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|Full name||Richard Geoffrey Hallas|
|Date of birth||21st March 1969|
|Telephone number||+44 (0)1484 460280|
|1974 – 1977||Moor Cross Infant School, Huddersfield|
|1977 – 1987||Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS), Wakefield|
|1987 – 1990||University of Lancaster|
|1991 – 1994||The Open University|
|2006 – 2007||University of Manchester|
|1976 – 1991||Independent musical tuition received in music theory and various instruments:
Piano, Voice, Trumpet, Cornet, Tenor Horn, French Horn, Oboe (2005)
|1978 – 1992||Trinity College of Music and
Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
Numerous theoretical and practical musical qualifications,
including Grade 8 in Tenor Horn, French Horn and Piano
(detailed listing available on request)
|1985 & 1987||Queen Elizabeth Grammar School
O-levels and A-levels in a total of twelve subjects
(detailed listing available on request)
|1990||University of Lancaster
Bachelor of Music degree
Second Class Honours, First Division
|1993||The Open University
Bachelor of Science degree in Computational Mathematics
|2007||University of Manchester
Master of Science degree in the History of Science and Technology
Highest-scoring student of the year
|1979 & 1980||Awards for scoring 100% in music theory examinations, Trinity College of Music|
|1984||Head Chorister, Wakefield Cathedral Choir|
|1985||Joan M. Sheard Senior Theory Trophy (Theory of Music)|
|1987||QEGS Musician of the Year|
|1999||RISC OS '99 Award for Editorial Excellence (RISC User magazine)|
|1990 – present||Proprietor, KeyNote: Music Typesetting and General Desktop Publishing
KeyNote is the personal business that I set up after gaining my first degree. Originally intended to provide a music editing and typesetting service, the nature of my KeyNote work has expanded to cover a variety of other areas, so that the range of musical work I have undertaken as KeyNote includes:
My KeyNote projects have been numerous and varied, and I have worked for many clients, so there would be little point in listing individual examples here. As KeyNote, I have also been intimately involved in the development of several music software packages, either providing considerable beta-testing feedback or acting as a musical typography consultant during the development of:
Occasionally I undertake non-musical work as KeyNote; for instance, I have worked on the production of two Chemistry A-Level Study Guides for Collins Education (part of Harper Collins Publishers), in one case providing the master artwork for the entire book.
|1992 – present||Freelance technical writer
Based in Huddersfield, UK
My technological writing experience is extensive and encompasses a wide range of topics and styles, from short, light-hearted reviews through longer tutorials to extensive programming guidelines. My work has appeared in many types of publication, including traditional paper magazines, CD-ROM magazines and Web sites; I have even written a paper for an international conference in Troizk, Russia (2001).
Much, though certainly not all, of my first ten years' worth of writing has concerned the Acorn platform and the RISC OS operating system. However, I also have a particular interest in the Apple Macintosh platform, and am becoming increasingly involved with it on a number of levels. I have also written on many occasions about digital photography and other non-computing aspects of technology.
Over my first ten years as a writer I have been offered the editorships of no fewer than five of the leading RISC OS magazines. I took up two of the offers, details of which appear below.
All told, I have many hundreds of articles to my credit; indeed, I wrote well over 150 articles for RISC User magazine alone. Individually the articles range in length from a few hundred words to, in a couple of cases, around 10,000 words; though obviously I write to suit the publication in question. I hope and believe that my articles display impeccable spelling, grammar and factual accuracy, as well as great care in presentation and a clear, well-defined structure with helpful illustrations where appropriate.
It is my belief that in any article, regardless of its length, every word should count. I also believe that clarity and honesty are paramount: a writer should say what he means and mean what he says. All statements should be carefully considered and facts scrupulously checked. I attempt to maintain these minimum standards in every article I write.
Magazines and Web sites for which I have written include (the list is not fully comprehensive):
|1995||Appointed to set up Sibelius Software's Opus user group
Sibelius Software Ltd, Cambridge, UK
At the height of its activities in the RISC OS market, Sibelius Software appointed me to set up Opus, a music library and user group for the world's leading music publishing software, Sibelius 7. I began work on this project, but was forced to relinquish the position because, very soon afterwards, I was offered an exciting new appointment that I felt I couldn't refuse (see next entry).
|1995 – 2000||Editor, RISC User magazine
Beebug Ltd, St Albans, UK
Having been a contributor since 1992, in late 1995 I was invited to become the third Editor of RISC User magazine, which was about to enter its ninth volume of publication. RISC User had always been my favourite computer magazine, and I had aspired secretly to become its Editor for some time, so I was highly delighted to accept the offer. I remained in the position throughout volumes 9, 10 and 11, editing a total of thirty issues. RISC User was a high-quality professionally printed publication in a mixture of monochrome and full colour pages which was, rather unusually, published ten times per year.
