All about Jerry Pank

About Me

You must be very bored to be reading this as I'm sure you must have better things to do with your time; if you don't, here goes nothing.

I am Jerry Pank, an early 60 something who lives in Dartford, UK with my girlfriend of 35 years and our remaining Siamese cat.

Occupations

I've worked in electronics, software development, management, and even dropped out for 'The Good Life' for a while. In 1996 a friend and myself set up one of the first Web Development companies in the UK. This was in the days before email when messages from a web page were sent by fax.

I now spend most of my time hacking Perl and editing Cookipedia.

  • 1973: Electronics Service Engineer (telly-mender!)
  • 1984: Service Engineer (Xerox; Advanced Systems Division, computers)
  • 1986: West London Service Manager (Granada)
  • 1988: London Service Manager ( Businessland)
  • 1989: National Service Manager (Commodore Computers)
  • 1991: Telly Mender (self employed)
  • 1996: Partner, Connected-uk.com (Web development)
  • 2010-2016: Semi-retired - Editor: Cookipedia

Music

Music has always been important to me. I always have my chosen music playing, wherever I am. The subject of my favourite music has obviously come up before so I won't repeat it in detail here, you can read more on my my Cookipedia user page. Nothing beats live music, especially jazz. One of my favourite music festivals was the Montreux Jazz Festival, I went in 1982, 1984 and 1992 when it was still being held in the casino. You really could lounge around the pool and watch the bands playing on the stage overlooking the lake.

Leisure

As a canoeist I've enjoyed white-water canoeing to grade IV, doing the big river circuits of Europe 3 times. During the same period every bank holiday would be spent in Devon, surfing in canoes and surf-skiis. In the 80's windsurfing arrived in the UK; another set of toys to be bought and mastered. I got fairly competent at windsurfing, ending up sailing short boards. I never managed to wave ride on a windsurfer to the same level as I did as a canoeist.

A sport that encompassed all of the above, for me was boogie boarding in the big surf resorts of south-west France, from Biscarrosse to Biarritz. We must have spent at least 20 summers on those beaches in Bessie, our 30 year old camper van.

I've skied many of the popular European resorts, preferring skis, but managed to master snowboarding and even mono-skiis in those early days.

Nowadays, horseriding, power kite flying, proper mountain bike riding, ice skating and rollerblading have passed into history together with the aforementioned. Cycling and yacht sailing are my remaining physical hobbies.

I no longer own a car, I manage perfectly well with Bessie Bus and my BMW GS1200 motorbike. For domestic trivia, we have Anne's car, so I'm not completely carless.

The birth of Cookipedia

I've always been a very keen cook and around September 2008 I found the opportunity to combine this hobby with another of my skillsets; all things Internet. I discovered that the domain name Cookipedia.co.uk was available and thought the similarity of the name to Wikipedia might provide a useful draw to visitors.

It took a while to take off and never worked as a truly collaborative cookery resource as I had first hoped. However, with a massive amount of help from cookery fanatic, polyglot and Latin scholar Rosemary Potter, aka: Julia Balbilla, Cookipedia has grown to a massively popular cookery resource of more than 7,500 pages and 9000 pictures. It is something I am hugely proud of and it is what takes up most of my spare time.

Computers, et al

Way back in 1979 I saw an advert in an electronics magazine for a home computer that you built yourself from a bare board and a bag of components, the Compukit UK 101. That seemed like a busman's holiday for a TV engineer, so I saved my pennies, bought one and built it. It worked first time. Plugged into my black and white tv it proudly displayed '8k Basic Copyright 1979' when it was first switched on. The UK 101 had no proper operating system, just an 8k Basic interpreter and a 2k 6502 machine code monitor. Time to start writing software.

I leaned BASIC and wrote my first of many Hello, World! programs. Progressing to Machine code I wrote and built an automatic telephone dialler with firmware that was burnt into a 1k Eprom - The first ever quick dial in the days of mechanical phones.

Over the years I've owned many different computers and learned lots of programming languages and used many of them commercially.

My favourite computer is the iMac, Operating System of choice; Unix and my language of preference is still Perl.

Health

I'm now fit and very healthy. And lucky to still be alive considering the multifarious health issues I've had over the years. Including but not limited to: heart attacks, stents, hypertension, kidney loss, Legionnaires' disease and finally a craniotomy, sepsis of the skull, craniectomy and then finally a cranioplasy - I now have a titanium skull!

You can read read the gory story, here.

See also

If I've forgtton anything, you'll probably find it on two other bio pages I've created over time: about Cookipedia.co.uk and my Cookipedia user page.