CUUG 2007/2008 Board of Directors

President: Christopher Aziz
Christopher Aziz

Christopher was CUUG President from 1998 to 2000, and again last year.

I believe that it is again time for me to put something extra back into the club. CUUG still has a future and I want to help. What CUUG offers that a FAQ, manual or web site doesn't is human interaction, networking and friendliness. The "stuff" isn't really that important. Involvement and participation are what make CUUG work.

The *nix world has changed radically and as we take on the task of evolving CUUG to its next form, our greatest challenge will be to increase the basic "clubbiness" and friendliness in our meetings and activities while decreasing the demands on key volunteers.

Our club works only because of volunteers. Dues never cover the cost of services provided by the club. We clearly need to get more members involved.

Among members, there is good agreement on current problems and future goals but more diversity on solutions. Renewing the spirit of CUUG is more important (to me) than mere fiscal survival.

The grand challenge for the CUUG 2007-8 board will be to "make it so".

Vice President: Dick Miller
Dick Miller

Dick first joined the Board of Directors last year.

I like having monthly meetings where we can eat pizza and drink pop while listening to and discussing things with interesting speakers. I like having a place where I can have my own web page without going to the trouble and expense of registering a domain and finding a hosting service. I like being able to ftp files to and from my own secure location. I like being able to login to a UNIX server to try out commands and programming. As CUUG members, let's maintain our membership numbers, so that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of membership such as those listed above.

Chairman: Alan Dewar
Alan Dewar

Alan first joined the Board of Directors in 1998. He has served in a number of executive roles in the past, including as Chairman last year.

My first UNIX-related experience was with Multics, which I enjoyed playing with while in university. I started using UNIX itself as a grad student at the University of Calgary, where I was involved in the Jade research project. Some of the technology from this project was transferred to Willowglen Systems' new state-of-the-art SCADA system, through which I learned more than anyone should care to know about writing operating systems to run on Sun hardware. Experience showed that this is not a viable long-term strategy, and that one is better to stick with common standards, most notably UNIX. Following my SCADA career, I did some oil-and-gas-related UNIX consulting. I spent five years working for Hewlett-Packard and its spin-offs, and am now the Java development supervisor for Kelman Technologies' Seismic Data Processing division. I have been a member of CUUG since about its second year of existence.

Secretary: Kent Drager
Kent Drager

Kent first joined the Board of Directors last year.

I am new to the Linux/Unix world and am learning new things every time I boot up the operating system. I was introduced to the Knoppix 3.9 live CD about two years ago. I thought it was a great idea to have a whole operating system on a single CD, and beneficial since I use an XP laptop mostly. I used the Knoppix CD during my first year of engineering, mostly to ssh into the university Sci Linux system and complete my programing assignments from home. Later I downloaded and burned the Knoppix 4.0.2 DVD which has many improvements. Soon after I got some help installing Debian on a home desktop machine.

Recently, I repartitioned my laptop as a dual boot Debian / XP machine. I had a "hiccup" during this process and the Knoppix CD let me access the XP partition and backup my documents and this gave me a sense of security before fixing the problem. You may remember I asked the general discussion list for suggestions on trying to fix the partitions.

Linux has helped me as a student. CUUG helped me when I had problems. This fall in third year engineering, some of my classmates may see what I'm doing and want a similar setup for themselves. I now know how to 90% help them.

That's several very good reasons why I to want CUUG to thrive.

Treasurer: Peter Cromer
Peter Cromer

Peter was on the Board of Directors in 2001, and again last year.

I am CUUG's resident anachronism and have been around CUUG since the early 90's when I worked for a company integrating PC's and UNIX systems. I started programming in machine code and assembler in the late 60's with a subsidiary of Texas Instruments while on a foreign assignment in Beirut, Lebanon. For learning there was only one hardware manual plus existing code on the 4K of memory 18 bit asynchronous mainframe seismic processing computer, so I wrote a lot of basic stuff, "inventing" a bubble sort etc. only to discover later when I returned to the real world that they had existed for years. IT is cruel; speaking of which, accounting was never really high on my list of favourites. But perhaps I will discover that I am in fact a closet accountant and as I take on the Treasurer role this year I may end up imposing a harsh and rigid fiscal discipline on the club. I am sure my fellow directors will have a quiet word with me if I get too carried away. Incidentally to underline the historical changes in computing the picture shows me holding in my left hand a state of the art (till 1986) 50.2 mb IBM 3851 Mass Storage cartridge while in the other is today's USB external drive holding 500gb.

Mike Babulic
Mike Babulic

Mike has served on the Board of Directors for a number of years in the past, including as President from 2000 to 2002.

I've been active in the Calgary Unix Users Group since 1995. It helps satisfy my geekly urges. You may find some useful tools on my CUUG web page.

I'm a bit of a Jolt Cola addict (I once wanted to get Jolt as a CUUG sponsor). I'm also a BSD bigot. My home network hides behind an OpenBSD firewall and contains a Mac G5 tower and an ancient "frankenmac" (OS X is a BSD derivative running on a Mach microkernel).... nevertheless I believe that linux, and even windoze have their place.

Glenn Gunn
Glenn Gunn

Glenn is volunteering for the Board of Directors for the first time this year.

I have 7 years experience at IBM working with customers providing AIX solutions for their commercial and High Performance Compute requirements. Prior to IBM, I worked at a Medical Software Company providing solutions based on IBM AIX servers. I hope to offer CUUG a different perspective in order to make both UNIX and CUUG successful in Calgary.

