mount Devices) my hobby has become too expensive and difficult to maintain. I still maintain an interest in electronics but these days I limit myself to theory and design rather than hands on experience.

This knowledge has come in handy though, as it has allowed me to have a fundamental understanding of computers, at the hardware level, and consequently this  has led to my involvement with computers, which brings us to these pages.

My first experience with a computer was when a work colleague of mine asked if I could replace a defective switch on his brothers Commodore 64. Expecting my colleague to deliver said machine without any of the accompanying peripherals for the repair, I was quite taken aback when he showed up with everything in hand, including the drives, monitor and software. So I set about repairing the faulty power switch, a relatively easy job, and I decided to set up the computer, simply to test it you understand, and suddenly I found myself hooked!!

Since then I have been constantly involved in computing, having owned and operated a Bulletin Board (Bulletin boards were the predecessors of the internet) and dabbled in repair and maintenance of personal computers.

For the many good folks that know me, I walk with a limp these days. This is the result of a motorcycle accident in 2001. I am constantly asked about this accident and so, I setup a couple of pages to show and explain the who, what, where and when of it all. You’ll find these pages labelled ‘The Accident’ and ‘The Wreck’ respectively, listed below the ‘About’ page in the the menu on the right.

Since the accident and my forced retirement, I have taken an interest in CNC machining. I currently have a small Sherline lathe and mill, both of which are computer controlled. I recently added a larger manual lathe to my workshop, the Steelmaster 10×22 (250mmx550mm). So far, I like this new lathe very much, but illness and pain have kept me out of the workshop a lot, so I haven’t managed to make much of anything on my machines as yet.

My health seems to be improving a little these days and I’m hoping to spend more time in the workshop, so keep an eye on these pages for any projects that I might get underway.

I sincerely hope you will enjoy reading my ramblings and please feel free to comment on any aspect of these pages. I appreciate any and all feedback.