My duties with RISC User were extensive and wide-ranging. It was my job to plan the contents of all issues, commission articles, liaise with contributors, edit the articles and write many features of my own, plus of course writing the regular items such as the introductory editorial and news pages. RISC User also had a high-quality companion disc of newly-commissioned software (available to readers as an optional extra product), and for part of my time with the magazine I also acted as Disc Editor, again planning contents, liaising with programmers and providing comprehensive quality control. At the end of each volume, RISC User presented a high-quality Volume '#' Special Disc as a separate commercial product, and I was largely responsible for the production of these items. Other duties included devising and designing adverts for use in other publications, and separate flyers, to promote RISC User and related Beebug products.
During my editorship, the decision was taken to move all production of the magazine from the existing system (Quark XPress on the Mac platform) to Beebug's own new RISC OS-based DTP software, Ovation Pro. I was responsible for all the work involved in this regeneration of the magazine on a totally different system, and the revamped publication was widely acclaimed as being a significant improvement on what had gone before. From this time until the end of my editorship I was responsible for almost every aspect of the magazine's production, from conception, planning and budgeting through writing, editing and all layout work to final production and preparation for printing.
Throughout my time with RISC User it was widely regarded as the best-quality RISC OS publication; several employees of Acorn in the UK told me privately that they considered it such, and Acorn New Zealand adopted RISC User as its officially-endorsed magazine in preference to Acorn User, the platform's supposed leading title. Unfortunately, Acorn's own untimely demise in 1998 lead directly to the closure of RISC User magazine.
When RISC User came to an end, Beebug commissioned me to produce a celebratory CD-ROM to commemorate its passing. This was a significant piece of work, as it involved assembling twelve years' worth of material relating to both the magazine and the disc, and combining it with a wide range of additional material such as full software packages and books. The user interface comprised, in effect, an entire Web site, indexing every item on the CD. The end product, entitled RISC User ...in a Nutshell, was also very innovative because it allowed (for the first time on any platform, as far as I know) the software on the CD, which was saved in compressed format, to be run directly from the CD simply by clicking on links in the HTML front-end. As such the CD formed a highly integrated and interactive resource, and was very well received.
|1998||Appointment by Acorn
Acorn Computer Group plc, Cambridge, UK
Following the success of my work with RISC User, and in particular the transformation of its production from a Mac-based system to an Acorn-based one, Acorn Computer Group plc approached me to organise the publicity surrounding its Acorn World '98 Show. My task was to design and produce all aspects of the show guide, produce cover artwork and organise advertising. I was also invited to speak at the show. This was an extremely prestigious commission because 1998 was Acorn's 20th Anniversary, and the show was to be a special celebration. Aside from hosting an Acorn computer exhibition, the show was to mark the launch of a new high-powered workstation, a major new upgrade to the operating system (RISC OS 4), and a range of new Acorn-branded software titles.
At this time I was also in discussion with Acorn about the creation of a new magazine for the Acorn corporate and enthusiast markets, to be published by Acorn itself and to include articles not just from independent writers but also from Acorn's various divisions and worldwide technology partners. The new publication would have replaced Acorn's existing (and rather lacklustre) Clan newsletter.
Work started on the show guide, but unfortunately, a mere month after my appointment, Acorn's upper management took leave of its senses, cancelled the show, the new computer and all other projects, and killed off the company.
|2000 – present||Freelance graphic design and advertising
Based in Huddersfield, UK
I have produced significant amounts of work in the fields of design and advertising as part of my KeyNote musical activities since 1990, but in the last few years I have also done quite a lot of graphical work for a range of software products, from user interface and icon design to product packaging and advertising. Recent work has included (in chronological order):
I am also very willing to undertake Web design work (see later entries).
|2000 – 2006||Editor, Foundation RISC User magazine
RISCOS Ltd, Cardiff, UK
Following the demise of Acorn, RISCOS Ltd was set up to launch and further develop version 4 of the RISC OS operating system. A replacement for Acorn's Clan publication was required for the enthusiast market, to be launched under the banner of the RISC OS Foundation, and I was approached to devise, set up and edit the new magazine. After acquiring all rights to the now-defunct RISC User from Beebug Ltd, I was able to reuse the old magazine's name and Foundation RISC User (FRU) was formed.
Whereas my proposed new Acorn magazine had been intended as a paper publication, FRU takes the form of a CD-ROM (presented in a jewel case with professionally-printed colour inlays and unique cover artwork for each issue). Each magazine is effectively an entire Web site on CD, comprehensively cross-referenced and well organised. The publication is enhanced by the inclusion of interactive features: the technology I devised for the RISC User ...in a Nutshell CD is used in an enhanced form in FRU, and allows resources and illustrations included in articles to be launched directly from the CD just by clicking a link in whatever Web browser is being used to view the magazine.
Aside from the articles written by external contributors, I produce Foundation RISC User single-handedly. My tasks include the planning of each issue's contents, the commissioning, writing and editing of all feature articles and other written material, the planning and design of the magazine's HTML-based structure, and the production of the entire HTML code, which is written by hand. Each issue also contains a substantial software library and information database, both of which I maintain on a regular basis.
