My wife Maureen and I run a holiday cottage rental company, meanwhile I am writing extensively and am keen to get involved new ventures involving IOT (Internet of Things) electronics. As well as having run several businesses spanning many decades, my technical specialities include a broad understanding of modern ICT and have the ability to explain complex technical issues to the layman. I have a good understanding of how ICT fits into the business world with an emphasis on small organisations (SMEs).

Recently, I have been involved in a number of technical projects involving ESP8266 (one award-winning) and Arduino microprocessors and the Raspberry Pi and in January 2016 worked in Spain on an IOT security project for the MOD via a third party. For 14 years I enjoyed the role of National IT Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses as well as Chairman of their Communications Group - roles which encompassed responsibility for organisation-wide IT.

The FSB role also took me overseas, to the House of Commons and to Number 10 in London on several occasions. In June 2015, after years in the role, amidst organisational changes with which I had issues, though expected to re-stand for said IT role, I made the decision that it was more important to concentrate on ensuring my IT knowledge stays up to date - so I walked away and spent the summer in Spain complete with laptop and my friend Google.

For two years I held the role of vice-chairman of the IT section of an EU ESCO group and we met bi-monthly in Brussels, tackling the ICT (the most all-embracing and hence complex) aspect of the ESCO project, responsible for matching jobs, skills and competences in the ICT sector - exciting and relevant stuff.

I have attended a number of meetings of the European Small Business Alliance (ESBA) in Izmir, Gibraltar, Dublin and in Brussels (2013-2014) as an invited guest and in that capacity visited the European Parliament. I've also been invited on a number of occasions as a guest to the offices of the European Economic and Social Community.

I have represented the FSB in a number of SME-related externally sponsored round tables including Microsoft, Dell and others and developed relationships within those companies, for example the Dell ThinkTank event in Amsterdam and previously as a guest of Microsoft at their HQ in the USA.

For years as FSB IT Chairman I acted as a judge in the Computing Magazine Small Business Awards and also maintained a blog in that magazine's website. I had a guest blog on Dell's website but now focus on maintaining my own highly successful blog, tech.scargill.net as well as my YouTube channel and various social media. My work is also highlighted in numerous other postings worldwide.

PRESENT
2009-PRESENT

Partner - Hollyberry Cottage

www.hollyberry-cottage.co.uk

Hollyberry Cottage is an award-winning, successful family-owned self-catering holiday rental cottage in Bellingham, in the heart of Northumberland. This is our second family cottage rental business.

 

2015
2001-2015

IT Chairman - FSB

www.fsb.org.uk

I was a board director of and held the post of National IT Chairman of the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) for 14 years during which time I transformed the IT capabilities of the organisation and helped ensure the organisations ability to handle the challenges of the 21st century.

 

2015
2002-2015

CEO - Willow Design

www.willowdesign.info

Willow Design offered custom electronics design from concept through implementation as well as custom hardware and software. We empowered small businesses to compete in the global marketplace with affordable tech solutions

 

2001
1982-2001

Director - Quantech Ltd

General Electronics Research

I formed Quantech in 1982 and spent 19 years in a successful business partnership developing groundbreaking electronic products in the entertainment and PC speech sectors

 

1982
1980-1982

Head of R&D at Eltech

Electronics Research

I joined Eltech Research in Newcastle Upon Tyne to develop ground-breaking graphics after providing consultancy for several months, supporting innovative products which we took to the World's Fair in Tokyo and to America Germany and elsewhere in Europe

 

1980
1972-1980

Director - France & Co Ltd

General engineering and sheet metalwork

I held various posts including technical director at family engineering firm J. France & Co. Acquired skills included management and accounting but also encompassed engineering (metal work, welding and general machine operations)

 

Background

By the age of 10 I could make radios without breaking a sweat. I then learned how to both take and process photographs in my early teans and ran a disco who's equipment I designed for several years. My first technical article was released in Practical Electronics in November 1976 and was one of several publishing successes including Elektor, Practical Wireless, Radio Constructor and others. Years later when the microprocessor revolution began, I started writing software and articles beginning with the design of my own custom FORTH language interpreter as secretary of the Newcastle Computing Society. I wrote an article on binary trees for David H Ahl's Creative Computing magazine and then went on to create a comprehensive article entitled "Adven-80" which featured on the front cover (and much of the inside) of the November 1981 Dr Dobbs magazine, defining one of the earliest "adventure creation" environments - a considerable undertaking in Z80 assembly language. While developing a range of office and engineering skills, the hobbies of electronics and computing turned into a career and I was then responsible for the creation of numerous publications including a series of articles in Practical Computing on the subject of home automation in which I have returned to maintain a keen practical interest using modern Espressif WIFI technology and modern SBCs.

People and Places

Between an interest in politics and my work with the FSB I have met with David Cameron, William Hague, Michael Portillo, Vince Cable, Stephen Timms, Patricia Hewitt, Tony Blair, John Redwood and many others. I've met the current American Ambassador to the EU (unless Trump has sacked him) and have also met with senior figures in several large companies including Microsoft where I visited their Seattle Headquarters for several days and subsequently became their guest at several functions including the Commonwealth Games. I've also been a guest at the offices of Microsoft in Brussels, London and Dublin as well as those of Google and Dell. I have travelled widely and developed relationships with key figures in other business organisations such as the IOD and Chambers. I have attended meetings and receptions at 10 Downing street and on several occasions at the House of Commons.

I taught BTEC Level 2 electronics part time for a year during which time I taught C programming, basic electronics and foundation studies. I designed and and maintained the cms-based website system and mass-emailing systems used by the UK's leading business organisation, servicing 33 regions and 194 branches and serving countless millions of emails and web pages over several years. I helped many small businesses via my role as IT Chairman of the same organisation. I have also co-developed a holiday rental property for the second time in the past few years. I spend my time now enjoying being married, cinema, the company of friends, writing blogs and travelling as well as continuing to keep up with programming, social networking and general IT and electronics. I'm currently developing several projects using single-chip microprocessors. I maintain a keen interest in cutting-edge science and technology. My current interests include nNodeJS and Canvas.

Further Back

Before becoming the National IT Chairman of the FSB I was firstly Vice-Chairman of the Northeast FSB region for 6 years followed by a spell on the National IT Committee where I was encouraged to take on the post I held for over 14 years. As IT Chairman my role included overall responsibility for websites and social networking, business systems, Intranets and just about anything associated with "IT" as well as making sure the FSB's annual Conference was available to the outside world in imagery, video, social networking and reporting - a task I performed as a member of the National Conference committee for many years, long before similar organisations caught up. I pioneered the use of Skype, GotoMeeting and general Intranet technology in the organisation and still have a wealth of knowledge on the technical and operational issues of said communication tools. I set up a media studio in the FSB's Blackpool head office and have a lot of hands-on experience with modern video recording and editing equipment and processing software.

Even Further Back

If you wish to go further back into my history then you might find this address http://www.scargill.net/stuff/early-interests/ of use. If you're reading the printed version of this, the latest update can be found at http://www.scargill.net/cv

Current Interests

I am interested in solar power and other alternative sources of power, LED lighting and general alternative energy, digital photography and video, writing, general science, space science, and technology. I am currently absorbed in the hardware and software of Espressif's ESP8266 and ESP-32, Node.JS and Node-Red and developing on the Raspberry Pi, Odroid and similar devices. More on all of that at the tech blog.