[CentOS-devel] CentOS 5 Beta Initial Test Release

Phil Schaffner Philip.R.Schaffner at nasa.gov
Wed Feb 21 16:33:16 UTC 2007

On Wed, 2007-02-21 at 13:14 +0000, Lance Davis wrote:
> We are about to release an initial internal test release of CentOS 5 beta 
> to our qa team.
> If folks here want to be a part of that test they need to join the 
> centos-qa list (http://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos-qa) and 
> send a message to this list (centos-devel) saying that 
> they would like to be a part of the qa process and join the qa team, 
> with details of relevant experience if you are not known to the core 
> developers.
> Membership of the centos-qa list will then be approved.

Please count me in.  Have been on the -devel list for a while but here's
some personal experience (more than you wanted to know, no doubt; but
you asked :-).  First used a computer in 1966, when doing a plot for EE
lab in Algol on Hollerith cards consumed the entire room-sized Burrows
B5500.  First interactive programming was in BASIC on a paper TTY circa
1969, before dropping out to waste a few years in menial pursuits.

First professional programming job was as a grad student in 1977 doing
FORTRAN on punch card decks on a CDC mainframe for NASA Microwave
Landing System research.  Had to sign up a day in advance to get time on
the one Tektronics graphics terminal to develop models and view results
interactively.  Then at graduation, hired on with a NASA contractor to
work on SeaSat radar satellite research that resulted in the first
satellite remote sensing of ocean wind speed/direction.  Did some
real-time hardware/software to digitize and analyze microwave radiometer
data recorded on analog tape on a Data General "mini" that had
front-panel switches to start the boot from 8" hard-sector floppies -
still FORTRAN.  Moved on to an early DEC VAX 11/750 in 1983 with a VT100
terminal all my own, and became the de-facto VAX/VMS system
administrator when nobody else jumped in to learn to manage it.  (I
believe Jon "maddog" Hall left DEC about the time Microsoft hired much
of the VMS team to create NT.)   First UNIX was SunOS, later Solaris, on
Motorola 68K and then on SPARC in the late 1980s and early 1990s - still
primarily FORTRAN but began moving to C.

First PC Unix was SCO (right after becoming a NASA bureaucrat and before
SCO became a dirty word) to run Oracle on a $14K i386 (still cheaper
than the SPARCstations) in 1991 - to analyze research data from a
prototype airborne wind shear radar, after we flew it through
microbursts on a NASA B-737 nicknamed Fat Albert to collect the data.
Spent a lot of nights and weekends getting a real-time VME-bus Motorola
68K system with 6 DSPs programmed in C under OS-9 to work to
collect/display radar wind shear hazard data.  We knew it was working
correctly when the NASA pilots began to trust the airborne radar
displays we gave them over the up-linked wind shear hazard data from the
big ground radars.  This led to FAA certification of wind shear hazard
detection on commercial weather radars from Bendix-King/AlliedSignal
(now Honeywell) and Rockwell-Collins, now in use on thousands of
airliners.  On the home front, played with the Commodore VIC20, C64, and
Amiga; then M$ DOS and Windows 3.1.  First home "Unix" was Coherent
(Unix-like PC OS that eventually had TCP/IP and X) on a 286.

Have been using Linux since 0.99-12, circa 1993 - on 5.25" floppy.
First distro was Slackware on ~60 3.5" floppies, first CD distro was
Yggdrasil.  Tried some other early distros including Caldera (again
before the SCO acquisition and nastiness) before settling on Red Hat
with 3.0.3 (Picasso).  First serious Linux use for work was the
development of radar simulations on Red Hat 4.0-4.2.  Moved to Fedora
Core after the RH9 demise - never having required the RH support that
came with the boxed sets - supporting radar airborne/runway object and
enhanced radar turbulence hazard detection.  Moved to WhiteBox 3 for
work purposes when it became clear that FC was not sufficiently stable.

Moved to CentOS when they were first with a viable EL4 rebuild.  Don't
really do much programming any more except in Matlab/Octave and hacking
up a few non-CentOS SRPMs for local use when stuff I need is not
available from the standard repos.  Have been testing the EL5 beta under
VMware Workstation on CentOS4, and trust that the CentOS beta will not
replicate the awful red color schemes.  I currently maintain CentOS 4.4
on 3 home machines and 6 work machines (one a quad-processor 10TB RAID
data/compute server), try to help out a bit on various lists, and play
with Fedora and Ubuntu, when I'm not doing my current real job in the
NASA Aviation Safety Program - External Hazard Detection sensor

Hope I'm approvable for centos-qa.


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