Eventually in 1995 Eaton decided to close their factory in Plymouth and this time I was not able to escape the redundancies. I was able to secure a role as an Analyst Programmer in Newton Abbot working for Centrax quite quickly. This again turned into an IT Manager’s role when the incumbent decided to leave. I was quickly able to assimilate into the technical environment as they used an AS/400 along with MAPICs. I was once more involved in heavily modifying MAPICS this time using RPGILE. I also took the opportunity to develop my man management skills as I had responsibility for three members of staff.
At this time PC use was sporadic and uncoordinated within Centrax. I was able to convince the owners to invest in the networking of all PCs. This time I was sole project manager for the implementation. We eventually ended up with approximately 120 networked PCs.
The implementation of the network quickly resulted in an increase in user requirements, especially prevalent were requests to process the AS/400 based data. As a result of this a decision was made to utilise Delphi to assist in these requirements. I was involved in developing various projects that linked AS/400 information and standalone databases utilising Delphi front ends.
Two years into my tenure at Centrax two important events happened. I had my first exposure to the Internet and the opportunity arose to become self employed. My first year of self employment involved splitting my time between Centrax and my new customer Rittal-CSM in Plymouth. I was used in purely a development capacity by Centrax whilst they recruited my replacement. I was also involved in the smooth handover when my replacement was eventually recruited.