Mark Hewitt
Mark Hewitt

Mark first joined the Board of Directors in 1998, and has served as Chairman in the past.

I first discovered UNIX about the same time as its greater and cruftier progenitor MULTICS many years ago in university while studying physics and astronomy. I liked its combination of simplicity and power in a fairly smooth design that aided rather than hindered its users and developers.

Many years later both myself and UNIX are still around, though both are not what they used to be. Unfortunately UNIX has had the worst of what the years bring and now challenges and even exceeds MULTICS in some places for byzantine layered legacy design. I have also acquired many layers and like UNIX could bear to shed a few. Now my profession is mostly hardware as a field service technician, but my work does sometimes involve using and fixing UNIX computers and their distant kin like CISCO routers.

I have followed the Free and Open Software Revolution through GNU, Minix, Linux, and now Debian. I am glad computing is returning to its roots of sharing information in the tradition of the scientific and engineering professions, as building on what others have done and peer review is critical to correct, rigorous, and proper progress.

I strongly support CUUG's dedication to promoting and advancing UNIX, as UNIX even with its layers of somewhat dubious additions is still the best operating system we have. It is still a powerful tool, and many are working to backfile its lesser parts with better redesign, and develop new polished refinements to add to its power.

I have served on CUUG's Board of Directors from 1998 Jan to Jun, and as Board Chairman from 2000 Jun to 2003. I am also deeply involved with keeping the Computer Resource Centre running and working towards improving it for CUUG's members. I would be proud to serve on our Board for the next year.

Jeff Meidinger
Jeff Meidinger

Jeff is volunteering for the Board of Directors for the first time this year.

I have several years experience with Solaris and solution architecting from my time with Sun Microsystems in Calgary and previously with a Sun partner in Vancouver. I started using Solaris during my co-ops and within most of my computer science courses at the University of Victoria.

When not working, I like to play soccer and hockey and support my Vancouver Canucks.

I'm looking forward to helping CUUG grow and engaging new speakers to address interesting topics from the IT industry.

Sean Nichols
Sean Nichols

Sean is volunteering for the Board of Directors for the first time this year.

Several years ago, as a young proto-nerd on the cusp of graduating from high school, I became fed up with the apparent requirement to reboot my computer every half hour, and discomfited by the notion that just anyone could sit down and browse through what as a teenager I increasingly viewed as my private data. I decided that there had to be a Better Way (tm): one that didn't crash, that wasn't susceptible to the threat of viruses, and that didn't tax my computer's resources with unhelpful paper clips.

I determined to create this better way for myself, and set to work; however after months of planning and designing, a friend one day came to our semi-regular gaming night and said he had brought with him something better than games. Like some conspiratorial drug dealer insisting that the first hit was free, he slipped me a CD containing Slackware 3.2 and breathlessly encouraged me: "you'd better back up your hard drive."

Though I didn't yet know it, the following days and nights were to become a kaleidoscopic blur and I was to get a thorough instruction in the adage that "those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly." (Henry Spencer)

When I came up for air a few days later, I knew instinctually that there was no point in struggling further with my better way. The better way as already here, and that way was even better than I was allowing myself to imagine.

Unfortunately far too many people are introduced to Unix in the above underground manner, and far too many more people are never introduced to it at all. This needs to change. The better way has been here, being continually improved, for decades, and it's not just the first hit, but every hit that's free. It seems all too unfair to let Unix remain unappreciated and misunderstood. Unfair to those people who are still searching for the better way, and still being kept in the shade while deluding themselves into thinking that's where they want to go today.

Anthony Roberts
Anthony Roberts

Anthony first joined the Board of Directors in 2005, at which time he served as Vice President.

I've been exposed to computers for most of my life, but I wasn't exposed to UNIX until I started at university. Once I started programming seriously, the limitations of Windows forced more and more of my activities onto UNIX until I didn't use anything else.

I have experience with AIX, Solaris and FreeBSD, but I primarily use MacOS X, OpenBSD, and Linux. I've tried most of the popular Linux distros, but I've settled on Debian for now.

When programming I primarily use one of C, Java, or Python, but I am familiar with a number of other languages because various projects have required them. I consider being accustomed to learning languages more important than any language in particular.

I graduated from university in December 2005, and I have also had the opportunity to do some development work in the industry.

Brian Richardson
Brian Richardson

Brian first joined the Board of Directors in 2004. He has served as Secretary and as Chairman in the past, and has remained on the Board until his resignation in October, 2007.

I was born into a computing society. From my earliest memories, there were always replacement keys and large, white round hard disks floating around the house. When I finally saved up a few dollars at about the age of 11, I got my first PC: an original IBM XT (not a clone!) with 256K of RAM and a 10MB hard drive. I learned Pascal and Intel Assembly that year.

At around the age of 15, I was on my second computer, an 8Mhz 8088 with a 14.4Kbps modem. I'd stumbled across a UUCP node called during my BBSing days, and shortly thereafter joined as a CUUG member (under my dad's name, richardg) for the first time. This 8088 went through a lot of changes. During high school, I was learning C, and was unable to find a free C compiler. I'd played around with Linux with some friends, and needed something similar that would run on my horribly obsolete computer. AST's Minix ended up being the solution, and thus began my foray into the Unix world.

I've now played with Unices of many varieties, mostly x86 based, but some SGI and Sun hardware too, as well as my iBook running Mac OS Panther. My domain,, is about providing Open Source solutions to business, based heavily on Java and Linux-based servers.

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