Check out the new USENIX Web site.

USENIX Home . About USENIX . Events . membership . Publications . Students
2004 Election for Board of Directors


Jon "maddog" Hall

USENIX has a reputation for generating well-received, well-cited technical papers and conferences. Unfortunately, the number of people who are paid to develop operating systems continues to dwindle. The day of multiple companies having multiple operating systems, each one with a programming staff, is long gone.

Today a lot of people in the Free and Open Source movement are not paid by their employers to develop software. At a recent Linux conference, fully half of the attendees paid their registration and travel fees themselves. Employers who do fund their people to attend want to know how much better they will be able to do their job after attending our conference/training sessions. USENIX has to reduce the cost of the conferences, so that we can continue to help spread the knowledge about software design.

I advocate holding conferences in universities and other non-profit sites to help cut costs. I feel that there is no such thing as a "free" t-shirt, and that we should recognize that such perks either come out of registration fees or they come from sponsoring companies (which might have sponsored something else). Therefore an extra charge for the non-sponsored t-shirts on the registration form would be appropriate. People might even be able to order more than one at the same time, but those people who don't want t-shirts do not have to pay for them. USENIX should do more to find inexpensive housing for conferences, to help people share rooms, to help facilitate shared transportation (perhaps with Web-based bulletin boards).

I advocate having a "basic" membership fee, with add-ons such as a paper copy of ;login: vs. an electronic copy.

Finally, we need to reach out to foreign computer science practitioners. More and more Free and Open Source computer work is being done internationally. If we are to have the "best and brightest," we need to figure out how to get them to come to our conferences.

Biography: Jon "maddog" Hall is the Executive Director of Linux International (, a non-profit association of computer vendors who wish to support and promote the Linux Operating System. During his career, which spans over thirty years, Mr. Hall has been a programmer, systems designer, systems administrator, product manager, technical marketing manager, and educator. He has worked for such companies as Western Electric Corporation, Aetna Life and Casualty, Bell Laboratories, Digital Equipment Corporation, and VA Linux Systems, and is currently funded by SGI.

He has taught at Hartford State Technical College, Merrimack College, and Daniel Webster College. He still likes talking to students over pizza and beer (the pizza can be optional).

Mr. Hall is the author of numerous magazine and newspaper articles, many presentations, and one book, Linux for Dummies.

Mr. Hall serves on the boards of several companies and several non-profit organizations, including the USENIX Association.

Mr. Hall has traveled the world speaking on the benefits of Open Source Software. He received his B.S. in Commerce and Engineering from Drexel University and his M.S.C.S. from RPI in Troy, New York.

<-- Candidate Index  

?Need help? Use our Contacts page.

Last changed: 22 Jan. 2004 aw