UNIX/Linux and Me

This post is brought to you by Command Line Heroes, an original podcast from Red Hat.

Pure Gould

UNIX is C and C is for UNIX.

“I want to be an architect” was the mantra for some teenager in a British period TV series I watched in Ireland as a kid. For my final four years of secondary school (like high school) in Ireland it had become my mantra. I loved technical drawing and specifically drawing houses in perspective with shadow—it looked so realistic. I didn’t much care for computers as I couldn’t really afford one. I got to play on my girlfriend’s Commodore 64 and my dad bought me a scientific calculator that had about 2K of memory to write BASIC programs (for the millenials and younger, that was one of the first popular computer languages).

Studying computer science was not even on my radar—I wanted to continue learning the finer art of

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Power, Control Structures, and Open Source

This post is brought to you by Command Line Heroes, an original podcast from Red Hat.

My first encounter with computers

As a child, I perceived the world to be a pretty cold place filled with control structures—similar to the movie Tron. These control structures also seemed to be pretty imbalanced. When I was about 7 years old, I remember being at a local department store that had personal computers on display. They were powered up and each of them presented passing shoppers with an intimidating black screen, broken only by these white characters:


I didn’t understand what it meant, or in retrospect, how this would sell computers. There were keyboards connected to each computer. I knew what they did from watching TV, so I hit a few keys. Characters began displaying across the screen and I soon discovered that you could also hit the “enter” key and the screen would change. It appeared that the computer was trying to interpret the words I was typing, but it refused to do anything except display the words

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From Manual to Automated DevOps: One Man’s Journey

This post is brought to you by Command Line Heroes, an original podcast from Red Hat.

My journey, as one might say, in search of the Holy Grail or the great unicorn called DevOps, began well over 20 years ago; yet I never knew it at the time… Actually, it began in 1984 when I was 13 and got my own first computer, a Commodore VIC-20. It wasn’t the first computer that I had ever used but it was mine. I pushed that system with 3 ½ KB of RAM to its limits. Technology has grown by leaps and bounds in such a short timespan. Since those days, I’ve worn many hats. I’ve owned my own company, I’ve helped tech-edit books, and I’ve been pretty active in the open source community. Workshops, social media, MeetUps, Red Hat user groups (RHUGs), virtualization technology user groups (VTUGs), etc. have all allowed me to share and learn at the same time.

Fast forward 10 years, I’m a sergeant in the Army. Sometimes, when in garrison (which was rare), I got tasked out to a bit of side work on UNIX systems simply because nobody knew how to use them. These puppies were coupled together with many pre-internet technologies.

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