Roger Riordan: Recollections

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Roger Riordan & Community Bub

I was born in 1934, at the height of the great depression. My family were relatively well-to-do, so money was never a worry, but my father had major personal problems, and I had a very difficult childhood. This left me with a serious lack of confidence and of social skills, and on several occasions I have gazed down the barrel of a loaded rifle and been very tempted to pull the trigger. But fortunately I was resourceful, resilient and self-reliant, and eventually I managed to get my act together and make something of my life.

I went to England in 1955 with the intention of becoming an expert in atomic power, but the company I went to was incompetent, and my confidence was severely damaged. When I returned to Australia I got a job with CSIRO, and in 1960 I married Sally, whom I had got to know on a trip to Central Australia.

After working for a number of years with CSIRO I rashly gave up my well-paid secure job to start my own electronics business making one-off and special instruments for various customers. The work was always interesting, but I never made any money and for most of the time we were bringing up our children we lived in a state of genteel poverty.

In 1983 our money finally ran out and I joined Chisholm Institute of Technology as a lecturer. In 1995 I upset the management over a point of principle, but then their computers were invaded by a virus, and I wrote a program - Vet - to remove it, & I gave it to the students as shareware.

Vet soon became popular and at the end of the year I retired from Chisholm and set up Cybec Pty Ltd. Cybec grew rapidly, & by 1999 we were employing 90 people round the world, but then we were persuaded by Computer Associates to sell Vet to them.

I 'retired' again, and in 2002 Pat & I set up the Cybec Foundation with part of the proceeds.


My childhood



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 © Roger Riordan 2004-2019

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