Does your science team
need data acquisition and analysis?

There are few activities as satisfying as performing quality control on sintered tungsten for a CERN forward-endcap calorimeter maquette. (Satisfying, you ask? I find my payoff in the realization that that maquette, assembled at the University of Toronto for the Large Hadron Collider, is a minuscule contribution to one of the most sophisticated suites of experiments in the history of science.) That's where I was in the summer of 1996. From 2001 to around 2004, I could name something more satisfying still: working through the night on the largest optical telescope on Canadian soil, organizing and monitoring acquisition of moderate-dispersion spectra for the north-polar-cap portion of NASA's NStars programme. (The payoff? The hope of eventual NASA exobiology, if we avoid social collapse in the decades following 2010.) And from sunset on 2006 November 16 until sunrise on 2008 July 2, I was a part-time operator of that same telescope, at long last a kind of staff member in an observatory. Can I some day help your team - say, in astrophysics, whether by night at the telescope controls or by day at the downstream workstation (as it might be, in the IRAF software package, familiar to me both from studies and from contract work)?

Does your science team
need computing?

I am something of a veteran in low-end Linux systems administration, having run my own desk as an essentially Linux-pure space since 1996 (albeit with Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional within Linux, in a virtual machine, for some years from late 2001). I used to be rather a tough C guy (having in 1995 ported a 10,000-line VAX C application, running on 32-bit machines, to ANSI C, for the 64-bit Alpha chip). I then became something of an SGML worker. The proof of the latter proposition is my participation in the preparation of a 700-page Estonian-language book, hand-coded at my desk under the DocBook DTD, then converted simultaneously to *.ps, *.rtf, and *.htm with a bash script driving Jade under DSSSL. Occasionally, I used to write some tiny script in Perl, either for my own workstation or for a senior Toronto stellar spectroscopist. I might even now, when basic unpaid heritage-conservation work looms so large in my life, seize appropriate excuses to dust off my LISP, Prolog, or Mathematica/MatLab skills, or to learn something new. (Java, anyone? How about XML - which, in fact, I have quietly studied in a small way? Or SQL, which I have studied and may even be continuing to study in a small way, with specific reference to Linux-driven mySQL?)

Does your science team
need human networking?

You may some day need services which I cannot provide alone, but which I can arrange for you. Like many technical workers, I keep up a network of informal contacts and friends and friends-of-friends. As times get grimmer, my network seems to be inclined to stay rather extensive, even in a modest way to expand.

Give me a call, and we'll see what results my collegial network can deliver.