Just for your information, this web page is an experiment in editing, or the lack thereof. I realized that all sorts of interesting stuff on the Internet is just being discarded left and right because it's so easy to just rm stuff and start over with a BRAND NEW LOOK AND FEEL! So I decided never to remove anything from this web page. Only add. So that's why this page is somewhat odd to read. Hopefully someday it will give some insight into how I've grown and changed over the years, and be more of an interesting story than a confusing set of paragraphs, but we'll see. Have fun!
Guess what! I'm far too lazy to set up my home page here! I have many more interesting things to do like perhaps eat lemons or read news or watch bugs or something. Really, I'm just far too lazy. Plus, I'm too distracted. I have a burning need for an Auspex, a Cisco 2516, and that neato GPS thing from Sony that has a highly detailed map of California on CD-ROM and an LCD display. Someday, I shall command all of these things. It is a goal.
Well, it's now been 2 years since I made the above paragraph, and since then, I've gotten 3 E3000s for work, a Cisco 2501 for home, and a better map thing has come out that runs on a PC running NT or Windows. Now, I need an ISP that will do a T1 point2point line for free or something. Sigh.
Well, it's been about 2 years since I wrote the above paragraph. I now have an ISP for the 2501, and we soon as of 2/23/98 will have our p2p line going to isp.net, who seems to be pretty cool. The hungry network will be a reality. We plan on hosting stuff that looks cool for virtually free. It will be fun. So bug me if you want to colo a box or host a free software cvsroot or something. We might be able to work something out...
It's been a long time since I wrote the previous paragraph, yet again. I've been thinking a lot about how websites come and go and how the data which you think was cool goes away almost inevitably, so I've decided to make this page not take part in that sort of bitrot. I will never delete a character from this webpage. Only add. Thus, things may kind of read strangely here in this document. It's a stream of life webpage.
So, it's now the year 2000, and it's time to update my page, then. We still have our T1, and I've had far more hardware at my disposal than I care to enumerate, so I'll just stop with the big hardware foo. But now I'm into switches and routers and HA type of stuff for servers. Mmm. I wish I could just play with stuff all day long like that. Oh wait! I do, most of the time! :-)
And I'm also now the Sr Network & Security Architect for Sendmail, Inc. We are a startup that is doing all sorts of fun things with, you guessed it, sendmail! It's way cool to work there. The folks there are really cool. Though we are becoming a more corporate environment as time goes on. It seems to be almost inevitable, but I shall struggle to the end for this company, because we are going to be doing some COOL things with email. You just wait. Mmm.
Well, I didn't stay until the end, unfortunately. I stuck it out there for quite a while, and it really was a super cool group of people, but I just started butting heads with our CIO. She had a very different way of operating somehow, and we were not compatible. And I also think that she made a lot of really poor choices. So eventually, I left there too. Just in time. They had quite large layoffs just after I left, and I'm sure that I would have been nuked by our CIO in that round. She didn't like me much. But oddly enough, after doing here layoffs, they laid her off too. Ah well. I still have hopes for sendmail, but they laid off the team doing the project which I joined the company for. BAMS was so cool. BAMS is dead! Long live BAMS! So I don't know what their future is looking like. Ah well. Switch is a cool product. If they play their cards right, they can survive off of Switch and consulting (and their slightly crummy IMAP server). We shall see.
But now I'm at Inktomi!! I'm doing security work there. It's a fun group of people, and the company is bigger, and has some products which really are nice, so I think they'll survive the tech bust. But then again, I thought that Netscape was immune to purchase, too. :-) We shall see.
And yes, NSCP got bought by AOL. Argh! That's why I left. Getting bought AGAIN really sucks. Pretty much everybody from my group there bailed too, except for the folks kept there by visa issues. Sigh. It's so sad, because we could have done so much if AOL hadn't hosed us! Ah well. Sendmail will hopefully change the world. We shall see. It's fun to be in a company that promotes open source stuff!
