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© Rakhesh Sasidharan

[Aside] Systems, Science and FreeBSD

Interesting talk by George Neville-Neil on FreeBSD and research. At Microsoft Cambridge, of all the places! 

I am listening to two BSD podcasts nowadays – bsdtalk and BSD Now – and it’s been both great (coz I just love BSD!) and sad (coz I just love BSD and wish I were using them as actively as I was many years ago … sigh!). Came across the above talk via BSD Now, I listened to the audio version (you don’t really need the video version as it’s mostly talking and the slides are a separate download anyway and you can skip those). Earlier this week I listened to the bsdtalk interview with Mathew Dillon, founder of DragonFlyBSD. That was a great interview. I admire Matthew Dillon a lot and have listened to his previous interview (interviews?) on bsdtalk and elsewhere. Takes passion and vision and knowledge to stand by what you feel and fork an OS such as FreeBSD and actually get it going this far – I totally admire that! Sadly, DragonFlyBSD is the one I have least used – except briefly to check out HAMMER.

Anyways, thought I’d post links to these …

Nostalgia – FreeBSD

Stumbled upon this via The Wayback Machine last week.


Sigh. Rakhesh Sasidharan – FreeBSD administrator. Good ol’ days! :)

Sadly this front page and one or two others are all that The Wayback Machine archived of this site. And I don’t have a backup of the site either as I clumsily lost it (I have a habit of being excellent at taking backups but also somehow managing to delete/ misplace those backups just when I need them).

The site was a wiki running DokuWiki atop Nginx and FreeBSD from a desktop PC at home. DNS was via TinyDNS and some script that would update the A records whenever my ADSL dynamic IP would change. I had three FreeBSD machines at home, they were called Asterix, Obelix, and Dogmatix. Apart from this wiki the machines also hosted an IMAP server (Courier IMAP, I think) for my emails and Postfix for sending emails. It had some more bits and pieces but I don’t recollect them now. The wiki itself was mostly about FreeBSD administration. I love (loved?) FreeBSD – I have always been more partial to the *BSD Operating Systems than Linux, maybe because they felt like an underdog but also because these OSes felt more coherent than the hotchpotch that is Linux.

Anyways, all those are days of the past now … but it was a good trip down memory lane to see that wiki pop up when I least expected it!

Here’s a photo of Asterix, Obelix, and Dogmatix at my parents’ house:


It’s sad that I don’t even have a good picture of them! Here’s a photo of the three machines after I moved out of my parents’ house:


In both pics Asterix, Obelix, and Dogmatix are the two black Compaq and one white IBM machines. The fourth machine was a regular Windows XP desktop.

The second pic’s from Dec 2007. I think these three machines stayed on for one more year; sometime between 2008 and 2009 I decided to stop spending so much time at home on FreeBSD and shut them down.

After that I had a FreeBSD VPS and also some FreeBSD VMs at home, but I didn’t do as much with them as I did with the three physical machines.