Jun 24, 2010

Booting It Up with Salaryman

Salaryman set his coffee mug on his desk. On a coaster, of course. Salaryman respected his banking firm too much to stain their solid oak desks with his fresh-ground Brazilian coffee.

Smacking his lips, Salaryman hit the space bar on his black keyboard with his index finger and sat back. There was a quick electronic beep and some fans under his gargantuan desk whirled to life. The LCD lit up and Salaryman typed his BIOS username and password.

Username: salaryman
Password: •••••••••

Jun 11, 2010

Why I Almost Gave OpenBSD $100,000—But Didn't

It is never a happy occasion to realize that a not-for-profit group, no matter how destitute or successful, is undeserving of charitable donations. And just last week I had such an unhappy realization. I wanted to donate a sizable sum of money to the OpenBSD Foundation for development of the OpeBSD operating system and other related projects.

My great-uncle, an old Unix graybeard from the Seventies, devoted his retirement and considerable savings to teaching inner-city youth about computers and programming. He recently passed away and left instructions in his will that I donate money, in the amount of US $100,000, to “the most meritorious Free, Unix-like operating system” as according to my own research into the matter.

Jun 3, 2010

Why I Left OpenBSD

I was a long-time OpenBSD user since the OpenBSD 2.7 days, and cut my teeth on Unix development there. I was attracted by its focus on security and conscientious coding practices. I was happy through the early 2.x days, but the more I got involved in developing for OpenBSD the more I was dissuaded from doing so.

Part of the issue was this focus on security. After I began to use OpenBSD at home and at work in earnest, I realized that it was limited in hardware support compared to other operating systems. I purchased a new workstation and portable within a year of each other, and both times came to some unhappy realizations about OpenBSD support.

I began to seriously look at Linux and FreeBSD at this point, knowing hardware support was much more robust. (I had also looked at NetBSD, but even though it booted on nearly everything, driver support was anemic.) I started to dual-boot FreeBSD on my workstation, and spent more and more time there. But it wasn't only hardware support that pushed me away from OpenBSD.