Sunday 27 May 2007

Who are the Vottlers?

So who are the people behind Well many have claimed that is so advanced that it actually artificially created itself, a type of self-evolving cluster of code who’s roots were allegedly downloaded from planet Xebian in sector 15 of the Nadamix galaxy. Who knows about the code, but these are the people or “Vottlers” behind “The Vottle Project”.

Ronnie Apteker

Apteker was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1967 and attended high school and university in Johannesburg where he graduated Cum Laude from the University of the Witwatersrand with an M.Sc in Computer Science in 1994. Apteker studied computer science for nine years and started the country’s first Internet commercial service provider in 1993. Internet Solutions (IS) has been one of South Africa’s most successful post-apartheid businesses, employing over 1000 people and winning numerous technology awards. Ronnie has authored a number of papers that have been published both locally and internationally. In February 1994, Ronnie was invited to present a paper in San Jose, California on Distributed Multimedia at the annual meeting of the International Society for Optical Engineering. This paper was subsequently published in the SPIE/IEEE proceedings. Apteker is also the author of two books and he writes the Funny Money feature every Friday in the Business Report with his comedian friend John Vlismas. Apteker sponsored and produced the successful Laugh Out Loud fundraiser in 2002, and he is also involved in film production. Ronnie has helped produce 6 features films and his latest endeavour is Footskating 101 ( Apteker also sits on various boards and committees within South Africa and is involved with many charity organizations and fundraising initiatives. Apteker is a founder member of the Vottle project.

Greg de Chasteauneuf

(Follow me on @degrumpysmurf)

Greg started in the IT industry at an early age, coding in Basic on a clone Apple II. After school he studied as a programer, coding in good old assembler, mind twisting prolog and still he’s personal favorites C++ and Perl (which he rarely gets to use these days). In 1996 he started working for Internet Solutions, where he met Apteker. Greg has been involved in various projects over the years from Metro Area Wireless Networking, MPLS VPN’s, Internet Routing and Peering Architectures, Network Security, Voice over IP and IPTV. More recently he is one of the founding members of a free classifieds web site and a non-profit “Million Dollar Pixels Site” aiming to raise R1million for HIV/AIDS.

Colin Peterson

Colin began playing with computers back in 1983 when he built his first computer, a UK101 which had a whole 8k of memory – the UK101 died a long time ago but he does still have a working Casio PB-100. He however followed his true passion for music when he studied and took up a career in the music/arts field as a studio and front-of-house engineer for a few years. His attraction to computers eventually got the better of him and he made a radical change in careers. He started out working for SDD (Siltek) and then moved to a small company called IS (Internet Solutions). Over the years he touched on most aspects of the IT industry and has finally settled down to a career in software development. He moved around the industry and has worked for Internet Solutions, Prism and Multichoice amongst others. He currently runs his own business, Electronstream that provides software development services in multiple environments and platforms and partners with Habanerosoft. He is also one of the founding members and principal developers on the Vottle project. If he is not coding you will probably find him spending quality time with his missus, cooking, playing guitar, recording/mixing in ProTools or playing with his dogs.

Andrew Murray

Andrew has been a computer geek since he was born in 0×7BC. He learnt to program BASIC on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, progressing to Borland Pascal and x86 Assembler by age 14. While still at school he was the first national finalist in the Old Mutual Computer Olympiad to have a girlfriend, and in 1996 he started part-time telephonic support work at ICON, part of Internet Solutions (IS). Andrew completed his MCSD and B.COM (Unisa) part-time while working towards becoming a Systems Architect at IS. Andrew is one of the founding members of Vottle, but has since moved on to dedicate himself to Mobo, a NYC-based mobile commerce startup. When not working, Andrew attempts to fly small aircraft, plays the piano and guitar very badly, and makes plans to travel. He has accumulated many such plans now.

Richard van Katwijk

Richard was born in Estcourt Natal in 1975. From his primary school days he played with computers such as the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and a ZX81. He started writing programs in Basic, and it wasn’t long before his ZX81 was in desperate need of a memory upgrade in the form of an external 16k RAM pack. He continued writing software throughout High School, and after a short stint studying Electronic Engineering he joined the family farming business in 1994, setting up the companies first PC, installing databases, writing payroll systems and eventually led the business to install their first network.

Deciding that there was more to learn, he went on to do his BSc degree in Computer Science at the University of Natal in Durban, graduating Cum Laude. He joined Internet Solutions in 1998 while the company (and the Internet) were still in their infancy, and had a fruitful career spanning more than 9 years, during which he filled roles as Network Installations Engineer, Network Infrastructure Engineer, Access Solutions Product Developer, Systems Integration Engineer and finally took on a business role as Product Manager and Developer for the companies Access Business Unit.

Having been involved with Vottle not long after its inception, Richard initially looked after the projects infrastructure and finally decided to end his career at IS and dedicate his time fully to the project as a Systems Developer When he’s not Vottling you’ll find him hard at work renovating his home, working in the garden or spending time with friends and family.

Justin Spratt

Justin Spratt was born in Durban in 1976 but moved to Australia when he was 2 with his Australian father and South African mother. He returned to South Africa at 19 and finished a degree in Commerce, majoring Finance and Economics (cum laude). In 1998 he then did his honours in Finance (cum laude) before completing a MCSE in early 1999. Justin then went to London and took up a job at Morgan Stanley in Treasury. He finished his stint at Morgan Stanley and London in 2003 on the Credit Derivatives trading desk. After returning to South Africa in 2003, he purchased an IT Security business which he later divested before joining Internet Solutions as Product Development Manager in the Applications space. While in this role, he started his MBA at Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) due for completion later this year (2007). In July of 2006 he moved across the business at Internet Solutions to Account Management role and currently looks after some of Internet Solutions larger clients. Justin was a late comer to the Vottle crew.