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An ‘about’ page for Pete Birkinshaw. You can see my main OpenID identity and linked resources at ClaimID.

The Man…

I live in Manchester and work as a senior sysadmin and developer for a large university in the UK. I’m specialising in middleware and web development and prefer working with UNIX, LDAP, XML, Perl and Ruby.

After staring at a computer display all day I like to go home and stare at a computer display for a while longer, as maintaining a healthy work/home balance is important.

Sometimes I go outside and take photographs, with a strong emphasis on quantity over quality. I have most of the hobbies you would expect someone like me to have, plus a few you wouldn’t.

The Legend…

I tend to use the online monikers “BinaryApe” or “Binape”, and use the domain as my own scruffy corner of the Internet. I’ve been Slashdotted, very briefly mentioned in The Guardian, cited in a letter to Congress by Ralph Nader, and yet I’ve still done very little of interest.

The Contact Information

If you’d like to get in touch I’m usually available every day at this address:

  • Email:
  • Jabber:
  • My PGP/GPG public key for email, Jabber and file transfer. You can also get it from most keyservers, with ID 0xE7406338 and fingerprint 9B9A 4087 0A2E 63A5 6A63 DFDF 5857 3046 E740 6338
  • There are various RSS feeds of mine available in the column over to the right side of this page.
  • I sometimes wander around in a confused manner in Second Life as Ape Yamabushi
  • My Nintendo DS WFC Friend Code is 326479115054
  • My Nintendo Wii code is available on request

Things That I Sometimes Do

Here are a few personal projects I work on. Please bear in mind that I’m an enthusiast/hacker type rather than a proper software engineer, despite sometimes being mistaken for one.

  • FLJUD - A Jabber user directory based around LDAP. It’s used by a number of universities and businesses around the world as an online addressbook.
  • BAXL - A framework for quickly assembling Jabber components. Used by Fljud, and I’ve got many plans for this once it’s more stable.
  • Tehuti A new way to share files within an organisation, based on Ruby on Rails. This is actually under active development at the moment but no files are available.
  • Hippo - A rather large project intended to produce a novel content management system with a focus on metadata and microcontent. Very much on the backburner at the moment while I work on FLJUD and BAXL. It will probably never be finished, or useful.
  • Fingerbob - A Finger to LDAP gateway. Little more than an LDAP version of Hello World, but still quite useful for people wanting quick access to company addressbooks from command-line systems without LDAP tools. I plan to rewrite it in a new language at regular intervals.
  • Writing - I specialise in unfinished, unpublished, often unseen fiction.
  • Ape::Tracks - Yet another personal blog, I’m afraid. Interesting links and opinionated badly written grumbles for the most part, but lacks kitten photos and stories about babies.
  • LazyWeb - In the spirit of the LazyWeb, gentleman adventurer Ben Hammersley and the general public provide 100% of the content for this grand site. (Currently offline, due for re-release soon)

You can see other links to various net identities over at my ClaimID page.

Apes, Books, Contributions

If you feel the urge to send me things:

  • Bug reports, suggestions, patches, angry-but-useful comments, ideas will help my software projects improve
  • Technical books from my Amazon Wishlist would be much appreciated, and well-used.
  • Most of all, if any of my projects are of use to you, please consider making a small donation to The Gorilla Organisation (previously known as The Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund) as there are some great apes who need your help much, much more than I do.