I now am a Sr Unix Architect for Netscape Communications. It's way cool. I love my job. Unfortunately, right now I'm slacking from it, because I have been struggling with the @#$%#$ PacBell people. There are two people in that entire organization who have a clue. I am so happy that I have the direct line of one of them. She kicks ass. Anyways, now I get to do something similar to what I used to do below, except I don't have to maintain any of the hardware that I install or the software that I set up. I get to hand that off to the Operations people primarily. Mmm. So I get to be creative a lot more, which is nice.
In fact, the below paragraphs are so damn old that they are just sickeningly out of date. Lighthouse Design was bought by Sun Microsystems, which was fun for a while, because my budget became just giant, and I didn't have enough time to do anything but buy and configure all sorts of juicy things for a long time, and then to merge our network with Sun's, and then watch as Sun slowly stripped all the cool things that I was going to do and all the cool responsibilities that I had away and tell me that I wasn't supposed to be doing that. So things got boring and bureaucratic. Go ahead, ask me what I think of Sun. I dare you.
Well, anyways, Let me recap a bit of my history so that if anybody is searching for me, they might know if they are looking at the correct person. I was born near Webster, New York, lived there until I was 7, then moved to Meridian, Idaho, where I lived for the next 11 years. I worked in various places (Beacon Light Industries, PCS, HP), did some cool stuff with UUCP and an ancient hp9000s550, graduated from Meridian High School in 1990 (god what a hellish experience!), when I bought my NeXT cube with the wages earned from HP and all the other places and left for WSU and became a student SA for the EECS department, which was fun. So fun, in fact, that when they ran out of money and had to let me go, I had nothing else that I could do in that isolated Palouse type area, so eventually, I left for Seattle and McCaw Cellular, where I helped build and run a pretty big network of NeXT machines. I really liked Seattle. Rain was not a problem. Blackberries were a huge plus. Plus, a lot of my time there, I lived in the U district, where there were a lot of cool student type people, including my sister, Rebecca. Life was fun. But the job began to suck. We were bought by AT&T, I was in this wierd state where I wasn't making money like a contractor, nor did I get benefits like an employee (I was a "temporary employee" for 2 years or so. Crazy, eh? Well, I guess it had to do with a hiring freeze during the acquisition). It sucked. So my good friend, Monte Grubb, who had enticed me into dropping out from school to come work for McCaw showed me a job offering from a cool little company that was sort of the Microsoft of the NeXT world called Lighthouse Design. Not in the evil, nasty way that MS is, but they basically did most of the productivity apps on the NEXTSTEP platform. They were small, and needed an SA, and they sounded and looked cool. And so I left and they were cool. Excessively so. And it was lots of fun until we got bought. I didn't have nearly as much stock as I had thought, and we kind of got trampled on eventually, and life became very boring, so I left and went to Netscape, who is the next great underdog who I am supporting. Way cool group. Very cool people. I'm enjoying it. So while down here in California, I've lived in Half Moon Bay in a HUGE house with some friends of mine where we used to have these really large semi-geek parties. Lots of fun. Now I live with some more friends in what we call Hungry Manor North in San Francisco. It's 2 floors of a 3 story building, and we have cat5 to every room and (as I said before) soon a T1 to replace our crummy old ISDN link to the Net. This is most fun. I'm living with extra cool people, who like to do extra cool things like go to symphonies and Hong Kong films, and play with extra cool things like BGP and FreeBSD. And now we have a microwave linke to a friend's place. Juicy!
And, I have a wonderful girlfriend. 2 years. mmm! She is most awesome. Soon, she will be here in SF with me. Ah, there I go making more stuff that will be outdated so quickly. We'll probably move out and get our own place before I ever decide to update this again.
2 years? Make that 5 now...
Well, not quite. She's now down here with me, and living with her is the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me! Yay Steph!
