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Mark ran the Linux Support Services booth alone, fielding questions from a constant flow of interested attendees. He had this rack of equipment that looked half army surplus, and half state of the art. He thoroughly explained the rack to me, but I still couldn't understand everything he said. As best I can figure, he had written a Linux hosted program to bridge between T1/T3 lines and multiple Frame Relay lines and Ethernet.
Then I found out that besides support and this bridging program, Mark
has authored four pieces of Free Software:
|Cheops||Graphical Network Monitoring|
|GAIM||AOL client for Linux|
|L2TPD||PPP tunneling, including support for Virtual Private Networks|
|Pilot-PPP||Makes your Linux box seem like a simple modem connection to your Palm Pilot|
He had Cheops running at the show, and it was ultimately cool. It draws a nice topology diagram, and when you click on one of the nodes, it puts you into admin mode for that node. Free Software. Microsoft, eat your heart out. By now I knew this guy would get an article.
Now listen to this. Researching for this article, I stopped at Mark's website, which had a video of his dorm room. Dorm room? This guy writing bridging software and graphical net monitor software is in college? An email cleared this up. Yes, he's in college, although he is taking off Spring and Summer quarters to begin the business.
So let me get this straight. This college student is already the author of sophisticated admin software, president of a support company, holding his own in social and sales situations, and rubbing elbows with the best the Linux world has to offer?
Who are computing's future heroes? Only time will tell. I'm keeping a close eye on Mark Spencer.