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About the Authors

About the Authors

Tom, Christine, and Strata know one another through attending USENIX conferences and being actively involved in the system administration community. It was at one of these conferences that Tom and Christine first spoke about collaborating on this book. Strata and Christine were coworkers at Synopsys and GNAC, and coauthored Chalup, Hogan et al. (1998).

Thomas A. Limoncelli

Tom is an internationally recognized author and speaker on system administration, time management, and grass-roots political organizing techniques. A system administrator since 1988, he has worked for small and large companies, including Google, Cibernet Corp, Dean for America, Lumeta, AT&T, Lucent/Bell Labs, and Mentor Graphics. At Google, he is involved in improving how IT infrastructure is deployed at new offices. When AT&T trivested into AT&T, Lucent, and NCR, Tom led the team that split the Bell Labs computing and network infrastructure into the three new companies.

In addition to the first and second editions of this book, his published works include Time Management for System Administration (2005), and papers on security, networking, project management, and personal career management. He travels to conferences and user groups frequently, often teaching tutorials, facilitating workshops, presenting papers, or giving invited talks and keynote speeches.

Outside of work, Tom is a grassroots civil-rights activist who has received awards and recognition on both state and national levels. Tom’s first published paper (Limoncelli 1997) extolled the lessons SAs can learn from activists. Tom doesn’t see much difference between his work and activism careers—both are about helping people.

He holds a B.A. in computer science from Drew University. He lives in Bloomfield, New Jersey.

For their community involvement, Tom and Christine shared the 2005 Outstanding Achievement Award from USENIX/SAGE.

Christina J. Hogan

Christine’s system administration career started at the Department of Mathematics in Trinity College, Dublin, where she worked for almost 5 years. After that, she went in search of sunshine and moved to Sicily, working for a year in a research company, and followed that with 5 years in California.

She was the security architect at Synopsys for a couple of years before joining some friends at GNAC a few months after it was founded. While there, she worked with start-ups, e-commerce sites, biotech companies, and large multinational hardware and software companies. On the technical side, she focused on security and networking, working with customers and helping GNAC establish its data center and Internet connectivity. She also became involved with project management, customer management, and people management. After almost 3 years at GNAC, she went out on her own as an independent security consultant, working primarily at e-commerce sites.

Since then, she has become a mother and made a career change: she now works as an aerodynamicist for the BMW Sauber Formula 1 Racing Team. She has a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering from Imperial College, London; a B.A. in mathematics and an M.Sc. in computer science from Trinity College, Dublin; and a Diploma in legal studies from the Dublin Institute of Technology.

Strata R. Chalup

Strata is the owner and senior consultant of Virtual.Net, Inc., a strategic and best-practices IT consulting firm specializing in helping small to midsize firms scale their IT practices as they grow. During the first dot-com boom, Strata architected scalable infrastructures and managed some of the teams that built them for such projects as talkway.net, the Palm VII, and mac.com. Founded as a sole proprietorship in 1993, Virtual.Net was incorporated in 2005. Clients have included such firms as Apple, Sun, Cimflex Teknowledge, Cisco, McAfee, and Micronas USA.

Strata joined the computing world on TOPS-20 on DEC mainframes in 1981, then got well and truly sidetracked onto administering UNIX by 1983, with Ultrix on the VAX 11-780, Unisys on Motorola 68K micro systems, and a dash of Minix on Intel thrown in for good measure. She has the unusual perspective of someone who has been both a user and an administrator of Internet services since 1981 and has seen much of what we consider the modern Net evolve, sometimes from a front-row seat. An early adopter and connector, she was involved with the early National Telecommunications Infrastructure Administration (NTIA) hearings and grant reviews from 1993–1995 and demonstrated the emerging possibilities of the Internet in 1994, creating NTIA’s groundbreaking virtual conference. A committed futurist, Strata avidly tracks new technologies for collaboration and leverages them for IT and management.

Always a New Englander at heart, but marooned in California with a snow-hating spouse, Strata is an active gardener, reader of science fiction/fantasy, and emergency services volunteer in amateur radio (KF6NBZ). She is SCUBA-certified but mostly free dives and snorkles. Strata has spent a couple of years as a technomad crossing the country by RV, first in 1990 and again in 2002, consulting from the road. She has made a major hobby of studying energy-efficient building construction and design, including taking owner-builder classes, and really did grow up on a goat farm.

Unlike her illustrious coauthors, she is an unrepentent college dropout, having left MIT during her sophmore year. She returned to manage the Center for Cognitive Science for several years, and to consult with the EECS Computing Services group, including a year as postmaster@mit-eddie, before heading to Silicon Valley.

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