David Hartley
David Hartley
Location:Port Douglas, North Queensland, Australia
Time Zone: GMT +10:00
It is now in Port Douglas.
Contact Info:Email:david@elanelan.com
Tel:+61 07 4099 1264

The Adventure in Progress

The adventure has encompassed civil engineering, computing, business (4 companies in 4 countries), life in 8 countries, and 4 wives. There have been big successes and big failures in both business and love. The failures are part of the learning process - hopefully!

After starting professional life as a civil engineer in Australia with the Brisbane City Council in 1966, my serious computing started in Namibia, Africa, in 1969 with the mathematical modelling of a large river basin using 100 years of rainfall data. To get the job done on the computer available, an ICT 1500, I had to get into the guts of the Fortran compiler - great fun.

After a period back in Australia working with a consulting civil engineering firm, I decided that the computing was more interesting than the engineering, and so started Hartley Computer in 1974, to develop software for the Accounting Profession, as Accountants needed computing but were not into doing it themselves as engineers then tended to be. My colleagues and I developed HAPAS (HArtley Professional Accountants’ System and SHEILA (System by Hartley for Entirely Integrated Ledger Accounting), plus associated systems, ultimately including hardware (the 3900) and operating system too - RT86, a true pre-emptive multi user multi tasking operating system for the 8086 chip, launched in 1980, 15 years before Windows PCs had that capability.

Hartley Computer was one of the first mini/PC computer vertical market successes in the world, with ultimately 250 staff and 3,000 sites in 7 countries. In the process I became known as “the father of computer client accounting”, and we won several awards. The success was killed by hubris and a messy divorce. Big lessons, only partly learned at the time.

Then from 1985 there was Banksia Information Technology (BIT) in Hong Kong which designed and manufactured IT gear (PCs, modems, and the a voice activated fax/phone switch we called PHAXswitch), and more design awards...

And so to the UK in 1993 via Australia and New Zealand, with HAPAS Mark II, named Hartley.Accountant. By 1998, my partners and I in Hartley Computer UK had gained 1,000 Accounting Practice Clients ranging from sole practitioners to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

But in 1999, my then new and fourth wife Caramia was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS). My partners and I sold Hartley Computer to Sage PLC, so that Caramia and I could move to sunnier Antigua in the Caribbean, which Caramia thought would help her by boosting Vitamin D production, as it did. Hartley.Accountant, renamed Sage Accounts Production Advanced (SAPA) remains the flagship product of the Sage Accounting Division to this day, some 17 years later, attesting to its fundamental quality.

Caramia was far ahead of the medical profession about the importance of Vitamin D for health generally, and especially for people with MS. She successfully fought the MS, defying the UK doctors” prediction of death within 10 years, only to die from cancer in April 2015 after 16 years in Antigua.

I enjoyed the climate, the people, and the lifestyle in the Caribbean (Antigua and Panama), but was not successful in business away from what had been my life, so returned to Australia to rebuild, with many projects in mind. I chose Port Douglas in North Queensland as a healthy, casual place well suited to my restart.

A necessary part of the new plans is staying fit and healthy for a long time, involving eating well (much less sugar and carbs, more good fats), 16 hours of intermittent fasting per day, exercising (a 6 Km or so walk on the lovely beach here each day plus some more intensive working out), sun for Vitamin D, taking my supplements (no meds, NO doctors), and taking advantage of the extreme life extension options becoming available thanks to the wonderful longevity advances in progress, resulting in a leaner, trimmer, fitter, and healthier David, who hopes he will be able to stay the course to see the projects through to completion.

The plans include health/longevity related businesses and charitable endeavours, with algorithmic forex trading to generate the funds!

Meanwhile every day is exciting with so much of great interest happening in science, economics, and politics with major trend changes in progress as we watch. Yes, we live in very interesting times - long may the adventure continue!


Nudgee State School, Banyo High School, and University of Queensland (B.E. Honours Civil 1966), all in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Public Service

  • Member of the Advisory Council of the (Australian) Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, 1980-83
  • Founder Board Member (1981) and then President of the Australian Computer Manufacturers’ Association (ACEMA) 1984-85
  • Member of the Electrical, Electronics, and Information Industries Council, 1984-85, a Council providing industry policy advice to the Australian Government
  • Member of Queensland Science & Technology Council, 1983-85, providing industry advice to the Queensland Government
  • Member of the Science & Industries Forum of the Australian Academy of Science, 1983-85


  • 1981 Inaugural “Chips” Award from the Australian Computer Society for Services to the Australian Computer Industry
  • 1983 Australian Design Award for the Hartley 3923 Computer
  • 1986 Hong Kong New Product Award (Electronics) for the BIT PEP range
  • 1987 Hong Kong New Product Award (Electronics) for the BIT PHAXswitch
  • 2003 The Pearcey Hall of Fame (Australia) for “Distinguished lifetime achievement and contribution to the development and growth of the Information Technology Profession, Research and Industry”
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David Hartley

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