Technology

The purpose of this page is to give you an idea of my background as it pertains to technology. The information presented herein is written in a relatively informal style, but it is intended to a large extent to be read by potential employers. I hope that if nothing else, I can communicate to you that technology is more than a fad or a way to generate income for me. I am interested in technology in and of itself, and spend time on things that I think are interesting.

Operating Systems

Gentoo Linux

My main computer is a desktop PC that runs Gentoo Linux. Gentoo Linux is a distribution of Linux where everything is compiled from source. This affords the user two theoretical benefits:

  1. In principle, some programs run slightly faster.
  2. Users can run versions of software with questionable components disabled.

In regard to the first point, the speed benefit is unlikely to be noticed during real world usage.

With respect to the second point, however, the difference can be meaningful. One example to consider is bluetooth. Bluetooth has, at times in the past, come under scrutiny due to insecure implementations. One could argue that bluetooth is inherently insecure. If one is running a computer and personally feels that bluetooth poses a security risk to the system, in Gentoo it is absolutely trivial to disable bluetooth across all applications, using what Gentoo calls USE flags. Disabling a feature with a USE flag entails a total disabling of the feature, because its code is, from the beginning, never compiled and hence never introduced into the system in the first place.

Gentoo is interesting and fun. It’s not beginner friendly, it’s not for everyone (not even for all advanced users), and at the very end of the day, not strictly necessary (or at least not moreso than any arbitrary Linux distribution). However, for me, it is the most fun and interesting distribution, and it works great.

Fedora Linux

On my laptop, however, I choose to run Fedora Linux. It does not share the Gentoo philosophy. In fact, it seems to me that Fedora is ready to reject GNU and a lot of other traditional “Linux” or “Unix” projects and philosophies. Nevertheless, it is an extremely easy to use distribution that comes with no drama (as far as the end-user is concerned) and runs great on my 2009 MacBook Pro. Fedora is the reason my laptop is still running great when Apple declared it to be obsolete years ago.

FreeBSD

FreeBSD is my favorite operating system by far. It is very well designed, with great documentation, and a great community. It is the operating system that I have chosen to run my server on. However, even though I did run it as my main desktop operating system for a number of years, I have to admit that Linux has the upper hand in that space. Nevertheless, FreeBSD is a truly great open-source free as in freedom and free as in beer Unix clone, and I contribute financially to the project to this day.