Cover V05, I03


Editor's Forum

If you read my last editorial, you know that I'm presently winding my way across the western half of the United States in a less-than-new motor home. I reached my main goal the Usenix Technical Conference in San Diego -- last week with no major difficulties. I went primarily for the tutorials, and as always, Usenix put together an excellent educational program.

As I write this (in a Phoenix Wal-Mart parking lot), I'm about two days travel out of San Diego. Of course, the Arizona weather is great (at least compared to what I hear Kansas is experiencing), but telecommuting from a motor home hasn't really caught up with mainstream practice -- possibly because there's no real demand. I don't think very many motor home travelers bother to telecommute -- from what I've seen on this trip, they're mostly retired!

My most frustrating days, however, weren't in the motor home, but in a San Diego hotel. I took a room for the conference, but wasn't able to get a connection through the room phone, despite the fact it had a clearly labeled "modem" port. After four days of trying (and two different modems), I finally had the hotel replace the phone in my room. With the new phone, I managed three or four successful, but s..l..o..w sessions. I'll probably have to beg at some truck stop to use a local phone to submit this editorial. If nothing else, I can always resort to dictating over the phone -- even at a pay phone, you can still use that technology. I really believe the IBM commercial where a woman uses her notebook to pull down a map in the middle of the rain forest? What do you think?

With this issue, we welcome Amber Ankerholz as Sys Admin's managing editor. Amber comes to us by way of a local scientific publisher. With my communications as unreliable as they have been, I've appreciated her unflappability. If you're thinking about writing for us, give Amber a call. I think you'll find her pleasant to work with.

This issue also marks the introduction of a new Career Opportunities section. If you are considering changing jobs or are looking for new talent, check out this new section, beginning on page 72.

Finally, I want to thank Martha Masinton for all her work on Sys Admin. I know Martha (who is also a department manager and managing editor of another of our magazines) is glad to hand off some of her workload to Amber, but I also know that Sys Admin has been special to her and that she'll miss working with it. Martha shepherded Sys Admin during the days when I was consumed with CEO responsibilities, and I think she did an excellent job. Amber and I will have to get serious if we're to do as well.

Thank you, Martha. I and your other Sys Admin friends will just have to find some other excuse to talk to you.

Sincerely yours,
Robert Ward