Professional projects I have worked on

Sony PlayStation (formerly Gaikai) Video Game Streaming Service

Play a video game running on a remote host over the Internet. Suppose you want to play a triple-A video game, but you don’t have your trusty gaming hardware in front of you. Alternately, suppose you do have your gaming hardware in front of you, but you don’t want to commit to downloading a 200GB payload, at least not until you try the game first. PlayStation Plus Premium comes to the rescue! (Before 2022, the service was also called PlayStation Now.)

Duties included maintaining a custom Gentoo-based operating system, developing continuous integration pipelines, rolling out Ansible Automation Platform as a central hub for automation, wrangling Kubernetes and other container platforms, and of course lots and lots of troubleshooting.

DellEMC Avamar Backup and Recovery

The original hash-based backup and recovery solution. Avamar dissected filesystems and volumes into little atomic chunks, and then backed up those atomic chunks. As a result, everything was compressed and deduplicated. Avamar could then restore the backup by reassembling the filesystem from the atomic chunks. Say goodbye to magnetic tape!

Duties included testing edge conditions, maintaining test scripts (many of which were still in Perl) to test the most common scenarios, creating new orchestration systems to configure Avamar appliances, creating custom tools for our tech support team (so that they could better delight customers), and of course lots and lots of troubleshooting.

Free time and personal projects

Running GNU/Linux as a daily driver

If you care about your computing privacy and freedom, then you should consider switching to GNU/Linux too. In a world where user tracking is called “telemetry”, GNU/Linux remains a stalwart. It is not an easy path, but the unexamined life is not worth living. Keeping up to date in a changing field can sometimes feel like a part time job. Oftentimes, I am known to spin up a virtual machine or container to try out a new distribution.

Open ebook: re-typesetting The Life and Miracles of St. Philomena (1865 English version)

My first foray into digital publishing. The goal is to preserve a primary source from the 1800s which documents a sundry variety of fantastic but verified miracles. (St. Philomena is amazing!) The side effect is that this is also a chance to explore some free-as-in-freedom typesetting and distribution platforms.

Funtoo Linux

In the past, I have been involved in Funtoo Linux, where I wrangled ebuilds, troubleshooted problems, moderated chat, provided support, and gave new users friendly welcomes.

The community is great, and Daniel Robbins (the original creator of Gentoo Linux) heads the project. If you are considering trying a source-based Linux distribution in the spirit of Gentoo Linux, then check out Funtoo Linux.

Sundry collection of desktop environment configuration files (dotfiles)

If you use a computer professionally, before too long you have it obsessively configured just the way you want. This is a blessing and a curse, because now you have another problem to solve: how can you document your configuration and synchronize it across several machines?

Enter the “dotfiles repository”, a trend that started among neck-beards on Reddit, but now is far more popular than it should be. Throw your configuration files into a common place, and then try to script things (to the best of your ability and knowledge of the software) to somewhat automatically install. It is surprising which software is easy to work with, and which is difficult. For instance, the dconf system in GNOME is surprisingly flexible, buried behind a curtain of documentation.

Blueshell and other GTK themes

I tried my hand at GTK themes for Linux. The most ambitious one was to bring the Red Hat 9 Bluecurve look to GTK3. Sadly, this is mostly dead now because Adwaita (“the only one”) took over.

Old games, apps, and one off hacks

Too many to list here, but every now and then one resurfaces. I started programming when I was 12 with a rapid application development tool called Game Maker. Sadly, the source code for those games is long gone. I also wrote a few simple Android apps in college to try out Android. (I didn’t like it, but it was a different time.) Maybe one of them will resurface again sometime.

Groups I am involved with

Linux User Groups

The two Linux User Groups I spend most time with are the Orange County Linux User Group (OCLUG) and Greater Orlando Linux User Group (GoLUG, “the other Orange County”). Every now and then, I sometimes create a demo for them.