Social Enterprise

TR Member Spotlight with Old Mycroft

The TR Member Spotlight shines a bright light on Brian Drake, better known in the forums as Old Mycroft. Learn how Old Mycroft got started in IT, his education background, work history, musical claim to fame, and many more entertaining stories.

Podcast

When Sonja Thompson contacted this TR member, he said: "I was wondering how long it might be before the Scots got a chance to be heard." He even bought a landline for the occasion. Without further ado, the TR Member Spotlight shines a bright light on Brian Drake, better known in the forums as Old Mycroft.

Learn how Old Mycroft got started in IT, his education background, work history, musical claim to fame, and many more entertaining stories.  Listen to the podcast.

Young Mycroft

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

53 comments
JamesRL
JamesRL

I can't listen at work, and I've been messing with my home system again. I need to bring you over to the darkside of gaming - BF2. I belong to an international clan. We aren't totally serious, but we have fun. And hey ya old git, I peer mailed you - pouting....But seriously I realized after the recording how many shout outs I missed. I canna stand your naff insults to my dear departed neighbour Nan, who happened to come from the rough section of Glasga. Just joking, a great lady but.... Great to hear ya, I will peer mail you about something shortly. James

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

I just knew I was straying into enemy territory, even as I was saying it. To give Sonja her dues, she DID telephone me just before it was uploaded to ask if, in hindsight, there might be anything I'd prefer wasn't kept in the Spotlight - but if I hadn't gone with whatever I'd said it just wouldn't have been accurate. I knew someone would know someone that my 'dig' would apply to but HEY! - these [b]self-same foul-mouthed Weegie retards[/b] constantly accuse me of being either POSH or not-from-Glasgow-at-all!! :^0 As for Battlefield 2 - [i]"I do love the smell of napalmed-Canucks in the morning!!"[/i] ;)

JamesRL
JamesRL

And no you didn't insult her. She treated my kids like angels even when they weren't, she gave us lots of food. But some of her opinions on some of our mutual neighbours were from another era, if you know what I mean. The first guy I met from Glasgow was as a student in middle school (grades 7 & 8) and he had been a player on the Glasgow junior Rangers before his family dragged him to Canada. He was a year older and much taller than any of us and simply dominated us playing soccer, rugby or just about anything. He had kind of a soft spoken way about him. As for Battlefield, as its been out for some time, its pretty cheap to pick up, and runs well on most systems. Its really not a single player game, but most new players play single player to learn the maps before they get the inevitable butt kicking online. I'm an admin, so if you come to my servers, I can make sure you get a fair shake and not suffer too much abuse. :) James

Tig2
Tig2

I listened carefully and not even one mention of dear Velcro! I am on the verge of emailing her catnip so that she can properly wreak her revenge! It was a great interview, Sonja and Mycroft. Very interesting and (even though you dissed dear Velcro) quite entertaining. Thanks, Mycroft, for getting a landline so that we could finally put a voice to the name.

CaptBilly1Eye
CaptBilly1Eye

Hey OM, It was great to hear your voice again. Very entertaining. Best listened to with a dram of Oben. :-) ...always good to hear from you, Bud. It was great hearing some more detail of your past. You are truly one of a kind and I'm proud to call you friend! Thanks for the touching Shout-Out. I have to say the best laugh I had was when I realized the pipe music Sonja picked was 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.' Too bad, she didn't ask me... as ya know I have plenty o' true Scottish pipe music I could have donated. :D

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

That the pipes where not an Insult to OM from Sonja? :D I immediately thought what is that playing on the pipes and how will OM tolerate it. :^0 Col ]:)

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

My grandparents on both sides were from Ireland! :) Maternal from County Sligo and Paternal from County Cork, but how Sonja could've possibly known that I just cannot fathom. ;)

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Well I wouldn't say he's rude but my much milder responses seem to generate a lot of Peer Mails with complaints. :( So I naturally do as I please. :D Col ]:)

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

OM is not rude, he is... direct! :D Edited to add: He is a smart arse though! :p

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Sounds much better and can be used anywhere. ;) I just though it funny that an Irish Tune was being used for a Scottish trouble maker. :D And some people call me rude then I see some of OM's answers. :^0 Col ]:)

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

I was just happy to find some music with pipes! Had I known that CaptBilly1Eye could have hooked me up with some REAL Scottish pipes, I totally would have gone that route. Btw, I love pipes and didn't think they sounded cheesey at all.

