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About the Author
I have been a corporate developer and consultant for over 20 years in Lon-
don, New York, Chicago, and the southeastern United States. I started on
IBM mainframes, was an early PC enthusiast, and had some Digital VAX
experience, but I really fell in love with UNIX when I first saw networked
Sun workstations. After that, I had a UNIX consulting business for several
years. IBM was a major client, so the flavor of UNIX we used was mostly
AIX. I had the opportunity to conduct training for thousands of IBM sys-
tem engineers on TCP/IP and the Internet at a time when it was new to
most of them. I was the subject matter consultant on a couple of books
about AIX system administration.
In 1993, I wrote a book on the development strategies and methods of
that time, generally called client/server computing. Research for that book
convinced me that what was then called Windows NT was the best
upcoming opportunity, so from 1994 to 2002, I worked for Microsoft on
server adoption and enterprise consulting. This was mostly Microsoft
Consulting, but included two years managing regional product sales for
development tools and database. This included the introduction of SQL
Server 7.0, which altered price/performance in the database market five
years ago in rather the way open source database products are doing today.
At one time I was a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Solution Devel-
oper, and Trainer (MCP #22989), but most of my MCP qualifications
have now expired.
In my last job with Microsoft as a .Net architect, my team was often
called upon to debate with or otherwise compete with, and also to interop-
erate with, open source systems. In the course of those activities, I was sur-
prised and impressed by the quality of the open source products, and I
resolved to switch to them.
Since 2002, I have been developing and consulting on open source
software, particularly migration from and interoperability with Microsoft

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