Part One

Lewis Mumford, in Technics and Civilization, predicted in 1934 that the next great Information Society innovation would result in the biggest stock swindle of all time; he could not have known about the Internet or the World Wide Web.

Discussion Group

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Table of Contents

  1. Natural Life of a Networked Machine: This writing describes the Synergy that we in Internet and Open Systems engineering experienced during the heady growth of the 1990s; this attempts to show you how engineering is in fact empathic: a meme.
  2. Operating Systems Open Sytems OSs: SunOS, Solaris, Linux, and HPUX
  3. Software SystemsObject Oriented, Decision Support, Database, Data Mining and Discovery, and Internet Services
  4. LanguagesShell, Perl, HTML, XML, and CSS
  5. ServersServices provided by servers, File servers, Data servers, Web servers, Application servers, System servers
  6. Software Systems Development Software Systems Analysis and Design using the Waterfall, Test driven, Unified, Aspect, MVC, Object Model, and Design patterns approaches
  7. Administration Systems, Network, and Security aspects in depth
  8. Why We Need Linux:This tells of the Linux Operating System, and how its phenomenal growth gave teeth to the mutualist culture of the Information Society. Today the vast majority of Internet pages are served by Linux machines, yet Linux remains a secret. This writing was presented on the Usenet and received two enlightened and supportive responses
  9. Syllabus


What follows is an effort to describe my experiences in the information technology industry. Between the years 1990 and 2002, I worked as a systems administrator at a number of major New York firms.

For the purposes of this paper I have tried to create a curriculum framework that would allow someone to see all the aspects of my work in, and knowledge of, computer operations: operating systems, software systems, servers, software systems development, and administration.

In addition to my own description of what I did in these areas, I have also collected and linked to various web sources. In this way, my hope was to provide a good view of the entire industry in a syllabus framework that can hopefully be used in middle school and high school curriculai.

Technology and Me
I had taken computer programming courses through the 1980s at SUNY New Paltz, and understood that computers would be increasingly important, but it wasn't until the very late 80s that I contemplated a world wide network of computers and computer communication bringing people together in wholly new way.  In 1989 I learned about the Unix operating system and began to read books about administration.  Only two weeks of study qualified me to be a Unix systems manager; the demand was great back then, and expertise rare.

My first technology job happened to be with an early Internet company, and it was only then that I learned about the Internet.  Oddly neither my education at SUNY New Paltz, nor my reading in the NY Public Library gave me any hint of the existence of the Internet, which had already been widely established.

The growth of information through the 1990s was exciting, and it was the domain of the technologist, not the corporate manager nearly until the year 2000.  Meetings were held in cubicles, and rarely in board-type meeting rooms.  Those meetings tended to be negotiations.  Management took control again in the very late 1990s, and the world experienced a stock swindle bubble followed by a crash whose losses went far beyond any previous experience, and created a world recession that bordered on depression.  The new century was prepared by the most extensive contribution to knowledge and technology in human history, but started with history's most extreme example of financial maleficence.  Technology changed in that there would be no more significant innovation; the marketing of technology by a few very large corporate winners accompanied by refinements and improvements, but no innovation.

My first job in technology with one of the early Internet companies was appropriate because I found that my job title of manager, a term that evolved into administrator, put me in the center of innovation integration.  Because Internet innovation occurred during that period across a small number of different systems, and because the growth of the industry demanded a flexibility by managers to allow technologists to form their own careers, it was possible for me to position myself as a consulting contractor in such a way that I could experience all the major innovative advances very personally.

As I said, through the process of capitalization that resulted in extreme recession, corporate management managed to wrest back control from the technologists.  Through the recession the industry was converted from a Democratic Technic to an Authoritarian Technic, to borrow terminology from Lewis Mumford's Technics and Civilization.  To cement the process, the industry was removed from its headquarters in New York and California, and other growing technology neighborhoods in the US and Europe, to Bhopal, India.  All these changes from retrospect seem not to be economic phenomena, as financial analysts always say, but a tactic by consortia of high-level capital controllers to rapidly increase the power of global corporations.  Especially telling is that the process of shipping technology development centers to poorly-developed nations was not as profitable as first claimed by many factors; the process may have required government cooperation in the form of tax-relief subsidies.

Interesting terminology coming from Southern California describes the roots of the Internet.  The terms "massaging" and "tweaking" were usually used to describe software modifications; these terms are from the "So Cal" performance car modification industry; "massaging" refers to grinding piston parts to make the flow of the gases and explosions more smooth, and "tweaking" usually means modifying electrical ignition systems to create better and more syncronized spark.  The birth of the Internet was we know it occurred in Berkeley, California at the large university during the social upheaval of the late 1960s; it was contemporary to Berkeley's "Free Speech Movement." or FSM.

The Natural Life of a Networked Machine

Operating Systems

Software Systems



Software Systems Development


Why We Need Linux