So that's my history. I like soccer and karate (though I currently don't have time for either) and reading. Lots of reading. And Unix. I'm a secret admirer of Apple, now that they bought NeXT. You may have guessed. I'm also rather not liking Microsoft. I think they have done more to fuck up the computer industry than anything else. Don't get me wrong. I think they have some good stuff. I just don't think their OSs are one of them, and I also hate their way of buying or crushing things that threaten their dominance.
I also like skiing and reading. And Quake, although because sendmail is a startup, I haven't been able to play for like the past year. Grr. Steph is a wonderfully good skiier, and she and I have rented a cabin with a bunch of other wonderful friends in the computer industry up in Tahoe which we go up to lots. We've also been trying snowboarding. That's quite fun. I dunno if I'm ready to give up skiing, but damn, it's fun to learn again. Anyways, it's fun to go up there because it's the best way to forget about work for a bit. Balance is good. Sometimes, anyways. :-) I also am now an avid roller-hockey player! The folks at Netscape got me hooked, and so now I play on Team Mozilla and wish I had other leagues to play in.
Heh. I now play ice hockey at http://www.iceoasis.com/. They are really cool there! I play on the Blue Martini team, and in the Thursday league. Fun!!!
Also, I now have my dream car. A '99 Porsche Boxster. I sold the Sun stock which I got out of the Lighthouse deal, and I used it to pay for a large chunk of the car. Yes, it's probably a very crummy investment, but damn! It's sure a wonderful vehicle to drive!! I hope that my next car will be an electric car. At least that's my dream. I suspect that I will be unable to do this unless I purchase a house first because I'd need to install the special charging station stuff, but I dunno. We'll see. Maybe fuel cells will get better. Or maybe the hybrid cars will be OK. Though I really like the idea of zero emissiions. We shall see.
And now on to the historical stuff.
What do I do? I am the system administrator, toolsmith, and release engineer of Lighthouse Design. What does that mean? It means that I design and build the networks around here, fight fires, install new and cooler chunks of hardware, and do all the wierd stuff that needs to be done that nobody else knows how or is interested in doing. And, write tools and things. And keep the developers happy. And the marketers. And the sales people. And the fucking macs. We have 2 macs here. They cause me more headaches than the entire fleet of NEXTSTEP and Solaris Unix machines combined. Grr. Part of this is because I'm not as familiar with them as the others, but most of it is really because I cannot get under the hood to figure out what is wrong with them!
Since the 2 years that I wrote this, the network has expanded to a LOT more solaris boxes, several subnets, NT machines, and the macs are now gone. Ah.
Well, it's been most fun to entertain you with this silly page. In the meantime, perhaps you should go check out my other out of date places like gratuitous.com or hungry.com. But you probably ought to go check out Lighthouse Design's web site. It's probably the most substantive of the web pages I have participated in the creation of.
You might also want to look at the Silly Putty Page that resulted because of the now not so recent purchase of 100 lbs of silly putty for me and my friends. Share and enjoy.
You might also want to look at the knife page that came about because of the scary discovery of an insect in an unexpected place in the grocery store. It somehow seemed so bizarre that I had to put it up here.
Here's a link to my friend's custom printing thing. He does _really_ cool hand printed stuff, with real movable type and special paper, etc. It's really pretty. So if you need special cards or something done, look him up. Here's the URL: http://www.bjornpress.com/
And I'm getting Married!!!!! Take a look at our wedding page for more info!!
Oh, and I'm also now a licensed amateur radio operator: KG6RQZ My father kept trying to get me and my best friend to get our licenses, and I finally got my technician license. I'm hoping to get my general license and thus be able to chat on HF with my father. I think that would be really cool!
NEWS FLASH!!!! (Yes, I manfully refrained from using BLINK there) I am a father! Check out http://web.mac.com/timdavidspencer/iWeb/Zachary for more information!
Here is another bunch of friends which I am connected with. And I would like to draw attention to someone special to me who is among those friends. (but how her homepage resides here) Hope she doesn't mind! :-) Have fun!!