Curriculum Vitæ

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  • Personal information
    Full name   Richard Geoffrey Hallas
    Date of birth   21st March 1969
    Nationality   British
    Marital status   Single
    Telephone number   +44 (0)1484 460280
    Email address
    Web site
    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
    First Class
    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)
    Work history
    1990 – present   Proprietor, KeyNote: Music Typesetting and General Desktop Publishing
    Huddersfield, UK

    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:

    • Music editions: editions of both new pieces and older, sometimes previously unpublished music (including first editions of music by composers such as Bax and Leighton): editions range from short piano pieces to full orchestral scores and include comprehensive editorial notes where appropriate; some projects include documents that combine text, musical passages and other illustrations;
    • Other publishing: numerous types of document, from small-scale concert posters and programmes to complete books, some running to multiple volumes;
    • CD production: various music CDs, all with professionally-designed booklets and inlays.

    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:

    • Sibelius 7 and its successors (the world's leading music software);
    • PMS (Professional Music Scribe, my own personal first choice for typesetting music);
    • SharpEye (leading music-OCR package);
    • Rhapsody 3 and Rhapsody 4;
    and others. I have also created my own fonts of musical symbols which have been used by PMS, Sibelius 7, Rhapsody 4 and other packages.

    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.


    "I enjoyed working from your [first edition] Bax scores. They are a model in the class of Howard Ferguson's editions of early music."
    Eric Parkin, Pianist
    "Your work is very, very accurate... thank you for taking so much time and trouble over this job; I have enjoyed the correspondence with a fellow purist!"
    Carey Blyton, Composer and Personal editor to Benjamin Britten at Faber Music, 1963–71
    "...the whole thing has been beautifully typeset to produce a clear, uncluttered page... a delight to the eye."
    Michael Bell, Organists' Review (reviewing a KeyNote edition)
    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):

    • Archimedes World
    • Archive
    • Acorn Publisher
    • Acorn User
    • Classical Music on the Web
    • Foundation RISC User
    • Inside Mac Games
    • Living with Technology
    • MacFormat
    • Qercus
    • Retro Gamer
    • RISC User
    • RISC World


    "Your [fonts article] was great. [It's the] first time I have learnt something really new for some while, and I showed it to colleagues who enjoyed it."
    James R. Miller (RISC User reader)
    "Thanks for the article. It's fantastic and we've gotten several good emails about it. Keep up the great work!"
    Tuncer Deniz, Editor-in-Chief, Inside Mac Games
    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).


    "'re one of the most meticulous people using the program."
    Jonathan Finn, Managing Director and Lead Programmer, Sibelius Software Ltd
    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 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.


    "I have nothing but admiration for the way in which Richard Hallas has transformed the magazine during his editorship. It was also no mean feat to transfer production to Ovation Pro, a task that he masterminded single-handedly."
    Sheridan Williams, Managing Director, Beebug Ltd and Managing Editor, RISC User
    "Congratulations! I make it a general rule never to read my efforts after they have been published, because the standard of modern subbing is so bad that I end up spitting tacks over the assault and battery done to English under my byline; assault and battery that even my subset of ideal linguistic skills would never countenance. But I have just broken the rule, only to find that you have made my word-processed spasms into a real, quality article. There is not a tack in sight. It is possible to make a sow's ear into a silk purse. Well done! [... and from a later email ...] No other editor that I have written for has been so communicative, so frank, so interesting, so easy to deal with, so human."
    Nobilangelo Ceramalus, RISC User contributor and award-winning journalist in New Zealand
    "Many Acorn enthusiasts, whether they live in the UK or abroad, speak about Richard Hallas as if he were Peter Bondar [Acorn Workstations' CEO] or something! ;-) [...] I still find RISC User, as edited by you, the best ever magazine on the Acorn, by far."
    Jérôme Mathevet (French reader of RISC User)
    "I find [the Nutshell CD] to be of the highest quality, and have found no problems with it at all. It's very nicely laid out. Absolutely loads of stuff there."
    Daniel Barron, Beebug Ltd
    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):
    Product Company Involvement
    Web browser
  • New product artwork
  • Extensive set of user interface buttons, 'busy' animation and start-up banner
  • Product packaging
  • DialUp
    Internet dialler and front-end
  • Product artwork
  • User interface icons
  • NetFetch
    Internet front-end
  • User interface icons
  • Internet Suite R-Comp
  • Product packaging
  • Advertising R-Comp
  • Modular advertising system for creating multiple colour advertisements for a wide range of products, all based on a standard advert template
  • Messenger Pro
    Email and news reader software
  • Product packaging and manual covers
  • New user interface icons (version 3)
  • HTMLEdit 5
    Web design software
  • Product logo and start-up banner
  • Grapevine
    Instant messaging software
  • Product name
  • Product artwork
  • Extensive set of user interface buttons and other icons
  • Advertising RISCOS Ltd
  • Multiple adverts for RISC OS 4, Foundation RISC User magazine and other products
  • RISC OS Select
    Operating system, version 4.2 and later
    RISCOS Ltd
  • New operating system branding
  • Icon design
  • User interface improvements
  • RISC OS 5
    Operating system
    Castle Technology Ltd;
    Pace Micro Technology plc
    New operating system user interface graphics, comprising over 1000 icon designs in various sizes and formats, and encompassing:
  • File icons
  • Application sprites and internal icons
  • User interface gadgets
  • Window furniture
  • Background textures
  • The designs made their public debut on 1st December 2002 with the launch of the IYONIX pc (see
    Earlier (pre-2000) work included icon design, user interface design and advertising for such companies as Beebug Ltd, Calligraph Ltd and Computer Concepts Ltd.

