Cover V05, I08


Editor's Forum

This is the last issue of Sys Admin that will carry my name in the mast.

I wrote and discarded several less abrupt introductory paragraphs for this editorial, but that's really what needs to be said -- difficult as it is.

I've been central to the creation of four successful technical magazines: C/C++ Users' Journal, Windows Developer's Journal, Network Administrator, and Sys Admin. All except Network Administrator are still in publication. Although Sys Admin is neither the oldest, nor the biggest, I still draw a special satisfaction from its success.

In Sys Admin's case, I feel more ownership for the concept and more affirmation that the concept was "right." More than with any of our other magazines, I knew exactly what I wanted Sys Admin to be and do. And more than with any others, Sys Admin has succeeded because it conformed to that concept. It is an example of good design. That's gratifying.

Despite my special affection for this magazine, a few months ago I asked Miller Freeman, Inc. to replace me. Simply put, I'm not expert enough in system administration to supply the technical leadership the magazine needs, and at this point in my life I'm not really motivated to climb that particular learning curve. I'm a programmer and an engineer, not a system administrator. It's one of those instances in which the best you can do is to let someone else do it.

In this case, that someone else is eminently qualified. Our new editor, Ralph Barker, through his roles as a UNIX systems consultant and system administration trainer, has been immersed in system administration since 1986. He has also served for four years as Directory of Technical Services for UniForum. Most recently, he has been working as Technical Editor for UNIX Review. He is definitely more fluent in shell script than I.

So, this is farewell. Although I will be offering some advice and assistance during the transition, the next voice speaking in this column will be Ralph's, not mine. While I can, I'd like to thank those who've been especially important to me and to the magazine.

Martha Masinton: thank you for being the real editor while I ran the company. I wish you success and satisfaction in your new role.

Larry Reznick: thanks for making us look more expert than we really were.

Amber Ankerholz and Lori White: thanks for taking my copy at bluelines, and for tolerating all those sidebars.

And perhaps most importantly, thanks to all our readers. Without your eagerness to learn, we wouldn't have any customers. Without your willingness to share, we wouldn't have any writers. Without your tolerance and support, letters to the editor would be an inhumane hell.

Thank you.
Robert Ward