[CDBUG-talk] A question to start things. . .

Garance A Drosihn drosih at rpi.edu
Thu Dec 23 16:44:46 EST 2004

At 3:36 PM -0500 12/17/04, G. Rosamond wrote:
>There are now 4 people subscribed to the list. [...]
>I have a question:
>   Does anyone use a BSD in a work environment?  University?
>Why don't we get some blood flowing on this list by starting
>with everyone's backgrounds in technology.

I wanted to wait a little before saying anything, so there would
be more than three other people on the mailing list...   :-)

Well, my name is Garance Drosehn.  It happens that if you go back in
my family tree, the last name was originally spelled Drosihn, so I
have some email accounts that use the alternate spelling for the name.

I am also gad at FreeBSD.org, which is to say I am one of the committers
to the FreeBSD base system.  I started dabbling with FreeBSD sometime
around 1995, though initially I would just pick up the source for
some specific modules, and compile those on other OS's.  I think that
the first release which I actually installed somewhere was 2.2.5.  I
became a committer in October 2000.  I was mainly brought in to work
on lpr/lpd, but I have worked on other areas.  Biggest contributions
(outside of lpr) are probably to 'newsyslog' and 'ps'.  I also put
together the switch to 64-bit time_t on the FreeBSD/sparc64 port.
I've also donated money to a few FreeBSD-related projects.

I have dabbled with OpenBSD for almost as long, but I don't use it
as much.  The main thing which pulled me into the FreeBSD camp over
OpenBSD was that I am a big fan of SMP machines, and OpenBSD did not
have the SMP support that I wanted (back when I was deciding on what
to use the most).  I have bought all the CD's over the years, and a
few T-Shirts, and have also contributed money to the project.  Most
recently I contributed to buying a new Mac G5, to make it easier to
work on improved SMP support for OpenBSD/ppc.

Once every year or two I also buy a set of NetBSD CD's, and will
install the i386 version on some machine.  That is usually just to
test application-level changes.  I don't use NetBSD enough to be of
any help when it comes to answering questions about it.

Recently DragonflyBSD branched off from FreeBSD.  I am interested
in seeing how Matt & company do with their goals.  I have tried to
install Dragonfly a few times, but I happen to run into bad luck
with those installs, so I don't actually have it running anywhere.
I don't really have any more spare time anyway, so I don't know how
much I could contribute to that project unless I dropped out of the
FreeBSD project.  And right now I'm still interested in the multiple
hardware platforms that FreeBSD runs on.  I like having i386, amd64,
sparc64, and PowerPC.  In some sense I like the goals of NetBSD, to
"run on everything", but I personally lose interest after the

Going back a bit farther in my history, I was also the "NeXT
support person" for NeXTSTEP and NeXTstations at RPI.  Well, RPI
was also an 'academic hub reseller', which meant we also sold NeXT's
to nearby colleges.  I still have both a greyscale NeXTstation and a
color NeXTstation.  (For those who don't know, NeXTSTEP was built on
top of a BSD unix).  I don't use them much though.  Someday I'll clean
off the disks and given them to someone working in NetBSD land.

I could go on, but this already makes me sound much more impressive
than I really am.  I haven't *done* all that much, but I am interested
in many open-source projects, and I like the BSD operating systems.

I work in the computer center at RPI (a college in Troy NY).  The
computer center does not do much with any of the BSD's, but recently
we have been moving more services from AIX or Solaris to Linux boxes.
The computer center is charged with "general computing support for
all academic departments on campus".  RPI also has a computer-science
department, with their own computing empire.  The computer science
department does a lot with FreeBSD for various purposes.

Garance Alistair Drosehn            =   gad at gilead.netel.rpi.edu
Senior Systems Programmer           or  gad at freebsd.org
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute    or  drosih at rpi.edu

More information about the CDBUG-talk mailing list