V13 - Stefanos Harhalakis
My name is Stefanos Harhalakis, I was born and raised in Thessaloniki, Greece and I now live in Reading, UK. I also use the nickname V13 on IRC, e-mails, forums, etc. I'm a long-term(?) computer user / programmer / sysadmin. My computer activities date back to 1985.
One of the things I enjoy is computer programming. I'm currently programming in C/C++, PHP (+HTML, +CSS) and Python. I used to use other languages like Pascal and x86 Assembly but not any more. I've also tried Perl, Java and Ruby but didn't find them as useful or nice as the languages that I'm currently using (even though Ruby is a very nice language).
I prefer writing opensource programs for open platforms like Linux but I've also created a few windows programs for fun and for profit. For a long period I used to write programs for MS-DOS and OS/2 (which was something between MS-DOS and MS-Windows regarding the programming experience).
Another thing that I enjoy is making systems work (a.k.a systems administration). In general I don't like doing things so I am willing to spend a lot of time automating them even if it is easier to just do them by hand. I also have the tendency not to accept the limitations of programs and either try to fix them, hack them or replace them by developing something new. I have a lot of fun doing hard core things just to make systems work by using state of the art technologies and making them work altogether. On top of all that I like inventing new methods and creating new tools that fill existing gaps.
While programming I've visited various worlds like Windows GUIs (yes... with custom made event loops too), Linux GUIs (QT and GTK), Networking, Linux kernel, etc.. and I really enjoyed them. In fact I'm still enjoying most of them.
I'm now acting as a systems administrator mainly for Unix systems working for a large company with a very big cloud (ok.. that's a buzzword, but we actually do that in every sense and there is no virtualization involved).
Until now I've administered Linux, Windows, Network, IRIX, OSF/1 (or Digital Unix if you prefer) and Solaris systems while I was lucky to have some experience with Ultrix and VMS. I have to say that I somehow miss the old days when there was a plethora of operating systems. Now it's only Linux, BSD and Windows.
Like all other systems administrators I was also involved in network administration. Because of the weird problems we have faced, I dare to claim that I'm a well-experienced network administrator. I'm somehow specialized in Cisco switches, routers and wireless. As a mater fact, I was teaching the CCNA course along with Nicholaos Psarras at the Department of Informatics of TEI of Thessaloniki, Greece.
Not being an exception, my administration skills were developed while being a blackhat (first) and a whitehat (later). Thus I also tell people that I'm quite familiar with security issues.
Teaching and research on networks was the previous step in my career. I was actively researching the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) and Active Queue Management (AQM).
In my previous life (i.e. previous job career) I ended up being affiliated with the Department of Informatics of TEI of Thessaloniki (a 4-years University in Greece) where I was a lecturer and a systems and network administrator . I used to teach the CCNA Course and I was also involved in a number of different areas in the Department that were not related to computing or teaching (i.e. managerial and administration roles, policy making, etc).
I hold a degree in Information Technology from the Department of Informatics of TEI of Thessaloniki and a Master's degree in Applied Informatics / Computer Systems from the University of Macedonia (also located in Thessaloniki, Greece). I'm currently a wanna-be Dr. (a.k.a. PhD student) at the University of Macedonia. My research is related to the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and especially Congestion Control, but I also like to have some looks to other areas like routing, IP and security.