About

Steam Professor

Steam Professor

Steampunk/ Steampulp

Professor von Explaino was born out of a need to have a pseudo-scientific persona behind some of the allegedly comedic papers I put up on my website in the mid 1990’s. The first paper, explaining how everyone had geography wrong and the atlas was upside down because all the heavy continents were on top, birthed a second paper on how to use the theories behind atomic interaction to explain why projects go awry. Shortly after, we had an annual meeting at work where I was tasked with providing a very dull overview of how we had performed as a team for the year. Deciding that an already dull topic needed some pepping up to ensure people paid attention, I asked for and was granted the right to outsource my presentation to one Professor von Explaino. One trip to the science store for a lab coat, a gift of a mad scientist wig, an addition of goggles from Girl Genius, a talented costuming friend and a tan bag from life-line later and the first public appearance of Professor von Explaino was received to much laughter. Not only that, but people paid attention to what he was saying and read the information presented in non-standard ways so that people got a different grasp on the topic than if I just stood, spoke to a PowerPoint™ presentation and handed out graphs. My personal favourite remains the fake EEG showing the year’s activity levels.

Now I have presented as Professor von Explaino on a number of occasions, to the point where I have been asked to and performed in the role of Master of Ceremonies for the division’s Christmas party. His personality has since split, so we have the Zany Professor for humorous presentations, but also the Steam Professor who attends steampunk nightclubs and arranges participation in events such as the Brisbane Romp where he and the other members of the Royal Omnitological Society for Electrodyne Adventurers raised money for charity (and, just quietly, won the costume competition). I’m also now proud to be the Chief Australia Correspondent for Doctor Fantastique’s Show of Wonders: a fine purveyor of Steampunk occurrences and submissions of fiction.  Professor themed entries in this journal will focus on things such as creating his laboratory, his outfit and his devices, plus work performed by his comrades in ROSEA — and his rivals in FAUST — along with other items of Steam inspiration.

 Code

My other hobby has been programming. I started on the Tandy and Commodore 64 in the 80’s and am now programming in PHP and JavaScript. My work involves coding and leading a team of coders, but I still enjoy late night sessions of “what if I wanted to do X, how would I do it?”. My article on online validation has been published at SitePoint, and I’ve attended a number of conferences on programming and web technologies. Most of my code experiments on this site are portable in a raw code sense, but for the ease of sanity most of them rely on Smarty templating and the ADODB library to keep things simple from a site integration viewpoint.

Code themed entries in this journal will focus on code I’ve written, code I’ve seen and links to seriously smart people on the internet whose brains I need the Professor to harvest and store for me in some sort of cybot-net in the laboratory.


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