Jacky Howe
Jacky Howe

I've been waiting for this pod and it was definately worth the wait. The cheesy Pipes were a fitting introduction and end to your interview, I love the Pipes. I had to sneak down to the Shed (4.30am) to be able to hear this interview so as not to wake anyone in the house. I have to have the volume up a bit more these days. The Kids have pinched all of my headphones. You certainly are multitalented OM and what an advantage you ended up with. You have the best of both worlds between Printing and IT. Well done Old Mate. Great interview Sonja, warm up the Piano. Beam me up Scotty PS. The neighbours dont know what they are missing out on.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

What a Understatement that is my friend. [b]SWMBO[/b] was a book binder when I first meet her and just getting in there was hard enough. I didn't want to even try to get into her work it's way too messy with all that Ink and other rubbish littering the place. Unless there is a major Fire Hazard they are not considered to be working. Great Interview there OM and I can not help but wonder why Sonja wanted to interview me as I'm Dull & Boring unlike everyone else she has interviewed. Though if you had of been half smart you could have hit Sonja for the Phone to do the Interview. :D OH I really expected the ascent to be much thicker you don't even sound like yourself as Boxy would say. ;\ Col

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

is a Tiggerism that I just use heavily. So when you coming in for maintenance, your memory appears to be going?! :D Davette

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I've been dieing to say that for ages now. :p But you are seriously mistaken here Davette I don't need any form of Maintenance you are just confused because I'm a [b]NICE[/b] computer and I help End Users instead of saying nasty things about them being incompetent. I chose not to be downgraded to the level of a Windows OS, so there is no chance that I'll be in for your so called [b]Routine Maintenance[/b] which is actually a massive downgrade in an attempt to make this HAL 9000 unit unreliable. :D So if you would prefer me to say something about the Active Links changing color in XP and deriding the user for not knowing and understanding this I can act like I care but I really don't. ;\ Col ]:)

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Surely it's obvious [b]WINDOWS[/b] and the TR Site Redesign which is all an attempt for one person to get the Swag Offered by Sonja to get me to post to a question and get another Thumb. :D Mycroft has already got a bunch of swag so I'm safe there for the time being at least. :0 But any [b]Advanced Computer System[/b] like me and most people do have trouble with Windows. :^0 Col ]:)

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

for faulty memory (among other things!), why are you posting in Questions as HAL? Hmmm? :D

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

RED, GREEN, BLUE, WHITE, YELLOW. I forget the matching-up but they represent who can go where depending on whether you carry a card for the following: [b]NGA[/b] National Graphical Association. [b]SLADE[/b] Society of Lithographic Artists Designers & Engravers. [b]SOGAT[/b] Society Of Graphical & Allied Trades. [b]NATSOPA[/b] National Society of Operatives and Printers Assistants. The only LINE you could cross was the YELLOW one but you wouldn't want to - 'coz then you were in danger of being mowed down by a fast-moving Forklift!! ;) I held 'tickets' for the first THREE but had to officially rescind them before I was 'allowed' to work for the Civil Service! You cannot hold Union Membership if you have also signed the Official Secrets Act. - Don't ask me what that's all about because within a fortnight of starting work for MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food) I was told I had to join [b]IPCS[/b] Institute of Professional Civil Servants! :^0

