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About

So, this is me.  Bipolar Bob.  At 59 I’m staring the big 60 down both barrels.  Still, I have lots to be thankful for and try, even during the most crushing depressions, to be a ‘glass half-full‘ type of guy.  Even so, there are times, when I can’t hide the pain of what is really going on inside my head.

 

Being Dad

The number one person in my life is my son, Morgan. I’ve always been his primary care-giver and since his mum and I split some 12 years ago, he has spent most of his time living with me. I’m quite proud of my paternal skills (it’s about the only thing I haven’t made a fuck-up of. And no matter how bad my bipolar got, I never failed to get out of bed, get him ready for school, with breakfast and everything. He’s never gone hungry or failed to have clean clothes to put on. But perhaps more than that, our home is full of love.

I largely relied on just having a happy dad face, even though, inside, I may have been falling apart. He’s nearly 17 now and sees through my masks and can tell from my eyes as to where I’m at. He’s a fine young man, intelligent, caring and very funny. I’m not only lucky to have such a great son, we have developed, over the years, a very close relationship and I will always be grateful to his mum, Leah for facilitating this.

Being Bipolar

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder back in 2002.  That said, the diagnosis kind of made sense of my life.  Since my teenage years, my life has been an emotional rollercoaster, so while I may have only been diagnosed since 2002, I can trace back the onset of bipolar to my mid-teens, around the time of my mother’s death.

 

Talking of medication I’m on..

  • 1.5g Depakote (Valproate Semi-sodium) – mood stabiliser
  • 20mg Olanzapine – antipsychotic
  • 20mg Sertraline – antidepressant
  • 7.5mg Zopiclone – sleeping tablet

 

 

Bipolar Disorder / Manic Depression

 

I’m under the care of my local mental health team (NAViGO) and have a Care Co-ordinator / Community Psychiatric Nurse who visits me at home every couple of weeks and a Consultant Psychiatrist, whom I see every three months or sooner if I’m going through a crisis and need my medication adjusting.

 

Living with Bipolar 1, I experience the full spectrum of the illness including, mixed episodes where I am depressed and manic at the same time and, with over seven mood changes a year, I am rapid-cycling.  Given my past professional work, I can honestly say I do not make a good patient and have regular disagreements with my psychiatrist regarding my care and treatment.  But more about that in the Bipolar Blog.

Software & Coding

Before developing Bipolar Disorder I held very responsible jobs working with single homeless people, often with special needs such as drugs, alcohol and mental health.  Working mainly in residential projects, I worked my way up into management and senior management positions.  Having done that for nearly 25 years, I didn’t know how to do much else.  I had always had an interest in computers and information technology in general, so the whole idea of writing code really excited me.

Left with a lot of dead time on my hands and varying degrees of loneliness, I decided, although I lived with a serious mental illness, it had no effect on my intelligence or my ability to learn new things.  So, during the past 16 years I have taught myself to code in Visual Basic, Visual C++, Dev ++, php, mySQL, a bit of Perl and several rapid application development packages to speed-up the mundane code writing.  I am also experienced in HTML5 and CSS.  These days I tend to use Microsoft’s Visual Studio…a version which I reverse engineered a little while ago.

I have never had a computer lesson in my life and gained my skills through trial and error, lots of books and more help, advice and support from the members of the Stack Overflow Forum, than I can quantify.

Having learnt enough skills to basically make a computer do anything I want it to do; what next?  Turn to the darkside I guess; become a hacker, a cracker and all-round digital bad boy.  I’d be a liar if I said I have never hacked and defaced a website or, using a Denial of Service Attack, crashed web-servers and effectively taking them off-line.  This is something I usually reserve for British politicians who are kicking the shit out of disabled people by taking their benefits away, using it to fund tax-breaks for the richest in society.  

Apache web-servers are my favorite as I can usually crash them in under five seconds and, using something called SQL Injections, I can gain access to the server and deface the home-page.

In the Excel section of this site I show you, using video, how to create undetectable, yet massively destructive malware using nothing more than Excel – while the end-user/victim is viewing a spreadsheet the hard-drive turns to shit and their computer is not only fucked, it is unbootable and all this happens at the blink of an eye.  Please remember though that this section is for educational purposes only and severe penalties (eg. jail-time) awaits anyone who distributes code like this with malicious intent.

 

Reverse Engineering

These days I get my mental kicks from reverse engineering software in order to crack it so that I can use it for free while I save-up to purchase a genuine copy.  Living on a small pension, because of bipolar, I doubt if I will ever be able to afford programs like Adobe AfterEffects and Microsoft Office.  So I use decompilers and other hacking tools to reverse engineer them purely for educational reasons and to keep my brain in fully working order, even though my mind is fucked.  I see the companies security algorithms as a challenge, in much the same way as a reader of the London Times tackles their cryptic crossword.

Important
I only reverse software which has already been cracked and is now a carrier for malware, viruses and other nasties.  Keeping and, often improving the original crack, I take dangerous software and make it safe. I do crack software for my own use, but I do not release them to the public.

I hope to develop a course on this website introducing beginners to Reverse Engineering, but if you can’t wait until then, you will need a decompiler. A really good decompiler for .NET applications is .NET Reflector – there is a video on their website which demonstrates just how easy it is to decompile a program.  .NET Reflector is a tool I use and yes, I’m using a cracked copy.

If you want to decompile a standard exe file written in C# or C++ then check out Google as there is a number of free and open-source decompilers available.  

Once decompiled, I use Microsoft’s Visual Studio Enterprise 2015, which is a programming platform for a number of languages, including Visual Basic, Visual C# and Visual C++.  You can download a clean, cracked copy of the Enterprise edition from HERE.  Having pre-cracked it, all you have to do is download Visual Studio and run Setup.exe.  It is a big program and will take the best part of an hour to install and you will not have access to the Internet during this time.

