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What is the Urban Mainframe?

So what's this website all about then?

Nothing, nada! This is a personal website that serves no purpose whatsoever. It is a blatant waste of bandwidth and precious computer resources. It is a blight on the otherwise pure landscape of the Internet (yeah right!). It is meaningless drivel, the ramblings of a sad geek who has nothing better to do.

One thing's for sure, you're not going to find the meaning of life here.

Well almost...

This website is online mainly as a testbed for a CMS called Shapeshifter which I am developing and deploying through my company Digital-Word Ltd. As such, it is subject to periodic downtime, and occasional errors as I develop and test new features and improve existing ones.

The nice thing for you, dear reader, is that you get to preview the latest version of Shapeshifter free-of-charge and in real time as it evolves - and all by just visiting this website. Cool eh?

Okay. So why "Urban Mainframe", what's that all about?

Why not? You try finding a vacant domain name these days and let's see what you come up with...

When I started my career in computing I worked on an NCR V-8875 mainframe. This computer was located in a purpose built room in a surgically controlled environment. The computer and its peripherals filled the room. It was a monolithic machine and its purpose was invoicing and stock control. Fast forward 15 years, and I sit here writing this on a computer small enough to sit on the corner of my desk. This computer has more power than a cluster of 8875's, it has a photographic quality display, studio quality sound and crunches a SETI unit every two hours. It sits in a room with no environmental controls, it is powered off the standard, domestic ring mains and it is virtually entirely self-contained. It is truly an Urban Mainframe.

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