My dad was one of the first people to set up a whole agency from scratch based on using computers, back in 1964. They used to hire time from IBM, anyway in those days it was all punch card technology. It used to print loads of waste paper in great big rolls, so we were never short of scrap paper to write or draw on, great wodges of the stuff.

I was at Manchester Business School studying public health management from 1982-4 and learned how to programme in Basic and write simple games.

From 1984-7 I was working in Salford Community Health Unit and scrounged four One Per Desk souped-up ZX Spectrums on trial from the distributor and set up a dial-up e-messaging network between our teams. The keyboard had an integrated phone - very advanced! Storage was on 64kb tape microdrives. The internet wasn't invented then, but there were a few public dial-up viewdata sites you could download information from, including one of the first health information sites, set up by a GP practice in North London. I used to cut and paste information on healthy living for a newsletter I produced. It opened my eyes to the possibilities. I reduced the hours of my f/t typist/PA support from 37 to 18 hours when another vacancy arose, and learned how to word process and mailmerge my own correspondence.