Some of my reversed projects can be found in the Software Category of this website.  But please remember, they are there for educational purposes only and if you do come across an application you want to keep using, do the right thing, support the developers and buy a genuine copy.

 

Copyright

The software industry, like the music and movies industries, would have you believe that a copyright violation is theft….well it isn’t.  A copyright violation is what it says it is, and is certainly not theft.  Theft is when you permanently deprive an owner of her/his property and that cannot include copyright violations.  Well that’s the way in the UK when it comes to the Theft Act 1968.

The whole pirate thing is a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour.  I don’t see myself as a software pirate, I just love the challenge of reversing.

I don’t seek to profit from this website hence you see NO ADVERTISING – I just think we can all do a with a rest from adverts, particularly Google Adsense™.  That said, this site is not without cost.  I have hosting and bandwidth fees along with annual fees for my cloud file server, so if you can make a donation, no matter how small, I will love you forever.

 

 

Working with Excel

As the holder of a Microsoft Office Specialist accreditation in using Excel. I am putting together a series of videos and other aids for others to follow and hopefully gain their MOS too, which not only improves employability by adding this sought after qualification on your CV or resume. While in work, you can’t fail to impress your boss with your Excel professionalism – something which will hopefully be recognised when it comes to your annual pay-rise.

As part of the course I am putting together all the resources necessary for you to pass MOS Exam 77-420 including well explained video tutorials on the various Functions you will need to be comfortable in using. I have already made 10 videos on getting to grips with Excel. This course, together with any personal support I can offer, is being made available FREE. So if there is something you don’t understand, I can be contacted by email, Skype and even phone. So when you do get that fat pay-rise, remember me and my plea for a small donation 🙂

I am also planning an introductory course in using the Microsoft Office built in programming language, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).  Essentially, VBA is a cut-down version of Microsoft’s Visual Basic 6.  It will bring a real dynamic function to particularly Excel and Access, but I’ll be focusing on VBA for Excel.  Don’t worry if VBA is new to you, my course, which will be FREE by the way, will make no assumptions about programming skill and I’ll be starting from the very beginning and everything will be backed up with instructional videos and downloadable examples from my Google Drive.  Having a working knowledge of VBA and how you can utilise it within Microsoft Office is a highly sought after skill.


 

Homelessness

The nearest big town to me in Cleethorpes is a place called Grimsby. Once a thriving fishing port, Grimsby now, thanks to European Union fishing quotas, has hardly any fishing fleet left. In it’s wake is something of a ghost town with very little industry and as a result, Grimsby has some of the most deprived areas in the United Kingdom. Given this as a social starting point, there is little wonder that Grimsby has high levels of homelessness and social exclusion, often due to lifestyle and/or mental health.

 

A heartfelt Plea

Harbour Place is a day centre for such people. With somewhere warm to come and have a cup of tea, a shower, clean clothes, advice and a hot lunch for just 20p (30 cents), Harbour Place is a real sanctuary for people who are either sleeping on the streets in doorways or those who are otherwise socially excluded. Given my past professional experience in working with this client-group it’s a real privilege to spend each Tuesday volunteering at the Centre, helping out where I can or just being a listening ear. It’s nice to once again be working with this client group and as a volunteer, I am not encumbered with admin, staffing, rotas and funding. All of that is now way above my pay-scale.

With four computers available for the clients to access, I’m on hand to help should they need it etc.

On a Wednesday afternoon I help out with the Centre’s ‘Job Club’ in the new computer suite, just across the road from the day centre. Clients can access the service to create a CV (resume) and look for any job opportunities online and perhaps register with local employment agencies. For readers not in the UK, I’ll explain that Government regulations stipulate that, to receive out-of-work benefits (social security), they must be actively seeking work and be able to evidence that fact. But there are very few jobs available and job hunting can be a soul-destroying experience, especially when many employers don’t even have the common decency to reply to applicants – I guess this is probably reflective of the shear numbers applying for any jobs which come up.

The Centre also has a small outreach team who work with rough-sleepers, handing out sleeping bags, advice and help to get them off the street and into other services such as the YMCA and Salvation Army hostels.

Anyway, I’m pleased to be part of the team at Harbour Place and the valuable work they undertake.


 

Free Web Development

I love information technology and computer science and as such, I am ready and willing to build and develop dynamic web sites, like this one, for charities and community groups completely free of any charge what-so-ever.  No caveats or clauses – it’s just free.  It gives me something to do which I love and in return I get to help out a charity or community group.

Of course, you will need to buy your own domain name, but these are cheap as chips and you will need somewhere to host your website.  One of the biggest and best hosting companies in the world is GoDaddy™ and they have hosting plans, which includes a free domain address, from just £2.99 per month.  The design, development and on-going care of your site will be provided by me, to your direction, for no charge what-so-ever.

So if you represent a charity or community group, need a website or your old website just looks tired and in-need of a total makeover, then get in touch with your needs etc.

If you’re wondering, this offer is not just restricted to the United Kingdom, but to friends around the world.  I can only build a site in English though, so if you’re in the USA, Canada (English speaking), Australia or New Zealand, please get in touch and if I’m not up to my eyes in work, it will be my pleasure to help out and deliver you a website to be proud of.

Important
Please be aware, I will not assist in the development of hate sites and those such as pro-anorexia, suicide and other self-harm promotions. 

I’ll even supply you with a video on how you can update your news and dynamic content, but if you get stuck, even though it’s a free service, support is provided by email, Skype or telephone.

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