How I became a system administrator

* Originally written at Thu Sep 2 05:17:58 EEST 1999.

This is how it started

Every penny that I have made today and every one that I will make, I owe it to my Prof. Timos Sellis who has trusted me more than enough:

When I entered the NTUA EE School (Fall of 1990), I had no computer and no money to buy one. Also I wanted to become a Computer Engineer. The labs are not always open and keys are not the easiest thing to find. Somehow until Fall of 1993 I managed. But by then it was impossible to continue without a computer.

It was then that I heard from a friend that Prof. Sellis was looking for a System’s Administrator for his lab machines. The Following dialog is real:

Yiorgos: Hi, I heard that you are looking for a System's Administrator
Timos: Yes, do you know of any?
Yiorgos: Yes, actually I'd like to do that
Timos: Do you know anything about it?
Yiorgos: No, not a thing!
Timos: That's OK, you will learn

This dialog changed my professional life. It is because of Timos’ trust that I am able to make my living today.

[ I was not a total ignorant of Unix internals. I was a Unix power user who could do anything that could be done without root access. It was just that I was ignorant of administering systems and maintaining things like DNS and sendmail ]

The least I can do as to thank Timos for the door he opened to me into the amazing world of System Administration is to document the story down.

[ needless to say that I graduated without owning a computer ;-) ]

With lots of gratitude,

Yiorgos Adamopoulos.

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