Peter Croyden

Posted: Fri 9 Dec 2011, 10:01am.

Peter CroydenStaff in IT Services were saddened to hear that former colleague Peter Croyden passed away on Friday 2 December after a short illness.

Peter started work as a programmer in what was the Computing Centre in 1976. His speciality was in mathematics and numerical analysis, and much of his work was in support of members of the Mathematics faculty, using programming languages as diverse as Fortran, Algol68 and Pascal. Peter also became the resident expert in the mathematical typesetting languages TeX and LaTex, and in later years he also provided strong support for another mathematics software package, Maple.

He also became a proficient developer of software based on Java and Perl. He later developed an interest in Linux, the then fledgling Unix-based operating system for microcomputers, and became a respected developer and supporter of its use by early adopters of the system and its derivatives and on computers managed by IT Services. Peter was instrumental in the early development of a number of services which are now a core feature of IT Services support, such as the Online Help Desk (known to most as the FAQs) which in its first incarnation used keyword-driven databases built and accessed by Perl engines.

Peter was never a person to self-promote or trumpet his considerable abilities and his sharp intellect, preferring to work quietly in the background, but always willing to give his time generously and patiently to those who called upon him. Peter enjoyed regular walks on the nearby Downs with his colleagues at lunchtimes, and often was the centre of animated conversations on the issues of the day or the various injustices or inequalities of life.

Peter retired at the end of 2006 and will be remembered with much affection by his former colleagues.

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