My Work

Interested in knowing what I’ve accomplished over the years? Here’s a brief sampling of some of my work (at least the work that I’m not prevented from sharing by intellectual property encumbrances):


Red Hat Summit 2009

RPM-ifying Third Party SoftwareIn 2009 I was selected as a presenter at Red Hat Summit, in Chicago. There, I gave a presentation on how to take third party software installs and turn those installs into RPM packages, for simpler and more manageable installs. The presentation used ClearCase (a complicated version control tool by IBM/Rational, which includes complexities such as kernel loadable modules that have to be built per kernel) as an example. I was given a Top Presenter award for this presentation. Click on the thumbnail at right to download the PDF of the presentation from the Red Hat site.

Red Hat Summit 2010

RPM-ifying System ConfigurationsIn 2010 I was again selected as a presenter at Red Hat Summit, in Boston this time. There, I gave a presentation on how to use RPM packages to control system configurations, including how to control service states and configuration files. This included a detailed discussion of using triggers to automatically move adjust service states and configuration files when relevant packages are installed onto or erased from the system. (E.g., to allow you to enforce corporate policies on daemons like ftp, telnet, etc.) Click on the thumbnail at right to download the PDF of the presentation from the Red Hat site.

Open Source

rpmscompThe rpmscomp tool allows you to retrieve and compare information regarding what RPM packages are installed on multiple systems. Rather than manually retrieving RPM listings from multiple systems and then comparing them using a tool such as diff, this tool allows you to do it all in one. It will ssh to remote hosts to gather RPM listings, allows you to store listings for later comparison, and can compare the RPMs installed on any number of hosts (limited only to the amount of memory in your system).


SCRYE Magazine

Scrye #1 CoverIn late 1994, I submitted an article on Magic: The Gathering card misprints and corrections to SCRYE magazine. It was printed in SCRYE #4 in February, 1995. Humorously, this was when I learned that magazine editors are in fact fallible, as the editor introduced an error into my article before it was published (she incorrectly switched an “its” to “it’s”).

When I later sent an e-mail to the editor complaining about some incorrect rules information they’d published in following issues, she asked if I’d like to write those columns. This lead to me taking on the persona of “Rules Demon” and authoring three regular columns (Mondo Combos, Tapping the Knowledge Vault, and Deck to Deck) for SCRYE issues #8-12.

With permission from F+W Media, Inc., here’s a scan from SCRYE #8:

WCST Nethack Spoilers

WCSTIn the late 80’s and early 90’s, I created the WCST Nethack Spoilers. This started out as a collection of hints and tips pulled from Usenet newsgroups regarding the game Nethack. The spoilers went through multiple revisions, and culminated in revision 7.00, included a publicly available text-only version (suitable for printing on the typical dot-matrix printers of the time), and a soft-bound “professional” version that I sold, which also included a number of handy reference and cheat sheets.

For the first time, I’m now making a scan of the professional version and cheat sheets available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license:

2 thoughts on “My Work

  1. Torstein Hansen

    Any chance you can upload your Red Hat Summit 2010 presentation here or something? It features some cool ideas and I wanted to check the pdf.. But redhat have deleted it now..

    1. Paul Post author

      I’ve uploaded local copies of both the 2009 and 2010 Red Hat Summit presentations. They’re a little out of date at this point, but still contain a lot of useful information and ideas on atypical things that you can do with RPM packages.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *