Name: Sean McPherson
Member since: 2000-11-07 23:21:19
Last Login: 2015-04-14 14:47:31



Hrm, guess I'd better give a quick rundown on who I am and why I seem to think I might be qualified in some random way to help people out from time to time :-) Non-Linux specifically first :-)

I'm 24 years old, so I've been around a bit but never hung out w/ Dennis Ritchie or RMS or anything. The first box for me was a Sinclair ZX-80 kit, then we went on to the Texas Instruments 99/4A, the Trash-80 model I and II's, the C64, 128 and VIC series, a few apple greenscreen II's at school, a Tandy, and finally the 386 my brother managed to get with a scholarship in '90. The first actual IBM-PC I *owned* was a 486 DX2- 80 with 16 MB and a 420 MB Conner drive. Wow, smokin'.

I've been using linux since late '92 after DL'ing the source over a 300 baud modem onto a 386 16 and going insane for a few days trying to figure out why this was nothing like any other OS I'd used (Well, I'd played with SunOS just a bit, but that was about it). I've used Slackware since it fit on 12 disks, but I'm an RHCE. I run Gnome on my laptop, but KDE on the desktop. I'm obviously a freak as I still insist on injuring myself by using ircII instead of bitchX or something X- based. I don't game, since I'd rather be mucking around under the hood of the box.

The current 'puter list includes an old P-100 Micron, a homebrew dual P200, a homebrew celeron 300A OC'd to 450, 2 matched 300 MHz AMD NEC laptops, a Seimens Scovery and a ThinkNIC terminal, and last but not least a Celeron 500 IBM Thinkpad I use for 'real work'. I've admin'd machines running HPUX, Irix, Solaris, SunOS, OSF, NeXT, Digital Unix, SCO, BSDi, Free/Net/OpenBSD, and of course all the Microsoft Deviants from Windows 2.0 up (Yes, I even have the original box from the old black-and- white days). I've spent time as a manager of the NOC for a national ISP and telco carrier, and I've done my share of independant consulting (how else do you pay the bills?).

I'm proficient with (meaning I'm comfortable with programs of 1,000 lines or less), Perl, C, Pascal, Fortran, COBOL, and lots of shell scripting styles. I'm not a programmer by trade, nor do I think I'm very good at all; I just know enought o get by. I'm familiar with SQL, and I've run Sybase, MySQL, Postgresql, and Microsoft SQL servers under a variety of conditions. I'm comfortable setting up Cisco switches and gear up to a 7513, but I draw the line at DS3 cards or higher. I've installed lots of ethernet and fiber cables, but any testing equipment beyond a DSP-4000 would be new to me.

I'm currently the Director of Operations for Xodiax, a Data/Colocation company, and that eats more hours a day than should be humanly possible. That's me in a nutshell, so don't be surprised if I just pop out with weird ideas, since I'm lucky enough to have seen how a lot of things work, even if I don't claim to understand them :-) (Update 2015APR14 : This is way out of date so I'll try to get in here soon and update it, but I'm still around)

Recent blog entries by backtick

Yay for NASA! Coolest thing I've seen in years! I watched the NEAR mission in one window all day, and the work on the space station in another. I just alternated between the two. And yes, I was actually working in a set of ssh terms in between :-)

God forbid, but I MAY have gotten my scripts reading the SNMP MIB's from a test Cisco router working. Now I should be able to monitor any interface I want and send an email page on CRC errors. Handy thing. I'm wondering if I can't tie some kind of web snatch-and-grab interface into this, to grab and mirror any stats off the interface. I couldn't find anything to do it as a simple module; it's all "Write it yourself". Seems there's a need for a plugin to let you just say "community@router", click a link for an interface, and see EVERYTHING it knows about :-) We use cricket and friends here, but it's a buttload of config work for the simple stuff I'm trying to do. Might be the start of a new toy. Not sure if I should start w/ PHP for this, as a way to get into it.

Okay, Sunday it is. Pulling second shift, but I *do* get a lunch break, so I'm happily doing this and knowing it's on my time and not company time. Sound silly worrying about it? Not to me. I'm a sysadmin, and we by definition HAVE to hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards. Wow, dramatic, eh? But it's true; how else can I look at a user and complain about his quota usage, if I'm stockpiling gig's of MP3's on the fileserver? Same thing goes for not ever working on personal stuff except during lunch break, etc. Sure, I could make the case AGAINST myself that I'm using company bandwidth just by looking at this page and submitting this post, but I'm willing to assume that I'm allowed to use THAT much company bandwidth for personal uses; we DO have a company policy allowing a certain percentage of personal calls and surfing :-) If anyone actually READS this post, take a minute, and make sure you're keeping your work up to the ethical standards it needs to be at. If not, don't burn yourself at the stake, but just remember it as you go, and work towards a goal. Sure, I like to read BOFH as much as the next guy, but do we really want to live in that environment? Remember, the finance guy could start taking the same liberties in HIS job!

10 Feb 2001 (updated 10 Feb 2001 at 03:39 UTC) »

God have mercy; 2 updates in one day.

So I'm browsing Adrian Legg's web site ( and I realize I have completely missed one of his CD's, AND it has a song on it named 'McPherson'! How apt (not apt- get, you debian nuts). So, if you click HERE you can here about a minute of the song. It just so happens it sounds like a good theme song for a TV show :-)

And I browsed my OLD diary entries and figured I'd fill in gaps. Heh.

The tape stuff is working wonderfully; another guy here (also by the name of Sean) is now in charge of the project, and is doing a masterful job. I feel sorry for him, since most of the work on the customer side is NT based, but what the heck...

10 Feb 2001 (updated 10 Feb 2001 at 03:38 UTC) »

Wow. I have been way too busy. Weird, huh? I'm even busier now, but I decided to post stuff here regardless, as a de- stress plan :-)

So, Bellsouth got out to my house on December 20th, and finally agreed with me that it was a wiring issue. You see, while ON THE PHONE with a BS rep, listening to him tell me it was a software problem, I rewired a jack using backwards pairs, and suddenly they saw my end of the connection. I explained what I had just done, and said I was going to go out to the NTI on the side of the house and start plugging things together randomly (and I mentioned I had a power outlet right next to the box, along with my main power feed from the utility company, AND my cable feed) if they didn't roll a truck. Next day service, and the tech even said "Wow, I've never seen a whole box wired backwards like this" :-) But, it's working now, the roaring-penguin PPPOE software works great, and maybe in the next 3 months or so they'll finally quit billing me for the OLD service *sigh*

So, the Queso stuff is STILL on hold. I haven't even LOOKED at it lately, and the whole new kernel thing has kept me playing with other stuff in the few free minutes I DO have.

Well, that and finally updating my web site.

22 Nov 2000 (updated 10 Feb 2001 at 02:07 UTC) »

Finally managed to kick Bellsouth into gear; the order is in, and soon, SOON we'll be back online...

Wonder if I should just switch to Telocity when the line is installed and tested???

8 older entries...


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