When I posted the piece on Francisco Ayala a couple of weeks ago, I amost started with a flippant aside about a spooky coincidence with his name – but thought better of it when I saw how significant the guy’s work was.

Anyway the story was this. The name Ayala rang a bell, because about 5 years ago I was working in the Philipines, in a suburb of Manila called Ayala. The software I was setting up had a web server running in a third-party component and it was called Ayala, on the box I’d brought in from the UK. I thought, that’s nice, the supplier called the server after the customer’s location – how thoughful. Well no, the supplier in fact had no idea we were in Ayala, or that Manila had a suburb called Ayala, in fact neither did I until I was in the taxi from the hotel to the office. Apparently the supplier was in the habit of naming his web servers after wines, and Ayala was the name of one of his favourites. (Makes a change from Star-Wars characters I suppose.) Spooky.

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