About Me

I hope the world will be a better place when I leave compared to when I came. I try to do my little bit to make this happen, especially in the computing area. Personally, I admit to try to be just happy.

Beam me…

I guess some strange accident brought you to this page, and now you are stuck. 😉 Nobody (but you) will beam you home.

In case you really intentionally hit this end of the Internet: glad to meet you, and thanks for having your attention. If you want to stalk me, all the official tools can be found at the bottom of the page. They’ll tell you that I am a passionate hacker, and sometimes even a serious consultant.

|Rainer| > |rsyslog ∩ Rainer|

You are probably curios about me as rsyslog developer. That’s a role I like, but it’s not the only one I am fond of. I hope the site provides a small glimpse of what interests me, and what shaped me, and what I hope for. Read on – or go out and have fun. The later is strongly recommended for sunny days (… but trust me on the sunscreen)!

A quite Static Page…

Please do not expect this page to be updated frequently. If you watch for fresh content, you may want to have a look at my logging and IT security blog – or check the social links in the footer. This page is just meant to tie everything together and provide some bits that didn’t fit elsewhere (but I consider noteworthy for some reason).

Profession

Everyone does some things really well. For me, among them is designing and implementing complex systems.

Oh Man … really???

I am in the IT field since 1983. I have started as a software developer, than turned into a data center guy and then into a data center guy building local area networks. For some years, I have served as a consultant, often as a consultant doing some custom programming. This was an enjoyable time, but I am back to pure software development for quite a while now. I still do some consulting, but not that often and primarily if it really matters. During all those years, I was always working close to the system level.

I hold a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Hagen and a state certification in business administration (comparable to a BSc).

I am a member of the ACM, the German Informatics Society, the ISOC, and the IETF syslog working group.

Playthings…

I have wrangled with quite some IT systems since I started in this business. Some of them are long-forgotten, but I really like all of them. Among others, I have worked with

  • IBM Mainframes (VM, VSE, CMS, CICS, SNA)
  • Unisys Mainframes(OS 1100, TIP, CMS, DMS 1100)
  • Bull GCOS/HVX
  • Unix (e. g. AIX, SCO) and Linux
  • Network Technology (Physical Layer, Protocols & Applications)
  • Software Development (quite a lot of languages, including stuff like ADA)
  • Novell NetWare and NDS
  • Microsoft Operating Systems and Backoffice

Personal

I love to enjoy life. I am a family guy, and really enjoy travelling. I have many interest and I even pretend to understand some of the topics I am interested in…

Obsessions

I was addicted to several hobbies throughout my life. Mostly initially performed obsessively and then settling to a more healthy level. I have been a gardener, photographer, hobby astronomer, educator for kids, done political work at the community level and quite a bit of other things. I am also a kind of space geek and it was a great pleasure being able to attend one of the last Space Shuttle launches (yay!). I have worked as a volunteer for the Red Cross in very troublesome times when the German border was opened, before Germany was re-unified. A rewarding experience.

Probably my greatest hobby has been and is computing and software development, which I was lucky to make to my profession. I can still be found in the garden, photographing (primarily) landscapes and flowers, and relaxing while dancing (a relatively recent addition to the portfolio). I relax when hiking and staying at the beach. I love Latin music, and if nothing helps to fix a nasty software bug, a good song, played pretty loud, may get me going.

OK, some Politics…

I strongly believe that we are all created equal and share the same rights. It is not the color of our skin, our religious believes, citizenship that bears privilege (well, it should not…). But it is how we behave, and how we care for each other. While I am totally pro the idea of a United Federation of Planets, for the foreseeable future I would be satisfied to be part of a true nation that is called “Europe”.

Even more so, I believe that peace and health is the most important we have, and I firmly believe that our leaders should care a bit more about this than they currently seem to do.

Biography (kind of)

We humans are born with a given set of properties. But we are shaped by time, experiences, and pure luck. Technically speaking, everyone is a highly flexible system, always changing and adapting. If you really curios, get a glimpse here of what shaped me (minus quite some personal bits, I admit).

Details?

If you are interested in the bori^h^h^h^h glorius details, have a look at my LinkedIn profile. If you want the good stuff, read on!

Roots

I was raised in a small town that made its living out of coal mining and agriculture. When I was a young kid, telecommunications meant writing a letter. A bit later, it was jumping over the street to the neighbor who had one of those magical telephone devices. I was originally destined to become a coal miner but great people and fate re-routed me to let silicone do bit juggling.

First Contact

My first contact with computers was with a TI 57 programmable pocket calculator. I got addicted to it when my school offered an “informatics course”. Such a course was almost unheard of in my area. A big thanks to our progressive math teachers! This was the time of the Sinclair ZX 81 and the Comodore VIC 20. I was able to obtain one of the latter – and really drove it to it limits…

Professional IT

At that time, I was not able to attend university. So a career in computing seemed impossible. I was thankfully persuaded into a business administration job with quite a bit of IT ingredients. I didn’t like the biz admin idea, but hey… What a hit! I immediately fell in love with that big Unisys 1100 mainframe. It was very hard to get me out of the company those days. Around that time, at age 17, I told me friends that

One time, I will be able to talk to each person on any spot on earth with ease.

Most folks thought I was just outright crazy… I should note that at this time over here even modem connections were prohibitively expensive, not to mention Internet access (which began to materialize, what I did not know then).

Networks. Networks!

That spun my interest in networking. We begun introducing PCs, and I wrote the first proprietary inter-continental data transfer system for the company I was working for at that time. For long distance transfers, we used the IBM SNA links, where the PC networks and mini computers connected to… I also begun to contribute to “open source” (public domain software).

Fast Forward…

To cut a long story short, I outgrew my job, went into consulting and also started my first software company. The coming years, I was busy building networks and connectivity all over the place. We brought the internet to lots of medium to mid-large sized companies over here. We built PC networks. Those were the days of Novell NetWare, IBM OS /2, and Microsoft Windows. As a side-note, I was advisor to both Novell and Microsoft at that time.

Logging? Sure. On Windows.

During this work, we had need to troubleshoot our systems. This brought me to logging. Fortunate fate made my stick to this topic, and I wrote the first Windows syslog server and invented the event log forwarding technology. Around then I also concentrated all of my activity in my company, now called Adiscon.

Logging … on Linux?

We gradually shifted from service provider to software house. Back to hacking all those cool things. And on another happy day,  I needed to integrate syslog with a database. Found out that sysklogd could not do this. Problem? Not all all. I forked, and created my personal pet project. Born was rsyslog.

rsyslog

Man, was that cool… I was doing something right, interest in rsyslog was overwhelming. This set new priorities. While the company remained focused on logging in general, I moved more and more into the open source space. A (usually) friendly space with great folks. And, guess what: today I am able to talk to any person on any spot of earth with ease (mostly). I do so to help drive open source and logging technology forward. I enjoy having so many diverse and smart folks around me – be it open source hackers, customers or anyone else involved in that area. It’s a privilege to be able to participate.

The Future…

Who knows? Me not 😉 I’ll try to keep inside the loop and hope to meet lots of cool folks online and offline. Continue to make the electrons move. Do some good stuff that helps getting the world a bit better place. Be happy. Find a new shape…

LLAP

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