A brief history of my computer life…

Hello. I came across this post on the FreeBSD forums:  How you did you come FreeBSD world?

I started to respond but I felt my response was too long to put in a forum comment, so I am sticking it here on my blog.

A brief history of my computer life

My family had an Adam computer that ran on tape drives when I was young, boy was that Buck Rogers game and that Pong game awesome back then.  I did my math homework in a primitive text editor when I was in 4th grade (1986), even though it was harder than doing it with a pencil. Then at some point we got a 286 running DOS, which migrated to LeMenu, then to windows 3.11.  I remember hacking around Windows 3.1.1 just learning how the system worked.  Once moment, I would be gaming, the next, just looking at why the game installed the way it did, how the system was laid out.  At some point my family got a 386.

I remember getting online for the first time in 1994 with 14.4 modem. I remember windows 95. King’s Quest (1-6) were my favorite games.  At school I had programming and graphics course, all on Apple of some sort.

In 1995, I had a semester at the University of Utah which included one programming class. All their systems were unix based and we emailed using pine.

I didn’t touch computers much from 1996-1998 because I served a mission for my church in the Dominican Republic.  When I got back, Windows 98 was out and I earned enough to buy a computer. Technically it was the first computer that was “mine” because all the ones I had used before had belonged to my family or my school. StarCraft replaced King’s Quest as my favorite game.

In 1999 I took some MCSE courses. Around the same time, Microsoft outsourced their tech support for Windows 2000 to a company called Convergys.  This was in Orem, Utah. There was a guy there talking up Red Hat who gave me a Red Hat 6 CD. I told him to install it an get on the internet in under an hour.  It installed fine. But we never got it on the internet.  Turns out he was a newbie.  I played with Red Hat 6 for a week and never got Red Hat online. I was a Windows 2000 support guy anyway, right…I did get my NT 4.0 MCSE.

Well, Nortel Networks outsourced their tech support to the same place, and I jumped over there.  I guy named Joe introduced me to FreeBSD 4.6.

At some point, I convinced my brother to drop windows servers and use FreeBSD for his servers at his ISP, Psionyx.net (now FusionNetworks.com).

I then started www.bsdcertification.com, however, I was new to the BSD world and not really well-known and some other well-known members started www.bsdcertification.org a few months later, completely unaware of the effort I had put in.  At first I was irked and felt like they stole my project but I eventually got over it and turned my website over to them and now I am probably going to proxy exams at the upcoming UTOSC.

I got a job at LANDesk in 2004.  While it has an Agent for Linux/Unix it is pretty  much a windows tool.  I have really kept up my Windows knowledge and though I haven’t updated my MSCE, I probably have enough knowledge and experience with windows to be considered an expert. A year ago I became a developer with LANDesk and we do most everything in C# (though I get to touch legacy C++ code), so needless to say I use Windows 7 at work. I have really nice dev box running Windows 7 that is a VMWare host, and they give me a laptop with Windows 7 on it too.

So I’ve never really left Windows in the desktop world completely. I have a FreeBSD desktop and a FreeBSD server.  Actually, my work gives me a license for VMWare so I have dozens of virtual machines that I continue to use and test all kinds of platforms on, with FreeBSD being my open source platform of choice.  Twice I have gotten a FreeBSD server into production at LANDesk, once as a internal knowledge base, once as an SVN server, neither lasted.  I did become the subject matter expect for the LANDesk Linux agent and the LANDesk Linux-based appliance called the Management Gateway.

I am typing this on my work provided laptop that is running Windows 7.  I have a Remote Desktop session to a decently powerful computer that is also running Windows 7 and is a VMWare Workstation host (BSD is not supported as a VMWare host). As VMWare guests,  I have two FreeBSD VMs running currently and about a dozen freebsd VMs that I create for learning. Eventually, I delete them once I have learned what I created them to learn.

No I haven’t found a permanent FreeBSD project to call my home.  I keep dabbling here and there.  Mostly, I just document my learning, but eventually, I want to develop some BSD-related project.  It would also be awesome to have a job focused on FreeBSD.  However, I am way more than happy at LANDesk and I had an opportunity to leave for a Linux training company and I came close to doing so, but I just couldn’t leave a great company like LANDesk.  So the LANDesk and Windows world remains my work life, and FreeBSD remains one of my hobbies.


  1. rhyous says:

    I haven't really used snort much. It would take some time to figure out and it is not really on my radar right now.

    However, if you want the document you should create it yourself. It is not as hard as you think. Start by:

    1. Reading about snort on the snort web site.
    2. Setting a goal for what features I wanted to get working.
    3. Reading about installing it in the snort documentation.
    4. Seeing if there is a Freebsd port.
    5. Installing it on Freebsd.
    6. Reading the conf file and configuring it.
    7. Testing it and getting it to work.
    8. Discussing any problems on the snort forums or mailing lists.
    9. Searching for tuning recommendations.

    Take you time doing all that and soon, you will be the expert and you will have your own walk-thru that you can put on your blog. If you don't have a blog, you can send it to me and I will put it on my blog and note that you are the author.

  2. roni says:

    Hi,really nice blog,it help me much on freebsd,can i request tutorial?i really need tutorial about snort on freebsd,beginner,medium,advanced snort application,and don't mind to donate if you make it :),thanks.

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