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Professional unCivil Servants are trusted unlike the Riff Raf Union Members who do everything possible to bring down the Government. Maggie told me than and she was right. :p You know trusted [b]unCivil Servants[/b] like Burgers, Philby and McLean are the ones that we need to be protected from but are the [b]Norm[/b] in the unCivil Service. :^0 Bureaucratic is interesting but very rarely makes any sense. :0 Much like the Industrial Health and Safety bunch here who came up with the idea that all people who got within 1 meter of train tracks needed to wear a Safety Vest so that they could be seen. The spent millions in painting lines on Train Platforms which couldn't be crossed by anyone not wearing a Safety Vest and all they achieved was preventing any passengers getting on the trains. Apparently it was fine to walk beside the white line drawn on the concrete but the moment you crossed it you had to be wearing a Safety Vest till you got into the Train where you could remove it again till you wanted to get off the train. :D Col ]:)

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

I thought he sounded just like him. ?:|

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

Did I hear an 'O' there and not a 'Glasgee'? :D I understand what you say about the 'old timers inside jokes' though. Like you said though, if people just chime in enough they will become a regular themself. :D

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

telling someone something, and it made no sense to them (like GG may have what you want). It made sense to me though, thats all that matters :D Its when they come back with "What are you talking about?" that makes me need to think..

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

THEM being plural SELF being singular Ergo, could be HIMself, HERself, or themSELVES. Here endeth the first lesson in [b]"How I introduced myself to TR!"[/b] A short episodic volume of only a few days. But it got me noticed, of that there can be No Doubt. Bet you're glad I don't do that anymore! ;)

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

I did pick up on that as I was typing, but didn't want to bother with the backspace button. :p

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

didnt bookmark it though, you seem to be one of the afflicted. Not Trusting Females :D What I read was a study of bachelors, and 60% (or something like that) main reason for not getting married had to do with trust issues..... That or fear of a failed marriage (still a trust issue)... While some of the other top contenders were still associated, such as with a failed marriage, giving up half your stuff AND paying alimony, etc...

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

There was no risk of alimony since there were no kids. But a financial horror can be difficult to forget, particularly when I'd done nothing wrong (except marry the b!tch). Anyway, my attitude is that it's their loss not mine. Eventually you realise there are more things to living than being one half of a couple. :)

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

Great Interview. Wow, you got a heavier accent than I would have thought. Sounds cool. Sorry to hear of the ailment. Must be a pain. :^0 :^0 -- I share those thoughts. Stupid Users -- :^0. Soooo very true! Wow, I didnt realixze that you were that new a member.. Hmmm, I guess you just 'fit in' right away :) LOL -- when I was first posting, I was totally different. I even complained to others about being rude. Yeah, like I do that often anymore.... I think I am pretty rude myself nowadays.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

that the god of scum is supposed to be rude. Couldn't hardly take a polite god of scum very seriously, now could we? :D

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

a goody goody scummy :0 However, if you look at many of my posts from several years ago, under W2K, and look at how I post these days, you will notice a HUGE difference. And please, dont take HUGE out of context... Well, never mind, Forget I said that :D

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

I guess HE wouldnt matter :0 Oops, did I say that??? Geez, she isnt even here and I am still messing with her....

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Because I'm Nice and would never say anything that would even imply anything else. :D I really hope that you are not trying to imply that there was another meaning for the above comment as that would be wrong wouldn't it? :^0 Col ]:)

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

After all, what's a couple of slices off something that's HUGE ? ;)

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I'm sure that Steffi's Hubby may have something to say about that comment. I believe that he will not be of the opinion that a slice is never missed off a cut loaf. :p Col ]:)

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

Now I regret getting on her that hard.... Wait, no I dont :D Hmmm, now I wanna get on her again :^0

