I am a hybrid.
I'm half Italian, half Indian and born in London.
I have degrees in psychology and computing.
I write software and I care passionately about user-centered design.
I play video games and make jewellery.
I'm unusual and awesome, but mostly awesome.
My name tends to cause some confusion.
Paola is an Italian name and is pronounced pow-la. Kathuria is an Indian name and is pronounced cath-you-ree-ah.
I called myself Paulina until I was 18, when I went to university.
My mother was born in Naples, Italy. She came to England to find work.
My father was from New Delhi, India (originally the area of Punjab that is now in Pakistan), and came over to do a Civil Engineering degree.
They met at Hammersmith Palais, a dance hall in London, England. These pictures were taken while they were courting.
I went to a girls' secondary school.
If I hadn't, I'm not sure I would have done Maths, Biology and Physics 'A' Levels.
I was accepted on the BSc in Biophysics and Mathematics at Leeds University but decided I'd rather do Psychology and so changed my place before I left for Leeds.
Having had a taste of programming in my final-year option and knowing that I wanted to do some applied computing to psychology, I decided to go for a PhD but couldn't get in anywhere with my 2ii so went for a Masters.
I ended up at North Staffordshire Polytechnic on an MSc in Computing Science. I spent my six months industrial placement building a price-quoting system for Wiggins Teape, which was also when I became a feminist.
After my MSc, I got a place on a DPhil at the University of Kent at Canterbury (UKC), doing a joint degree in Applied Computing to Psychology.
However, I was moved into Applied Psychology to Computing (specifically, HCI - so much for models of memory and language).
One January day, I posted a question to the Usenet newsgroup ;misc.misc and got a reply from someone called Frank Wales.
We mailed each other for three months before meeting in person.
Before we met, He sent me an imposing photo of himself, taken on self-timer at his desk at Zengrange. And I sent him an obscure photo of me.
I met Frank on a Thursday. By the Monday, we knew we were going to live together. I proposed that year.
We got married on 02-02-02 without telling anyone beforehand.
I started using e-mail at UKC, then Usenet. I got into talkers (chat), using Bullet at UCL, Warwick, tardis, IRC UnderWorld), BBSs (UnAxcess at Bradford) and MUDs (AberMUD at Southampton, MIST at Essex and MUD in Essex).
I used the nickname Poot, then started using kwistle on #england on IRC. I could be found on IRC using the nickname kwis on #GB.
I used to write for comms magazines about multi-user games and the Internet.
I am Poot Dibou in Second Life.
Frank and I founded ArcGlade Services Ltd for handling contract work.
I sell my jewellery and art through ArcGlade.
ArcGlade started trading as Limitless Innovations in 2000.
Frank and I founded Limitless Technical Dimensions Ltd - Limitless - with another couple in 1995.
We were one of the first web companies in the UK at the time, specialising in interactive web sites with databases behind them.
I worked as the client contact and wrote proposals. I ran requirements workshops and wrote requirements documents.
I was the Information Architect and UI Designer, briefing and managing visual designers and copywriters. I wrote style guides and maintenance manuals. I was often ran the projects from end to end.
We were creating web sites for large companies and organisations at a time when most people didn't have a web site.
Frank and I left Limitless at the end of 1999 to concentrate on consultancy.
ArcGlade began trading as Limitless Innovations to reassure that Limitless's clients that we were still there for them.
We started contracting again in 2010.
Frank took a perm role as a manager at Net-A-Porter for five years. He is now a partner at Corrick, Wales & partners.
After finding a lump, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2010.
I had a successful lumpectomy - in and out in an afternoon. I also had six rounds of FEC chemotherapy, 18 radiotherapy sessions ending in October 2010. I took Tamoxifen (the opposite of HRT, it removes female hormones) for five years.
Inspired by my Second Life avatar, Poot Dibou, I bought a blue cosplay wig when my hair fell out.
After my (prematurely white) hair grew back, I started dying it blue. It makes me smile.
I kept a journal of my cancer journey - it starts with my mailed announcement.
I started making earrings when I was a student the first time in 1980. I sold earrings at a women's co-operative shop in Leeds but mostly made earrings for myself and friends.
I have been selling jewellery in an online shop I built myself since 2004.
Have a look at some of my favourite designs.