Professional Activities

Programmer, system/network architect, toolsmith, system administrator, technical trainer, IT manager, geek.

I am a member of USENIX, the Association for Computing Machinery, the Computer Society of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Back Bay LISA (BBLISA), and a founding member of The League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA). I was the Program Chair of the 2009 USENIX & SAGE Systems Administration Conference (LISA) and the General Co-Chair of the 2010 ACM Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction for Management of Information Technology (CHIMIT); I have served on program committees for the USENIX Annual Technical Conference, the USENIX & SAGE Systems Administration Conference (LISA), and I have run the Advanced Topics in System Administration workshop at LISA since 1997.

Over the years I have given several presentations and tutorials; my notes slides for most of them are available for anyone who may want them. I have also published articles in ;login: – the magazine of the USENIX Association: “On Choosing Usernames” (PDF, 111KB, August 2003) and “Eat Your Own Dog Food” (PDF, 181KB, October 2003).

Much of my professional activities involve programming – that is, writing computer programs. Here are some tips & tricks I’ve learned over the years; some of them are funny, a few are actually useful. I’ve also built more than my share of computer rooms and computing clusters; here are the pictures of one of them.

It’s been said that one can learn a lot about a person by looking at the books s/he reads. With that in mind, here’s a selected list of what’s on the bookshelf beside my desk.

For reasons I will never understand, more and more systems are distributing vim instead of vi (or “nvi,” if you prefer). The result is that I find myself having to compile vi more often than I’d like. It always seems to take me a few tries to find the right combination of options to configure, so now, finally, I’m going to document what options I used on which operating systems.

Here's some software I've written; maybe you'll find it useful/helpful.