Setting down to write this blog reminded me on how I got started in UNIX and how life presents you with choices that seem insignificant at the time. Like many of my ilk it was my love of computer gaming that introduced me to many skills that I would later depend on. Specifically in this case UNIX as an operating system.
I was a history student at the University of Kansas and my roommate and I wanted to play a networked version of Castle Wolfenstein. Being poor students we had limited parts to make our gaming server and we needed something to emulate an IPX network. Neither one of use had access to Netware and the equipment that we had did not have enough horsepower to run Window NT 3.5.
It was at this time that I picked up a magazine talking about the recent release of RedHat v3. Up to this time my only exposure to UNIX had been DEC OSF that the university used for the student mail and dial-in servers. Not knowing what I was actually getting into, I plunged ahead and installed it. Several months later we actually got to play head to head across the 10 base 2 network that we had strung in the apartment.
Professionally I stared out as a Sys Adm on Novell Netware. A very elegant Network Operating Systems that I still feel is the best file and print server I have ever worked on. In the late 90’s I started to see that my future as a Novell admin had a limited growth. I also noticed that the market was being flooded with MCSE and not particularly happy with the path that Windows servers where in. I look around at what fields I could pursue and still do something I liked.
I was working for the Social and Rehabilitative Services for the State of Kansas and my boss was wanting to put up a web server for our area and an intranet server for internal staff. From my experience with running Redhat at home as a file/gaming server and exposure to Mosiac and NSCA httpd (the web server that was the basis of Apache) I suggested letting me setup the web server. To this day I think the only reason he let me do it was because I said I did not have to buy any equipment or software.