Learning Years

Stand Grammar School

I was lucky enough to pass the 11 plus and to get a place at the local grammar school. It was probably one of the last of its kind but gave me a pretty good start. For my O-Levels I studied Physics, Geology and Engineering Workshop Theory and Practice in addition to the basic subjects.

Suddenly finding myself on literally the wrong side of the street I ended up going to Peel College in Bury.

Peel VI Form College

This was in 1979 and one of the first VI form colleges as part of the education shake up. The site as actually a secondary school that had been closed down and was literally a buildling site being converted for our use. We were the only year at the college and it was a continual negotiation with the builders to do anything, however things literally took shape around us.

Here I was studying Maths, Further Maths and Physics but the most enlightening part of my time here was one lunch time when I had a look at a text book that a friend had from his Computer Studies class. It was all about basic and I devoured it in the lunch time. At that time the college had just ONE computer for the entire population of students and staff and it was very closely guarded.

Just for fun I did a short course in Typing. Mainly to see if I could meet some girls. I didnt meet any girls but did learn to touch type and easily passed a mock exam. At least I could have been a secretary if I had wanted.

Salford University

I thought that I was interested in Electronics and Computers so I went to Salford to study Electrical and Electronic Engineering and quickly ended up studying the way electrons flowed through semi conductors – not at all what I wanted to do. However I did find the motor sports club very interesting and travelled around a majority of Northern Englands Universities as part of the University Motor Club.

Student Working Years


In order to fund my driving lessons I took a job at Asda in Radcliffe (now the Dunelm building) where I spent three evenings and all day Saturday collecting trollies off the car park, doing security on the main entrance, regulalry manning the tills and doing a whole host of jobs around the building. It was a great time and I learned lots of very useful skills here especially how to meet and deal with people. I would strongly recommend any youngsters to get a job like that as soon as they can.

I went back to Asda a number of times over Christmas and various other holidays and was always eagerly welcomed back.

East Lancs Paper Mill

One summer I got a job working at the local paper mill for a great guy called George Lomax. He was very interested in Electronics and repairing all sorts of electrical devices from Toasters to TVs. He was also the head of the plant management at the mill and so I ended up learning all about the control systems there both pneumatic as well as electronic.

Working Years

Interface Network PLC

This was my first real full time job and I still remember the first day travelling down to the offices in Basingstoke, picking up my new company car and filling it with thousands of pounds of Altos computer systems and terminals. The following day I had to drive up to the City of London to deliver the system to one of our Franchisees and to get it all set up and operational. It was a great introduction to having to learn on the job and in reality I have never stopped.

My main role was to install, repair, support IBM PCs for a range of customers across the south of England. However I quickly realised that computer programming was far more interesting and taught myself to programme in C as well as creating database applications with Dbase II and III

We also did some very very early multi user systems based around an IBM PC running Santa Cruz Xenix.

The turnover of staff here was quite fast and after nearly two years I ended up as the Third longest serving member of staff. One thing I noticed recently was that my very first business card had an Email address on it! Not bad for 1985!

Then the receivers were called in.


So for a brief period of time I worked for MBS in Slough but realised that I was no longer a big fish in a small pond and decided to look around for something more interesting.

Harris Systems / Harris Adacom

Harris specialised in IBM 3270 communications equipment and was moving into the PC and networking arena with a custom developed product based around MSNet and Xenix. It was perfect for me as it brought together all of the aspects of computers that I loved. Here I was now employed to work specifically on the Software and worked closely with the software developers in Atlanta and Dallas.

Here I was responsible for setting up one of the first USENET nodes in the UK and looked forward to the new data feed that would reach us each night. Our 14400 baud state of the art modem would take data from our up feed and distribute it to our down feeds. A slow and tedious method to send email that could take several days for a message to go from start to end. However as part of the feed we received all of the C sources groups content and I spent many hours learning the C language by studying both good and bad programming examples.

We eventually upgraded to an ISDN link directly to the Internet giving us a massive 64Kbs speed. Our first website was for www.hal.co.uk and I recall the very first Microsoft website put up to enable the distribution of the wolverine TCP/IP stack.

I spent 7 years working for Harris in various guises and ended up working in Dallas offices for 3 months, nearly emigrating there but.

