Eric's Linux Page

If you Google me, you'll find a lot of messages left by me relating to Linux. This page contains information about my experiences with Linux.

Before you read on, gentle reader, you should know that I am a die-hard XEmacs user and I drink Diet Coke.

Early Linux Experiences

I started using Linux as a Computer Science student at Georgia Tech circa 1991. This was the "pre 1.0" days. I installed using the Slackware distribution onto my 16 megahertz 386sx . We didn't have a CD-ROM burner back in them old days. You downloaded the distribution and write them out using 'dd' onto 20 or so 3.5 inch floppy disks. We used Linux to work on programming assignments and to access the Georgia Tech campus network. When I met Linus Torvalds one year at a trade show, he signed some of my old Slackware boot disks.

Having a C compiler at home that was the same as the one used for school assignments was a huge boon.

The Internet was around back then, but the world wide web was not. The Internet was experienced mainly through email, ftp, Usenet news, and a hypertext system known as "gopher". You had to be on a campus network to access. You could dial in with a terminal program and access a shell account on another system.

Georgia Tech did not offer dial up access over SLIP or PPP. But one thing we found almost right away was a program called 'CSLIP' which is something like PPP but you were not required to be an administrator to install it on the campus side of the network. It was really neat to have a "host" directly on the campus network. I could open as many telnet sessions as I wanted.


Some folks interested in Linux started up a 'gtlinux' mailing list. Then we decided to ask if there was any interest in forming a user's group. Almost 100 people showed up and the Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts (ALE) was born.

I served as the MC for ALE for several years. We met at Georgia Tech, then Home Depot main headquarters, then Emory. We sponsored a trade show known as the Atlanta Linux Showcase (ALS) which ran for several years until it was turned over to Usenix.

Free Software I have written

  • Extension to NCSA Mosaic to view history graphically.
  • Driver for the Seiko Label printer.
  • Code to do remote kill for the Linux High Availability project
  • Code to use the Prolific host to host USB cable
  • Minor contributions to Kimberlite, which is an apparently now defunct clustering project.

I contributed code to the Linux kernel in the form of a host to host USB cable driver for devices using the "Prolific" chip. I was using that as a part of the Linux High Availability project. I don't think that code is in there today.

How I use Linux today

At first, I used the Slackware distribution. I've been using redhat since about RedHat 4.2. Today I run Fedora Core 2 at home and RedHat 9 at the office. I don't have Windows installed on my computer, but we do use Windows on Amy's computers and the kids' computer.

At work we use Linux for software development of our mediation product.

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