A History of FnordNet



In 1997, in my little apartment, there was me, two cats, and two computers. The two cats are incidental to this narrative, and the story of how I came to have two computers is a bit complicated (as is most of my life), but there they were. I had been involved in data processing for 27 years by then, so I saw the possibility of putting the machines to some good use. The cats had their ideas about how to put me to some good use, but that is another matter.

Then, in 1998, there was me, two cats, my partner, and three computers. Things began to get a little complicated, as there were two people trying to use a single connection to the Internet. So, with the help of some network hardware and a little creative software acquisition, I managed to route two computers through a third and on to the network at large. FnordNet was born.

In 1999, I discovered Linux. It was not long before I could get rid of the creatively acquired software (which wasn't working so well, anyway) and run a Linux-based router. Very soon thereafter, I became interested in what was going on under the hood, so to speak, of a Linux system, and Fnord Linux began its evolution from the primordial ooze.

By late 2001, Fnord Linux was a fully-fledged network operating system, and there were eight computers here. One of those became a web server, beginning the stories of the FnordNet web site and my personal web site. Each of two more computers supported a subnetwork, laying the foundation of a public/private network architecture. Two more computers were general-purpose workstations, serving the computing needs of my partner and myself. A sixth computer was given over to the development of Fnord Linux, and the remaining two -- my original two -- did odd jobs wherever they were needed.

Today, in my little apartment, there is me, just me, and a single computer. I can't afford to run a network 24/7 out of my living room any more. Fnordnet has become a software and service provider for myself, myself, and myself. A few of the development projects are described here, and there are links to the web sites under the FnordNet banner.


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