Geoff was born in Bolton, Lancashire as the first child of Harry Riley and Eunice Howarth. He was educated to secondary level achieving 3 A-Levels and 6 O-Levels. He started a college course aiming to gain a Bachelor of Education degree but left after being offered a full time job in the computer industry.
Geoff was initially employed as a technician in the manufacture of computer peripherals but moved on to printed circuit board design (before CAD packages!) and then to programming.
After 20-something years in the industry Geoff was made redundant and found it impossible to gain a new position without a degree. He went on to study with the Open University gaining a Bachelor of Science (honours) degree in Computing. He has continued his studies, with the same organisation, and is currently working towards a Masters degree in Computing.
Geoff, having had a mental breakdown after his redundancy and repeated rejections by prospective employers, has been left with problems such as social anxiety and depression that further hinders employment prospects. Full time work has eluded him because of these mental problems. However, he found that he enjoyed volunteering, helping young people to learn how to 'code'. He has been running Code Clubs in schools and mentoring at Coder Dojos for a number of years.
Geoffs interests range from classical music to 3D graphics; his music tastes are quite eclectic and, after spending a time in the early 80s as a mobile disc jockey, has an extensive collection of vinyl and CDs; as a chorister in the church choir he has proven to be, what the musical director calls, a useful tenor.
Having spent so much time in the computer industry Geoff has, of course, a great interest in many aspects of computing. As a programmer he garnered skills in many different programming languages from the low level assembly code right up to modern scripting languages, and the appreciation for the development of new syntax and implementations means that he is often called upon to help other programmers. This is borne out in the teaching of young people the skills of programming through Code Club and Coder Dojo participation.
Geoff also enjoys computer art---after experimenting with various mathematical constructions for producing artistic graphic displays, he went on to experiment with the artistic possibilities of computer aided design and followed that through to 3D rendering of virtual objects up to todays CAD systems that could rival the early computer special effect graphics with ease on a home computer. Toward the end of the 90s Geoff contributed to a text book about the graphics programming language Processing. He additionally produced a couple of ebooks concerned with programming extensions to a popular 3D drawing package.
Geoff first began looking at his family history after stating at college. The death of his paternal grandmother in the weeks before commencement had affected him greatly and spurred him to start attempting to research. As a complete novice, progress was extremely slow---being long before the internet had been created let alone the on-line databases that now aid so many. With the advent of connected services he began to form better links and understanding of methods of research.
Computer packages such as the DOS program Brothers Keeper proved invaluable for pulling together different elements of family history into an organised presentation, helping to resolve issues that had escaped identification in his index card filing system where duplicate and redundant information was not always easy to spot. Graphical interfaces on modern packages such as Family Tree Maker, Legacy and Roots Magic make visualisation ever easier.
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On 21 Jun 2019 at 09:58 GMT Peter Cameron wrote:
Welcome to the Lancashire Team, I have added your name to the team page. If you have any specific interests in Lancashire feel free to add them there. I also look forward to seeing you around the Gedcom Team!
Peter ~ Lancashire Team leader
On 14 Jun 2019 at 20:12 GMT Debi (McGee) Hoag wrote:
Congratulations on being Pre-1700 certified!
Because pre-1700 ancestors are shared by many descendants, coordination is essential. Thanks for joining the England Project.
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On 16 May 2019 at 21:32 GMT Janet (Langridge) Wild wrote:
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On 29 Apr 2019 at 03:37 GMT Pip Sheppard wrote:
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