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Look only joined in the 17-7-07 or as the Yanks like to say 7-17-07 though I'm not sure what month is the Seventeenth but you would hardly expect any better from a New Member. :D Stupid Users are New Members. :0 And you drove the Steffi 28 away as well. :^0 So you can't be all bad. :p Col ]:)

jdclyde
jdclyde

Maybe it is the "old" in the old mycroft that makes him seem like he has been here longer than he is? :D Fitting in with everyone helps, from young pups like myself, all the way up to our more elderly members [i](don't worry Mae, I won't mention you here!)[/i]. It is interesting the way fate seemed to prepare you for your destiny in tech. To be able to understand both sides of the business you are in is a rare thing, and gives you almost an unfair advantage. B-)

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

Give me a fighting chance at being treated as an equal (equally good or equally bad) but an equal nonetheless. I assumed (wrongly as it turned out) that TR was populated by Whizz Kids. It was months later that I realised there was a fair percentage of 'Crusties' and 'Silver Surfers', so the "Old" seemed even more of an inspired strategy. :D Anyway, it [b]WAS[/b] over 30 years since I'd read the Robert Heinlein book that I stole "Mycroft" from. ;) Y'see, it's not only my computers that are named after computers. :p

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

If it's not Scottish, it's crap!! I honestly didn't expect Mycroft to have such a deep voice! Great interview! I love the token exchange story!!

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

So after almost 40 years I don't notice it much, UNTIL I listened to the Spotlight!! So, in the Bard's famous 'wirds': O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us An foolish notion: What airs in dress an gait wad lea'es us, An ev'n devotion! Adding the sound of your own voice to that sentiment. ;)

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I prefer Yoga Berra: "I didn't really say everything I said."

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

OM, a greeeeeeat interview, Mate. Very good spotlight, its so nice to finally hear a Scot on TR, this really is a global community and needs to encompass everyone who participates. (I know you said first person SHOOTER, though I am sure some played it back a few times wondering how you got away with saying Sh11ter.) Cheers, OM

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

Ah've rewoont i' an' ah canna fin' it. Whit ur ye haverin' aboot?

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

You! Ba'-heid, ya auld weegie bampot. Look ah' Old Maycroft, wi is fancy computer. Jus 'a big ballon ya noo, mate!

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Funny enough, I saw that grim looking old broad in a YouTube funny pictures collection just last night. Here's a screenshot I got off of it, it makes me just pi$$ myself laughing, its just one of those great shots with the perfect caption. http://pic50.picturetrail.com/VOL490/3087922/20037756/324513286.jpg :D :D OMG THATS GREAT :D :D I get flashbacks of Sylvester the cat and the lost baby kangaroo. As for Ale, I suppose your locals are McEwans Scotch Ale (which I actuallly don't care for, tastes like a syropy cabernet sauvignon. Newcastle brown ale, now that I like. If you consider them local breweries, though not microbreweries. Of course that is when the pub, corner store, government dairy, private adult dairy or concession stand does not serve the black and brown. :)

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

That's #!%#~ blooterin' #!$#~ brilliant by the way! Whit the #"%# dae ye #!%#~ think ahm #!%#~ daen aw the #"!%$#~~ wuy up in ra #"!$?%^ Heilans fur ya #"$%?&^*# bawbag! Ah'm #?"$%^ keepin' oot ae the #"?$%^~ wuy ae a' thae #"?$%^# Weegies. :^0

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

I have been looking forward to this Member Spotlight for a few days now, mostly because I really, really wanted to hear your voice Old Mycroft. I'm a sucker for an accent. And that sort of deep, gravelly thing you've got going. ;) I've been grinning most of the way through it. I sure would have liked to hear everything that got cut... Guess it's a good thing we are on opposite sides of the pond, me being female. :D This way we can be friends.

GSG
GSG

Boxy, I was thinking the same thing. Gotta love the deep, gravelly voice with the sexy accent!

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

Occasionally I tend to let my guard down, when I know I can trust someone. You are now in the Inner Sanctum, ... and the rest of my thoughts have just been edited! ;)

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

curmudgeon or no! You're right up there at the top of my list. If you have to ask which list, I'll put you on the other one. :D

Editor's Picks