After the first sixteen issues of FRU were published, I created a special DVD edition which received extremely favourably reviews (see testimonials, below). This contained the complete contents of all sixteen issues, fully cross-referenced and merged together into a single enormous issue, with indices of all articles capable of being viewed together or by issue. This disc represented the very first DVD-ROM of any kind for the RISC OS platform.
Aside from my work with FRU, I have also designed advertising for RISCOS Ltd for use in other publications.
|2001 – 2002||Design consultant, RISC OS Select operating system
RISCOS Ltd, Cardiff, UK
This rather grand-sounding title (which I've just invented for myself!) actually means that I had a significant involvement in the development of RISC OS 4.2x, the operating system issued through RISCOS Ltd's Select scheme. My input included:
Can't I fault something? :-)
OK; I'm very impressed at the above. Lovely."
|2002||RISC OS 5 operating system: new user interface design
Castle Technology Ltd, Framlingham, UK
Following my previous involvement with various aspects of RISC OS development, Castle Technology approached me to design a complete set of user interface icons for the company's forthcoming new release of the version 5 operating system. Castle had recently acquired the exclusive rights to supply the newly rewritten RISC OS 5 operating system under licence from Pace Micro Technology plc within a proposed new computer, and wanted to create a fresh, modern and professional new look for its system. The IYONIX pc (see www.iyonix.com) duly made its debut on 1st December 2002, on schedule; it is a forward-looking new workstation based on the Intel XScale 80321 processor.
The design work lasted for several months and encompassed a wide range of elements, including:
In total, well over 1000 icons were produced, in various sizes and resolutions. Particular care was taken to design the icons in such a way that they looked at their best in a true-colour (16 million colours) screen mode but could degrade gracefully to as few as 16 colours, thus catering for the widest possible range of uses.
|2009 – present||Webmaster, Orchestral Concert CDs
OCCDs, Czech Republic
My musical interests caused me to become involved with Orchestral Concert CDs, when I was commissioned to create a site to promote the output of recording engineer Geoffrey Terry. The site was designed from scratch and hand-written in XHTML and CSS. I was also responsible for designing the CD-like "OCCD" logo used by the company.
In addition to my Web work for OCCDs, I have also undertaken some print design work, including two full-page, full-colour adverts published in Fanfare magazine and the front cover for CD12/2011.
In late 2011, when the quality and scale of CD production was increased, I redesigned the entire range of CDs (15 at the time, including the sampler) and was responsible for designing and establishing a new, consistent appearance across the range. The new design takes cues from the existing Web site and print adverts, and the work encompasses a CD label, tray insert and 8-page booklet for each disc, all printed in full colour. Future issues will maintain the new style.
|2009 – present||Freelance editor, Wordy
Wordy Limited, Denmark
In late 2009, I became one of the founding editors of the newly-launched online editorial service, Wordy. I have since taken much pleasure in watching this service grow and establish an excellent reputation for itself. I can hardly take personal credit for this, being only one of (at the time of writing) 155 editors, but I believe that I've done my bit to help. In just over a year of working for Wordy I have completed in excess of 400 editing jobs for the service, and I strive to achieve an "Excellent" rating as often as I possibly can.
Wordy operates on the basis of partial anonymity (the customers can see my name, but I'm not usually told theirs), which accounts for the lack of attribution in most of the following testimonials.
Codility (Wordy client)
|2010 – present||Webmaster, Fand Music Press
Fand Music Press, Petersfield, UK
I have been involved with Fand Music Press for many years, having worked for the company on a wide range of music editions from the early 1990s onwards, and I continue to produce occasional music editions, adverts and other print work for Fand today. However, the company was recently in the position of needing both a new Webmaster and an entire new site, and I took on the task of creating one from scratch.
Like the Orchestral Concert CDs site (see earlier entry), the Fand Music Press site was entirely hand-written and custom designed. Unlike the OCCDs site, however, the Fand site is completely dynamic and database-driven, having been created using PHP and MySQL.
|Other interests and skills|
|1990 to present||As the nature of my work is largely freelance, I have always had many other involvements that can't strictly be bracketed with other work, but which merit some mention nevertheless. Also, I often undertake individual pieces of freelance work under my own name rather than as KeyNote (particularly when there is no musical connection).
In particular, I have a significant interest in programming. Although it has traditionally been a serious hobby, I have nevertheless written several applications which have been published commercially. Over the years I have had many smaller applications published by magazines, mainly on the high-quality RISC User Disc (recognised as the best quality magazine disc for the RISC OS platform). I also published my Charges job timer as a commercial utility under my own KeyNote company name. More recently, several of my programs have been published with the latest versions of the RISC OS operating system, and I have written certain software components specifically for the new OS versions.
I am familiar with the following programming and script languages:
I am a fast typist, with a maximum speed of around 75 words per minute.
I have particular interest and excellent experience in desktop publishing, fonts and typography, and have created musical symbol fonts for several commercial music packages, as well as other standard alphanumeric typefaces.
My hobbies include photography, reading, choral singing, walking, foreign travel, good food and fine wine.
My membership of the International Bohuslav Martinu Society and the Antonin Dvorak Society reflects my interests in Czech classical music.
I am an associate of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.
I am a member of Mensa.