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Linuxcare: Interview: Talking With Matt Welsh

Sep 13, 1999, 18:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dave Sifry, Jim Dennis, Matthew Cunningham)

[ Thanks to Matthew Cunningham for this link. ]

"In terms of making a powerful but rough new operating system accessible to the many, few have played as pivotal a role in the history of Linux as has Matt Welsh. In 1993 Welsh founded the Linux Documentation Project, a volunteer organization with the goal of producing reliable docs for the Linux operating system. He was the original author of the Linux Installation and Getting Started Guide and of a number of important early HOWTOs, including the Installation and Linux XFree86 HOWTOs. In 1995 O'Reilly & Associates published Welsh's Running Linux, generally acknowledged as the all-round introduction to the OS. Welsh has also been published in Linux Journal, Dr. Dobb's, and serves as the Senior Editor of Linux Magazine. Welsh is currently a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at UC Berkeley; his research focuses on Linux clusters and scalable Internet services. Linuxcare staffers Dave Sifry, Jim Dennis, and Matthew Cunningham caught up with Welsh last week for a long lunch at a Thai restaurant in Berkeley. The occasion for the interview was the publication of Running Linux, Third Edition, now co-authored with Lar Kaufman and Kalle Dallheimer..."

"Linuxcare: Currently you are working on the "Millennium" project at Berkeley?"

"Matt: Actually, now I am working on two projects, although they are both related. Millennium is about building workstation clusters on scale so big that you spread pieces of them out across the campus. So, the chemistry department or the astronomy department might have their own sort of baby clusters, and the CS department will have their huge mondo 500-processor cluster, but it is all viewed as one big cluster because each of those mini clusters is connected using a gigabit link. This raises some interesting issues because communicating between nodes within a cluster and across clusters is going to have different performance characteristics. You thus have to write applications that automatically determine where they are going to run based on the performance characteristics of the networks on top of them."

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