the cracker elf makes all our virtual crackers to order for each
of our customers. He takes great care and pleasure in producing
the best electronic crackers for you and me.
TorQil capitalised the Q in his name when he began working for
aQtive in 1999. When vfridge took over virtual crackers he was
one of a small group of key staff who moved into the new company.
However, he'd got used to the new spelling of his name and so
kept it in his new job. Then when vfridge also closed and Alan took over the care of crackers, TorQil has continued to offer his help.
Although the crackers website is based in the British Isles, TorQil is actually a telecommuter
and lives and works in a small grotto in northern Lapland.
TorQil's father, his grandfather and all his relatives work making
toys and presents which are delivered by reindeer and sledge to
children all over the world. However, at an early age it was clear
TorQil was not going to follow in the family tradition. From his
first Commodore 64 at the age of 9, through various GameBoys,
Nintendo, PCs and Macintosh his interest in things electronic
grew. Now the equipment in his grotto includes several Macs, Solaris
web servers and a Silicon Graphics workstation.
does mean that he can stay near his family and yet work in an
exciting hi-tech company. Finland's excellent mobile telecoms
infrastructure has also helped and like most Finns TorQil owns
several different mobile phones to match his extensive (and somewhat
gaudy) wardrobe. Linking his 3G phone to his laptop has meant
he can spend his weekends walking in the woods, picking berries
and mushrooms, and yet when inspiration strikes, open up his computer
and within seconds surf the web and email his latest plans for
crackers to us back in the UK.
There are technical problems working so far north. At one point
the heat from so many computers in his grotto started to melt
the ice on the floors, walls and ceiling. As well as making conditions
slippery underfoot (and drawing the ire of the health and safety
inspectors), the drips of melt water falling on the computers
caused several major crashes, not to mention nearly electrocuting
TorQil. However, he was able to call upon his ingenious (and much
more practical) family who constructed indoor umbrellas made of
space blankets, which reflect the heat from the machines away
from the walls and ceilings and protect the equipment below from
far the only place that has resisted TorQil's desire to stay permanently
online is the sauna.
are social problems too working within a community dedicated to
manual work and manufacturing. His family are constantly telling
him that he ought to live in the real world instead of imaginary
computer worlds. However, he always responds by listing all the
many people from all over the world who he converses with by email,
by sending virtual crackers and using his virtual fridge. His
family are, it must be said, a little scathing of the benefits
of a virtual fridge when the outside temperature is 30 degrees
below freezing. This can be a little depressing, as they are a
close family, but when he gets really low, he can always remind
himself thay they are in no position to talk about the real world
and the imaginary!
Living so far away from civilisation, TorQil gets few visitors,
but if you are visiting Finland be sure to take a trip up north
to visit him. He loves to show people his latest gadgets.
There is one night of the year when he takes a break from working
with his beloved computers and joins the rest of his relatives.
At vfridge we are of course happy to let him join the family business
for this crucial night of the year. In fact, if you look out around
midnight on Christmas Eve you may see him flying through the sky
hanging on to the sides of a sleigh. Computers are of course forbidden,
but if you look close he may just have snuck his PDA along with