ABOUT ME

I have always been very technically minded, much to my parents’ dismay I used to disassemble electrical devices and put them back together. I even had to program the VCR for them, as they never grasped it and never really understood anything I did  🙂

I have been the computer geek pretty much since the first home computers appeared in the high street shops, my first computer being the ZX81 purchased from Boots I believe, on which I learned BASIC programming, wrote some very simple games, and got bored very quickly of this 1K computer. I then dabbled with the Dragon 32 and Amstrad, doing a bit of basic coding on my friends’ computers who desperately wanted me to re-create “war games” LOL. I then moved up to the best-selling home computer of all time, the Commodore 64 and learned 6502 machine code/assembler. During my early years, I wrote a few demos on compunet, joined a few cracking groups, coded some crack intros and had some fun with BBS systems and blue boxing/phone phreaking. In later years I had my first business importing, publishing and selling Commodore 64 hardware and software.

I went to college and did a City & Guilds in information technology and a BTEC national diploma in computer studies, during which I learned Pascal and Cobol, and was, of course, the star pupil and surpassed the teachers with ease.

My first web related job was at Nacamar (an ISP), where I learned about web servers and picked up some classic ASP and MS Access db skills, which was a stepping stone to my 2nd job at Redeye where I was introduced to Coldfusion,  and became an instant fan and long time contributor to the ColdFusion community since 1999 (since CF4). I then moved on to start my own web development company called Satachi and later founded “CFMX Hosting” which back in the day was one of the top CF hosts in the UK.   While I don’t code CFML much anymore, but if I do then I pretty much exclusively use and recommend the open source alternative called Lucee .

My still active community projects are CFMLDeveloper,  a service for CFML Developers (ColdFusion, Lucee) offering almost FREE (£1) developer hosting, which I have been running since 1999, I run this to help people try out and learn CFML with minimal effort and to help startups and contractors get going. I also built cflive.net, a live web-based CFML testing tool.

Outside of work, I am an ex-biker, but sadly the bike had to go due to other priorities (kids), a pretty good cook, a bit of a cocktail Meister, and a dad of 4.  I like rock music, have several tattoos, and am well known for my often brightly colored mohawk, although sadly age is catching up with me now and there isn’t much of it left 🙂

 I am also a humanist, and live by The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles and Values, in other words, being a decent human being.

  • We are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.
  • We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for salvation.
  • We believe that scientific discovery and technology can contribute to the betterment of human life.
  • We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.
  • We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and state.
  • We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.
  • We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.
  • We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped so that they will be able to help themselves.
  • We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and strive to work together for the common good of humanity.
  • We want to protect and enhance the earth, to preserve it for future generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other species.
  • We believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our creative talents to their fullest.
  • We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.
  • We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and informed health-care, and to die with dignity.
  • We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, responsibility. Humanist ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. There are normative standards that we discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.
  • We are deeply concerned with the moral education of our children. We want to nourish reason and compassion.
  • We are engaged by the arts no less than by the sciences.
  • We are citizens of the universe and are excited by discoveries still to be made in the cosmos.
  • We are skeptical of untested claims to knowledge, and we are open to novel ideas and seek new departures in our thinking.
  • We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction in the service to others.
  • We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.
  • We believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that we are capable of as human beings.

Testimonials

I have worked with Russ for many years and have been consistently satisfied with an excellent level of support and advice. I have three business interests that he takes care of and in each case he tailors the product that he provides to meet our needs really well. Russ has maintained a loyal following as the businesses have come and gone over many years – the other followers, like me, wonder if such great service is really available elsewhere.

Damian Crowther

Director, AstraZeneca

My digital agency worked with Russ in his former companies for well over a decade – with him looking after both for our own hosting needs and for any clients that required it. Russ was a big part of the reason we used those companies because we knew we could rely on his extensive tech knowledge as well as his hands-on approach in assisting us with any issues that were causing us problems.

Jim McNiven

Director, Digital Creative

Russ was our consultant who helped us set our website up and was available with advice for every aspect of setting the site up. His knowledge & expertise gave us confidence & helped us achieve every goal we had set for the site. He was the consummate professional & I cannot recommend Russ & his company enough! You will not find a better company to deal with! I will be using Russ’s company again without hesitation!

Wayne Eccott

Experienced Logistics & Training professional

During the time I have known Russ, I have found his attitude and ability to service his clients and colleagues to be of the highest professional standards. He has an excellent reputation within the industry as a development leader and plays an active role in the Cold Fusion Community organising developer conferences which are attended by thousands of people.

I would happily work with Russ (and CFMX) in future on any collaborative projects where I feel the skills of a dedicated professional with integrity were required.

Lee Fortnam

Senior Product Consultant, Travel Compensation Services Ltd

I have been using Russ’s company  since 2003. Throughout that time I have seen consistent uptimes for websites. I was so impressed with Russ Michaels that when I moved companies, I changed the new company’s website to be managed by Russ company due to the excellent service levels experienced previously. We have not been disappointed since. Russ takes service levels seriously, even out of business hours when problems tend to occur. He has helped me out over weekends, in his own time and regularly exceeds expectations resolving issues and responding to support requests. He has dug me out of holes I have made for myself many times. Highly recommended.

Leigh Ellis

Solicitor, Gillhams Solicitors