The native habitat of a unix herder

Here we see Chris Siebenmann (still writing about himself in the third person) in his native habitat, or as much of it as you can see in this picture. Which isn't much. You can't even see much of his t-shirt (the writing says Save Clayquot Sound, if you're curious), much less his desk or the shelves full of now-obsolete grey Ultrix manuals. In honor of a recent local bandwidth update, all these pictures are presented in bandwidth-wasting, fidelity-preserving GIF format.

Chris's ecological niche involves dealing with the large number of CD-ROMs SGI dispatches to their customers (and that pile's just one of each; SGI sends more than that) and exploiting the amusing powers of their machines for CQUEST. Or at least for his own amusement. Other parts of his current niche include no longer dealing with BITNET, and working with a KSR, of which he does not currently have any pictures (oh, for a real digital camera). Yes, a Kendall Square Research parallel computer. Yes, the company that went out of business after being about the only people who attempted to seriously use OSF/1 straight from the Open Software Foundation. But it does look neat and that's important in today's computer world.

As you may be able to tell from the headphones in the picture, Chris spends much of his time at work listening to music (perhaps that is the wrong way to phrase it; Chris does other things at work too). He listens to a wide assortment of things; sometimes they sound like this (960K MPEG audio file), which might give you the wrong impression, sometimes they're raucous like this (5M MPEG audio file!), and sometimes they sound like this (2M MPEG audio file). For the interested, the first is about 60 seconds from the start of Pete Namlook and Bill Laswell's Psychonavigation (generally classified as ambient), the second is The Men They Couldn't Hang's "Rosettes", and the third is the closing movement of Liszt's Second Piano Concerto; Chris defies anyone to listen to it and then claim that classical music is boring.

All of these pictures were taken with the video camera that came with his SGI Indy. Chris has designs on a native habitat (or at least a picture) for every member of USG, but that will take time and probably some persuasion of people to get them to sit still. They can be thankful he doesn't have a digital camera; if he did, he'd be running around taking snapshots of everything with it. The audio files were recorded direct from a SCSI connected CD-ROM on the selfsame SGI Indy. Indys can do this and indeed Chris normally plays his CDs by piping the data across the SCSI bus and out the Indy's own audio system; he finds this terribly nifty for some reason.

Chris Siebenmann, last updated April 16, 1997