Then the receivers were called in.

Wall Data

With all my experience at Harris, Wall Data fitted quite nicely as I was working selling their Rumba 3170 and 5250 windows based terminal emulation software to the major banking companies in London. With the development of Windows 95 and Active X the software was radically re-engineered to take advantage of the new capabilities of object orientation. Suddenly it was possible to place a Mainframe Computer screen directly in a web browser window.

This brought me back into the Internet arena and I became frustrated that I could not follow my software development desires so looked around for another company to work for.


Had been responsible for the commercialisation of the Mosaic Web Browser, and licenced it to Microsoft who released it as Internet Explorer 3.0 and promptly gave it away free of charge. So Spyglass moved the web browser onto embedded platforms such as mobile phones and set top boxes and put web servers in photocopiers.

I joined a small team based in Windsor who were spearheading the growth of Spyglass into Europe. Here we were very strategically involved in the development of the WAP forum in order to make sure that mobile phones deployed internet capabilities in an open standard way and I am proud to say that I was at the inaugural meeting of the WAP forum in Helsinki.

Our main customers were companies such as Nokia, Ericsson, Vodafone, British Telecom, France Telecom and a wide range of similar blue chip companies. This was the early days of web browsers on devices rather than on TVs.

Spyglass could have been a great company. We wanted to purchase a company based in Europe that specialised in Set Top Box manufacture and had everything in Europe that we didn't have. It would have been a formidable union. However this was not to be and so it was rather surprising quite some time later to find out that we had been taken over by the self same company!


Content is king was the saying at the end of the 90's and so I joined WCities as Director of New Media Technologies in 1999 in order to start putting their City Guide information on mobile devices. A natural progression from my point of view. However shortly after joining the Director of Engineering left and I ended up responsible for the entire systems and software development team with people working for me in London, East and West coast of America, Canada and Hong Kong. It became a 24 hours a day role with someone always awake.

When I joined wcities the company had a small number of cities live and by the time I left it had grown to the 700 most important cities in the UK and the rest of the world, with content in up to 7 languages including Chinese and Japenese. We had a network of thousands of journalists around the world writing information about the cities that they lived in.

We did one of the very first Location based services and worked with various companies involved in the early technologies to allow a mobile phone to determine its own location and we demonstrated this at the Cannes GSM congress in 2000.

Another company that had tremendous potential. We had investment from a major UK company of several millions of pounds. Unfortunately the cost of generating the content meant that within 12 months the money had almost gone and so yet again I found myself out of a job.

The Harder Working Years


By now I was getting on a bit and 37 years old. To put it bluntly I was told I was too old, too experienced and too expensive for someone to employ. So with very little choice available I took the plunge and formed Adepteo on 18th October 2001.

I continued the work from Wcities in terms of creating a content management platform able to provide the level of support for E-Commerce and Content Managed websites and spent a number of years building this as a core part of my business although we have never managed to get a fully multilingual customer on board again. Sadly due to the nature of companies I had been working with it was almost impossible for a sole trader to do business with them so I started off with no contacts, no customers – nothing.

By 2005 I had taken on a full time designer and I was working from home, an office in Walkden and the designers office in Ashton Under Lyne. I was getting frustrated with loosing telephone calls when I was not in the office in Walkden and so eventually came across VoIP. Very luckily I also came across a great guy called Simon Woodhead and his company and we have grown a very successful service providing business phone services to very small businesses.

Initially I had not intended selling the service to my customers but a chance remark from one of my existing web customers – I know someone who could do with something like this as well – gave me the idea of building a service.

Now we have our own offices in Tottington, an ever growing customer base and we are still building software applications that bring together all of the threads of communications.

Today the focus of communication is moving yet again to the next big gold rush of Social Media. Communication in small messages, blogs, websites, instant messages, phone calls, fax, text messages, message boards. The whole range of communications is now required for a company to grow. Luckily we are in an excellent position to help our customers take advantage of the latest technologies.

I am still learning, still working hard and enjoying life.

I cannot wait to see what the next BIG THING is going to be, hopefully we will be a significant part of it.

Carl Taylor

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Carl Taylor
Phone: 0161 710 3001
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