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Before I created my user account I browsed various articles and user pages. I discovered that many users were (ahem) considerably younger than me, so for my Tolkien Gateway identification I chose "Gamling", the name of one of the Rohirrim that means "old man". Yeah, yeah, I could have chosen "Shark├╗", which also means "old man" (in Orkish), but let's not get insulting.

I have a degree in English and another degree in Computer Science. I was part of the engineering team that wrote software to run the International Space Station. At the same time I have been interested in Middle-earth since I first read Professor Tolkien's works in the 1960s. In the early 1970s I even produced a hand-written scroll about 60 feet long detailing all of the history of Middle-earth known at that time (before The Silmarillion or any other works by Christopher Tolkien appeared). The history of Middle-earth remains my favorite interest.

In the Prologue to The Fellowship of the Ring, there is a comment about the genealogical trees at the end of the Red Book of Westmarch: "Hobbits delighted in such things, if they were accurate: they liked to have books filled with things that they already knew, set out fair and square with no contradictions." That seems to me to be the top principle of this endeavor and a good one for all to follow.

Dave Pleger -