|Who the heck is Fred?
Well, in the first place the creator and author of this website.
Fred is not a fan of Facebook or social media in general and therefore
this page will not give you an exhaustive description of the person and
his personal circumstances, neither will it be loaded with private
Fred is retired but still has a professional job (but also lots of
spare time), he
changes half-yearly between two residences, located respectively in the
Netherlands and in France, he is not very good in electronics but he
has some technical skills.
Originally trained as an analytical chemist, Fred specialised in
radiochemistry research and changed after over ten years in a
university institution to a management job in the radiopharmaceutical
industry, which he kept for over twenty years. After his retirement he
still active in his private company as a consultant providing advisory
services to industry, ranging from radiopharmaceutical manufacturing
facilities, over nuclear medicine departments in academic hospitals to
radionuclide producing nuclear reactors.
Working on the linear accelerator in the 1980's
Needless to say that Fred is in favour of more implementation of
nuclear energy in society. His opinion is based on rational and
scientific grounds, contrary to most opponents of nuclear energy who
base their rejecting ideas mostly on emotions or on faulty information.
However, here we shall have no further discussion on this subject
because this website is not dedicated to political discussions about
nuclear energy. On the world
wide web you can find another website written and maintained by Fred
with factual particulars about nuclear energy. A totally different
subject which can also be found on a website by Fred is about his
3D-printer project from 2013-2014. Google for: Fred's RepRap Blog.
Fred is more or less fluent in four languages and he can deal with some
more; he is
co-author of a few scientific publications and co-inventor of a couple
of inventions, covered by international patents.
from the Fusor project and a RepRap 3D printer project Fred has
photography as a hobby and he prefers
analogue photography over digital. It is not a total rejection of
digital techniques that causes his preference, but he has the opinion
that nothing can be appreciated more than a classical black and white
Fred is using the following camera's:
E-1 and Olympus E-P1
DCS Pro 14n
One digital back for Contax 645
room is equipped with a Durst Modular 70 enlarger, an Omega D2 with
Ilford Multigrade head and a Leitz Focomat V35. For digital work he
uses an Epson 2100 printer and an Epson F-3200 scanner.
Computers are well-known to Fred (his experience dates back to the
early 1970's starting with a PDP-8) but they are absolutely not his
knowledge is based on the principle: "know your enemy!" The fact that
Fred hates computers is a reason to dive into the subject somewhat more
Fred's preference is clearly for Apple computers, with which he is
starting from the Apple II. Currently he uses a 1999 PowerMac 3,1 G4,
a 2002 white iBook G3 (A1005,
only for connecting to his Phase One digital back), a 2005 PowerMac 7,2
2010 4,1 MacMini, a late 2010 3,2 13" MacBook Air and an early 2013
10,1 15" MacBook Pro Retina (16 GB RAM and 500 GB SSD). He also makes
of a 2013 iPhone 4, a 2016 iPhone 5S, a 2009 160 GB iPod
classic 6th generation and 2nd revision, a 2010 Airport Express base
station, a 2013 2 TB Airport Time Capsule, a 2015 Apple TV 3, two 2005
M8817FD/B iSight videocameras and a 1996
Apple Newton Messagepad 130.
"Once you buy your first Apple product you're hooked on!" Correct, but
unfortunately, in Fred's opinion, Apple Inc. exercises a conspiracy
against their customers by offering free Operating System (OS) updates
for their products, which slowly makes your beloved computer more or
less useless due to increased complexity of the OS. This increased
complexity turns your somewhat aged computer to running slower, it
increases the download times on the internet and it is meant to
irritate you in such a way that you feel obliged to buy a new computer
(anyway, that is what Apple probably hopes). From a commercial point of
view this concept is not very uncommon (this practice may be called
"programmed aging") but the malicious character of this policy is in
particular demonstrated by the fact that the user has never been and
will never be offered a possibility to downgrade to a lower OS version
for your system after such an unsuitable OS upgrade.
The intelligent observer can learn from the listing above of Fred's computers by looking at the issueing dates
that the renewal cyclus of his Apple computers is about five years and
that might be in practice the timespan that Apple probably has in mind
for its progammed aging.
And indeed, after the current update of his MacBook Air (yes, also five
years old now) to the El Capitan OS, the MacBook is suddenly
considerably slower than with the previous Yosemite OS and it does take
ages to download webpages!
Another personal complaint about Apple's "war" against the customers is
the fact that hardware increasingly becomes less service friendly.
Another fine example of programmed aging!!! One should here think about
the impossibility to hardware upgrade models because of soldered in
components, the impossibilty to open casings for repairs, the
impossibility to replace batteries in iPhones, etc. Not to forget the
lack of quality of some installed components, e.g. the screen of the
iPod Classic, which has been changed twice in Fred's iPod, the optical
drives that break down prematurely, etc. All this in combination with
Apple's lousy one year limited guarantee (US: warranty) policy where
you have to pay to get additional coverage exceeding that first year,
whereas consumers in the EU by law have a right on two years
Summarizing we might conclude that Apple, Inc. is more dedicated to
"shareholder-value" than to "customer-satisfaction". In Fred's opinion
a life-threatening disease that many companies with an anglosaxon
business model suffer from.
The image below shows the 1999 PowerMac G4 in Fred's computer
collection, which is running on OS 9. It has a 400 MHz processor and
amazingly it runs faster than a Windows machine with a 2 GHz (i.e. five
times faster) processor and it even runs far more faster than the 1.86
Ghz MacBook Air after its most recent OS upgrade! In order to prevent
misunderstandings: running faster means here the start up time from
zero to fully alive and loading and executing programs aboard of the system.
For almost 15 years this particular Power Macintosh G4 has been used in
hospital nuclear medicine as the powerful and fast acquisition computer
of a Siemens Gamma Camera system, running Siemens ICON software. It is
in a mint condition and absolutely complete with the appropriate
vintage (i.e. acrylic glass) cinema screen, keyboard, mouse and a Harman Kardon Soundsticks speaker system (see images).
Currently, it runs abandonware
software from the 90's, in particular a relational database, it
contains a music collection but also it is the parent machine for the
For job related (professional) use Fred is more or less obliged to use
Windows operated computers and he has several machines on operating
systems like Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8.1 and 10. Again, some machines have
to operate on outdated operating systems because this is required by
some programs and/or attached equipment.
In the image on this page (top) you see a portrait of Fred taken on the
Russian Sheremetyevo International Airport, returning from a business
visit to a nuclear reactor site in the Ural. And yes, the trapper's hat
is real fur (silver fox), simply because it needs to be. In
temperatures below minus 35 °C synthetic fur becomes hard and brittle
and the hairs will break and therefore loose its protective properties
against cold. For those who might worry: the material used for the hat
is guaranteed to be real BioFurŪ.
Questions? Remarks? Use the feedback link!