Dr Stephen Borrill




Who am I?

    Good question. If you ever find out, let me know...

    I am nerdier
than 98% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find

    I'm your typical Generation Y (according to the Independent). Too over-educated and boring to be part of Generation X. I did use to have long hair though, plus I'm in a band (though not a very cool one).

    I'm now, as much as I hate to admit it, 42 years of age. I've worked my way through a B.A., an M.A. (though they give you that at Cambridge University) and a PhD to emerge holding lots of bits of paper that qualify me to do nothing of interest.

    I used to live in a village called Whitgift which is near a place called Goole. Luckily, I managed to leave and come to Cambridge. Being too lazy to move, I've stayed in Cambridge since finishing my studies and have since bought a house.

    In 2003, I got married to the lovely Mandy and in 2005, we had our first child, Jemima.

What do I do?

The flippant answer would be as little as possible which I'd have to admit had a certain truth to it.

I am interested in a variety of different things which I suppose I ought to split into separate sections as follows.


I do lots of playing about with computers. I used to use Acorn computers and RISCOS a lot. I still use my RiscPC frequently at work. My big interest is NetBSD which is a highly portable Unix-alike operating system. I become a developer in 2007.

In 1999, I set up a company called Precedence Technologies Ltd to focus on the technologies I'd been previously working on, plus add some new ones. We've put together a fully integrated server product (the NetManager) based round NetBSD. I've written system software for this as well as numerous administration utilities (e.g. web-based user, printer admin). I've written a web-based email package for the NetManager which offers a whole raft of features including mail filtering and high configurability.

In addition, I've designed and written ThinIT, an thin-client operating system as well as specifying and project-managing the creation of our thin-client hardware.

My interests and areas of knowledge are:

  • Internet
  • PHP/Apache/Squid
  • Unix as a server rather than Windows
  • Samba
  • Cross-platform networking
  • Citrix XenApp, XenServer, XenDesktop, Provisioning Services, Branch Repeater, VDI-in-a-Box, Access Gateway and related products (Citrix Certified Administrator and Citrix Certified Sales Professional)
  • Unix system administration
  • Open-source software
  • Product support


I play bass guitar in a couple of bands. I play a 5-string Yamaha BBN5 bass guitar and 4-string Bass Collection fretless.
  • I run the Stomp Happy Tribe Ceilidh Band and have done so for over 18 years now. We do lots of gigs around the Cambridge area for weddings, parties, students events, balls, etc. We are very competitive and can provide everything required (including PA, caller, etc.).
  • I'm also in the Babysitters with whom I've recorded a couple of CDs. We've also been on BBC1, but as you'll see from our website, we've been somewhat dormant recently.
  • Similarly, my heavy-metal band, the Terrorformers is now on an extended hiatus after losing our singer and a guitarist. Pity, we'd just done a good gig at the Cambridge Rock Festival.
I also enjoy motorcycling. I've managed to graduate from my previous Honda CX-500. I now have a Kawasaki GTR-1000 which I like to use as my main form of transport. It's a enormous bike designed for touring (it's a poor man's ST-1100). I'm not impressed by the build quality compared to Honda, though.

As for other forms of transport, I now have a decent car (Citroen C3 Picasso), but used to have a ropey old Mini which I'd had for over 6 years. Prior to that I had another ropey old Mini which I also had for over 6 years. I used to enjoy servicing and looking after the Minis, but now I'm just too busy. I did however manage to get the most recent Mini into a state where it could be driven away even though it had been stuck in a garden for about 3 years.


Didn't know whether to put computers under work or play, so it's got its own page


I studied at Fitzwilliam College at Cambridge University graduating in June 1993 with a 2:1 BA in Natural Sciences. The courses I did were (if you want a hint of my interests):

First year

  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology of Cells
  • Mathematics

Second year

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Experimental Psychology

Third year

  • Experimental Psychology
    • Learning
    • Cognition
    • Hearing
After the B.A. I went on to do a PhD in Psychoacoustics at the Department of Experimental Psychology. I was part of the Hearing group. My thesis was entitled Within- and across-channel processes contributing to Comodulation Detection Differences. I passed my PhD in April 1998 at long last.
Read my thesis

Apart from academic qualifications, I am also a Citrix Certified Administrator for Winframe 1.7, Metaframe 1.8, Presentation Server 4.0, XenApp 5.0 for 2003, XenApp 5.0 for 2008, XenApp 6.0, XenApp 6.5, Provisioning Server 5, XenDesktop 4.0, XenDesktop 7, XenServer 5.0 and XenServer 6, plus a Citrix Certified Sales Professional for the whole product range.

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