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Bob Crisp's background founder of the 1Stops Group Click here to skip history

I have always been interested in electronics and printing. As a kid I had a John Bull Printing Kit (never seamed to have enough letters). I started work as a trainee TV engineer as I thought this would be the trade of the future. I those days it was valves and converters so that you could receive ITV on a BBC only TV. It progressed to transistors and later the microchip (which consists of thousands or even millions of transistors on one slice or chip of silicon.

As I thought the microchip was going to be the future I bought a “Home Computer Kit” to give me hands on experience. This was before the term Personal Computer (PC) was in invented. This kit consisted of a bag of chips and a blank printed circuit board on which I had to solder several hundred chips, resistors and capacitors. My new computer worked at a reckless speed of 2megs per second and had a whole 1k (1,000) user memory. The memory was later extended a massive 48k on an addition board also added two latest state of the art 5in double sided floppies with a massive capacity of 133kbts. Altogether it all cost me £1,600. I could not afford a Hard Drive, in those days a 20meg was just under £600. Just think what you can get for that now! The modern computers are a fraction of the price and the speeds are a thousand times faster with memory in Gbtes (1,000 million). Also due to the lack of memory I was writing programs in machine code using M80 Assembly.

Same as mobile phones, these use to be a suitcase with a phone on top- now so small and very powerful and full of extra features.

When microchips started to find there way into TV's I realised that the days of the TV engineer was numbered if the complete circuit is on one microchip it dose not take an expert to work out the problem. I had to fault find right down to component level and replace the component all within 15 minutes. With the price of many boards nowadays it doesn’t make sense in repairing them.

As art and printing was my other main interest I bought a brand new Gestetner and started Printing Services. A few months later I swapped this one for the next model up with automatic vacuum feed, this was in 1973. Over the years I built up the printing business and have seen a many great changes. Initially we were used rub down transfers for producing the letters and the invoice forms were produce by pen and ink. A painstaking and slow way of producing the artwork.

Our first typesetting machine consisted of a large wheel with all the letters, numbers and symbols around the edge.  This wheel was turned round until the correct letter is in position, pressing a button photographed this letter onto photographic paper.  All this was done blind and you only found out your mistakes after the paper was developed when it’s too late. It had set of different wheels for each type font, style (normal, bold, italic, bold italic) and size. To cover ten different sizes on just one font style needed forty different wheels were required.  These wheels were 14in. across and a quarter inch thick so storage was a considerable problem.  With all its problems this was a vast improvement on the transfer system. The output from this machine was a long strip of words on paper which was cut and pasted on to a board in their required position together with pictures, drawings and ruled forms to produce the artwork hence the expression “paste up artist”.

The modern systems are basically standard PCs running graphic software together with a special printer which prints by laser directly onto photographic film which is automatically developed, fixed, washed and dried.  This film is used to expose the plates. The great advantage of this system is that what you see on the screen is what is printed on to the plate in less than ten minutes. Bach and his brother together with Ross are now running the print side of things leaving me to concentrating on the World Wide Web side of the business.   

This has also seen great changes. My first modem work at the reckless speed of 300/75. As there is 10 bits for one byte, the download speed was 30 bytes and the upload speed was 7.5 bytes per second.  No way one could transmit a photograph that these speeds.  As the telephone system was designed for sound, the data was converted to tones and the maximum speed that could be achieved was 56k. 

ISDN achieves a faster speed by splitting the data between more than one phone line, however this did not reduce the cost of transmission since you have to pay for all the phone lines used.

Broadband is an entirely different system by using a digital signal and not sound tones. Speeds of 8MB can be achieved on a BT line (actual speed depends on how near to the exchange and other factors). Now that reasonable speeds can be achieved large data files are no longer a problem.  This means pictures, music, phone calls (VOIP), games, software, books (PDF), even video and TV on the demand are now all practical. This increase bandwidth reduces the time it takes to load more complex pages, together with powerful search engines makes surfing the net more pleasurable.

As you can see I have a sound technical and practical background.

1StopPrinting - I sold the printing side of the business to Bachan who has been working for me for years so that I could concentrate on the web side of the business. I am still working closely with 1stopprint since clients need both services and to avoid duplication of artwork etc., and reduce setup costs.

1StopWebs - the web side of the service which provides complete web solutions from finding a suitable domain name, design and setting up the hosting with a personal touch.

1StopHosting – provides domain names and web hosting complete with loads of Free Software including a Website Builder, 500+ Free Templates 100,000+ Free Photos & Web Art together with a wide choice of tools and scripts to enable clients to setup and build their own websites.

1StopUtilities – save money on your gas, electricity, telephone services including landlines, mobiles, freephone 0800, 0845 & 0870 numbers and broadband even a Free Laptop and free wireless router. All with the convenience of just one monthly bill – think of the time saved on doing you accounts! Our customer service centre is located right here in the UK. So, in the unlikely event that you need to contact us, you can rest assured that you will be speaking with a highly trained advisor who will deal with and resolve your query as quickly as possible.
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Contact me personally email bob@1stops.co.uk