    I am also very willing to undertake Web design work (see later entries).


    "They're fabulous! I love them!"
    Alan Wrigley, author of Grapevine, on receipt of my icons
    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 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.


    "Thanks for your fantastic work this year on the FRU CDs."
    Paul Middleton, Managing Director, RISCOS Ltd
    "I'm extremely impressed with the Foundation disc. It looks good, reads well and is simple to navigate. Congratulations on a most professional product."
    Richard Blythe (FRU reader)
    "Keep up the excellent work! (And what I REALLY appreciate is someone who can write, spell, talk sense, and knows his its-es and it's-es!)"
    Jeremy Roberts (FRU reader)
    "[Foundation RISC User has] built up a reputation for producing high quality articles on a wide range of subjects. [...] The sheer quality and variety of the articles is quite astounding [...] thoroughly entertaining and informative articles [...] a lot of high-quality reading [...] This DVD is an astoundingly useful resource. I don't think that anyone could possibly buy it and be disappointed. It contains such a wealth and variety of material that it will improve the computing productivity of any RISC OS user."
    Kris Adcock (Archive magazine issue 18:8: review of the Foundation RISC User DVD Edition)
    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:
    • Extensive beta-testing, bug reporting and feature suggestions;
    • Significant graphical design work, including new operating system branding;
    • Quality-assurance involvement;
    • Documentation, including stylistic/conceptual guidelines and programming notes;
    • Contribution of several original software components, and updated versions of existing applications.


    "<fireworks> oooh... </fireworks>
    <fireworks> ahhh </fireworks>
    Can't I fault something? :-)
    OK; I'm very impressed at the above. Lovely."
    Justin Fletcher, Lead Programmer, RISCOS Ltd
    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 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:

  • File icons;
  • Application sprites and internal icons;
  • User interface gadgets;
  • Window furniture;
  • Background textures.
  • 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.


    "We really do like what you're doing with the icons."
    Jack Lillingston, Managing Director, Castle Technology Ltd
    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.


    "I am extremely pleased with [the website] – an absolute masterpiece! Well done and thank you very much."
    Geoffrey Terry, Proprietor, Orchestral Concert CDs
    "[Y]our website is gorgeous, and a joy to listen to!"
    Dr Howard Oakley, Technical Writer for MacUser magazine
    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.


    "Every single edit made the document better. Thanks a lot."
    "Richard did a fantastic job. Promote him, he's great."
    "Where's the tip box? It's simply brilliant. The concern of the editor, Richard, was exceptional […] this is an extreme value that I've never found elsewhere. I truly hope to work with this editor again for my next corrections."
    "Excellent corrections, attention to details and useful comments."
    "I am very pleased to have Wordy's review. My editor did an excellent job. Hope to have the same editor again next time."
    "Richard H – you are the best!"
    "I've said it before and I'll say it again, Richard is the best!!"
    Wordy customers, commenting (anonymously) on my work through Wordy's feedback system
    "I'm really, really amazed you spotted that! […] I'm very happy with your attitude :)"
    Michał Jaszczyk
    "I really appreciate your dedication and value the quality of your work."
    Marcin Kubica
    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.


    "INCREDIBLE!!! SPEECHLESS....! […] what a site....! […] yours, with dropped jaw, Peter."
    Peter Thompson, Composer
    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:

    • AppleScript
    • BBC Basic
    • C
    • CSS
    • HTML
    • JavaScript
    • Objective C
    • Pascal
    • PHP
    • PMS
    • SQL
    and I have experience in using all of the following desktop operating systems:
    • Mac OS X
    • Mac OS 'Classic' versions 6 to 9
    • RISC OS
    • Unix variants including Linux
    • Windows 3.1/95/98/XP/Vista/7
    The above lists are not intended to be comprehensive, but merely indicate the languages and systems that I have used at least fairly frequently and with which I have a level of familiarity ranging from 'reasonable' to 'expert'.

    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.