IT Experience



Particle Physicity


Researcher at University of Manchester, CERN and DESY.
As a software engineer
"This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man."
Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82
by William Shakespeare

Welcome to the Musings of Kara the Valkyrie

An eclectic mix of naval history, coding and whatever takes my interest

This is a work in progress and the site has only just been stood up again.

About Kara

I first got into computer programming in the 1970s, writing programs in BASIC and assembler for a Sinclair ZX80 and the BBC Micro. By the 1980s I was writing experimental control, and data analysis software for my Ph.D. in Experimental High Energy Particle Physics, working on the WA69 Omega Photon Experiment at CERN. I was a physics researcher University of Manchester for a couple of years, working at CERN, DESY and visiting Rutherford Lab from time to time. My first software job was at a small Stockport company, Yezerski-Roper, which created vehicle breakdown recovery services using VAX and Alpha VMS systems. My wife and I moved from England to United States at the end of the last century, and I was as a developer and dev lead at Microsoft, working on the Visual Studio IDE, car navigation systems, and IOT devices, amongst many other things. More recently, I moved from Microsoft to Amazon. We have two children, and our family lives in the Seattle area​

Shield Maidens

I really admire Shield Maidens, just in case that isn't obvious.

R.M.S. Titanic
C Programming
The C++ STL

My Titanic Page

The Olden Days

the Standard Template Library

I've been fascinated by the story of the RMS Titanic since I was a child. When the internet began to take off in the 1990s, I started a Titanic web page. It has been sadly neglected as family and work diminshed my free time, but you can see what I put together on my Titanic pages.
It is an unassailable fact that all real programmers started out using BASIC or FORTRAN. When the young pretender, C, turned up, some of us quickly realized that at last we had the chace to do buffer overruns and memory corruption properly.
Object Oriented Programming is, of course, the pinnacle of humanity's intellectual achievement. At the vanguard of this was C++. Disappointingly, this made it slightly more difficult to corrupt your own memory, but made up for it by not having a fully-functional string class. Who needs strings anyway? Apparently some people did, because the STL was invented. So far, only the headers have been found. The actual "body code" is rumoured to have been sealed in that warehouse, with the Lost Ark. In the meantime, here's my STL Tutorial