Greetings From Jim Dennis
I have some exciting news.
I'm now working for Linuxcare (http://www.linuxcare.com) --- the Linux support company.
What does this mean for Linux Gazette readers of "The Answer Guy?" I think it means some very good things.
Of course you might be concerned. Does this mean that I'll be more "corporate?" Will Linuxcare come to own "The Answer Guy" column? Will I answer all the good questions with: "Hey, pay for that answer from ..."
I don't think so! I've been running a quiet little sole proprietorship consulting service for the entire time that I've been writing for LG. My consulting service specialized in support and training of Linux sysadmins. I've generally avoided "selling" my services through this column --- and I won't start now.
Linuxcare has no intention of exerting any editorial control over, and has no connection to the Linux Gazette "Answer Guy." I might put in a disclaimer to that effect in future issues.
However, the "good things" in this are:
I can focus on technical issues rather than worrying about billing and sales of my consulting services. (Avoiding those is what kept Starshine Technical Services "small" and "quiet").
Fellow techs at Linuxcare and the systems lab that we'll be setting up will allow me to learn all the latest and coolest stuff. My home network is pretty big, for a *home* network (four servers five desktop systems, and four laptops --- all on two or three ethernet segments (depending one what I'm doing at any given time). However, Linuxcare will be able to do *much* more.
In the past I've "shooed off" some classes of questions --- particularly regarding X Windows configuration and similar items. I'm a self-admitted "curses curmudgeon" and prefer to stay out of X when I can. Surrounded by younger techs, many of whom are more enamored of the modern GUIs --- I'll soak up quite a bit of knowlege on these topics by osmosis.
For those times when I'm actually on the phones --- I'll probably get quite a lot of LG done. I spent years in technical support at places like Quarterdeck and Symantec's Peter Norton Group. I can do phone support while reading netnews, and writing e-mail.
So, for my loyal fans (I know there are a few of you -- I met one on the Caltrain the other day; "Hi, John"), Don't worry. Be happy. Another Linux hobbyist can do what he loves and support himself doing it.
(BTW: Linuxcare is hiring. If you are in the SF Bay Area and have a couple years of extensive and technical Linux expertise --- check out their web site).
What does this mean for my other projects?
I'll be giving my tutorial on "Linux Security for System Administrators" at LinuxWorld Expo by the time you read this (9:00am Monday, March 1st). If that is successful I may be giving similar (and updated) talks at future Linux events. (LinuxWorld has already inquired about my availability for their next show). For any of you that are going to LinuxWorld Expo in San Jose, CA --- drop by Linuxcare's booth and meet me.
I'm still working on my book ("Linux Systems Administration" --- though the work is going a bit slower than I, my publishers and my co-author would like. The goods news there is that my co-author, M, is really taking charge of the scheduling and development of the manuscript. Also the couple of hours a day that I spend on the train with my laptop (from Campbell up into SF city and back) will help keep me focused on this and stop me from drifting e-mail, netnews, and slashdot as I'm wont to do from home.
I'm still teaching one class (weekly on Saturdays) at Mission College (Unix Shell Programming). I hope to continue doing that for the foreseeable future as well. My students were worried for the first couple of classes (as I was adjusting the level of discussion to their background). However, they seem to be catching on at this point and we have several more weeks to show them all the really cool things you can do with a Unix/Linux shell. (Yes, we've told them all about getting copies of Linux and/or FreeBSD to play with at home and at their offices. The school lab current runs on Sun Solaris systems --- though Linux is being installed in some of the college's new labs.
I'm really surprised at how busy I've gotten this year. I was supposed to just work on the book and let Heather support me (mostly). (Incidentally, Heather has resigned from her full-time position and may be interested in quality, Bay Area offers in the near future).
So, enough of all this "chaos manor" stuff. Let's go on to this month's selection of technical questions...
Answer Guy #1, January 1997
Answer Guy #2, February 1997
Answer Guy #3, March 1997
Answer Guy #4, April 1997
Answer Guy #5, May 1997
Answer Guy #6, June 1997
Answer Guy #7, July 1997
Answer Guy #8, August 1997
Answer Guy #9, September 1997
Answer Guy #10, October 1997
Answer Guy #11, December 1997
Answer Guy #12, January 1998
Answer Guy #13, February 1998
Answer Guy #14, March 1998
Answer Guy #15, April 1998
Answer Guy #16, May 1998
Answer Guy #17, June 1998
Answer Guy #18, July 1998
Answer Guy #19, August 1998
Answer Guy #20, September 1998
Answer Guy #21, October 1998
Answer Guy #22, November 1998
Answer Guy #23, December 1998
Answer Guy #24, January 1998
Answer Guy #25, February 1998