Resume of Eric Steven Raymond
If you are looking at a paper snapshot,
the latest version is available at
<URL://www.catb.org/~esr/resume.html>. It is a single HTML
document and readily downloadable.
Open Source Initiative (June 1998 to present)
I co-founded and served as president until 2005 of the Open Source Initiative, a
501(c)3 educational organization that builds bridges between the
hacker community and business with the aim of spreading the
open-source development method.
VA Linux Systems (November 1998 to April 2002)
I was a member of the Board of Directors of VA Linux Systems
(NASDAQ symbol LNUX), a leading Linux hardware and systems company
during the dot-com era. As one of five directors I helped steer VA
through its record-breaking IPO in December 1999.
Technical Director, Chester County InterLink (October 1993 to
In September 1993, I co-founded Chester County InterLink (CCIL)
as its Technical Director. CCIL is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
chartered to provide free InterNet access to the residents of
Chester County, Pennsylvania. At last count, it had over two
thousand users and was gaining about fifty a week.
My responsibilities during this period have included:
- The technical design of the entire project. I specified and set
up the hardware, acquired and configured the OS, designed and
implemented most of our custom software, and held primary
responsibility for administration until mid-October 1994. I remain
the project's only full-time member.
- Budgeting and planning for the project's technical side. I
wrote the expansion plan that secured us our first $16,000 in
- Recruitment and management of a team of between four and six
programmers, who have enhanced the system software and provided
needed administrative services.
- Design and implementation of InterLink, a multi-user UNIX BBS
that we use as our front end for ordinary user accounts. InterLink
pushed beyond 1994's state-of-the-art in BBS systems and has
attracted national attention in the Internet Service Provider
community. To check it out, see locke.ccil.org.
- System and network administration, including DNS and Ethernet
management on a multi-host network with 56K to the Internet.
- Co-responsibility for decisions on numerous policy issues,
including common-carrier vs. publisher status, liability
protection, content control, etc.
- Numerous fund-raising presentations to corporate
Independent Consulting (May 1985 to October 1993)
During this period, my activities included:
- Production and release of The New Hacker's Dictionary
- Maintainence and extension of the GNU Emacs editor.
- Contract software design and development for various local
businesses including a medical practice, a newspaper, a
truck-dispatch service, and a computer peripherals
- A rewrite of the USENET netnews software.
Rabbit Software (May 1983 to June 1985)
Technical Specialist, Operating Systems. I was one of the first 7
technical hires at Rabbit's startup. I designed and coded major
subsystems for 3270 emulation products. I developed a multiple-task
windowing package involving substantial device-driver
modifications. I wrote and maintained house standards for C and
UNIX portability/style, documentation practices and general
software engineering technique. I acted as system administrator,
support person, toolsmith and resident UNIX expert for up to 20
programmers on BSD 4.1, System III, System V, XENIX and FOS
environments running over a VAX-11/750, several AT&T 3B series
machines, a handful of 68000-based UNIX boxes and the IBM PC/AT.
MicroCorp (November 1981 to April 1983)
Lead Programmer. I designed and developed business software
products for various Z80, 8088 and 68000-based micros. I coauthored
Intelliterm, a successful serial-communications program for the IBM
PC. I wrote UNBASIC, a preprocessor to translate Pascal-like
structured BASIC into IBM BASIC.
Burroughs Federal and Special Systems Group (November 1980 to
Software Engineer. I developed software for Burroughs's Artificial
Intelligence and Advanced Programming Environments research group.
Worked on LISP development tools, algebraic reduction systems,
theorem-provers and formal specification languages. I participated
in the design of an actor language.
Wharton School Computer Center (August 1977 to October
I did consulting, support and development work in APL, Pascal and
LISP for various Wharton School projects on a DEC KL-10 under
TOPS-10. I wrote a LISP manual that was still reported in use five
years later. I was one of two local experts most involved in DEC's
beta-test of APL-SF.
I have developed software on the following machines: The Osborne 1
Z80 micro. TRS Models I, II and III. The IBM PC, XT and AT; also
various generic AT-bus 386, 486, and Pentium boxes. The Apple II
and Macintosh. Sun, Fortune, AT&T 7300/3B1 and several other
generic 68000-based UNIX boxes. DEC-10, PDP-8 and VAX 11-750
minicomputers. The AT&T 3B series machines, including the 3B2,
3B10, 3B15 and 3B20. The Pyramid 90x. Burroughs 1900, 6700 and 6800
mainframes; also B/20 and B/25 workstations.
My home computer is a PCI-bus Pentium 133 running Red Hat
I am expert in UNIX in all its major flavors and lookalikes. I have
also developed software under MS-DOS, the Macintosh Environment,
BTOS, CP/M, TOPS-10, and CANDE.
My high level languages include C, LISP, Pascal, APL, FORTRAN and
several BASICS, Tcl, Expect, Perl, and Python; I am best, and
highly expert, at C, LISP, and Python. My assemblers include Z80,
80x86, and 680xx. I am also accomplished in various special-purpose
languages such as YACC, LEX, DBASE III, PROGRESS, and EMACS Lisp. I
think of myself as a language designer, have a strong interest in
language and compiler issues and tend to learn new ones quickly.
I can write effective prose at any technical level. Since 1997 I
have been widely sought after as a speaker at technical
conferences. I once achieved modest success as a performing artist,
and learned from that how to read and hold an audience. I read
technical French, Spanish and Italian and have (retained) some
understanding of them spoken.
- "UNBASIC" for TRS-80 models I, II and III.
- "Intelliterm" for IBM PC, TRS-80 Models I, III (coauthor)
- "6700 Standard-LISP" for Burroughs 6700/6800 mainframes
- "RVIEW Line Editor" for Burroughs B20 and B25 workstations
- "Windows-Plus" for VAX-11/750 under 4.1BSD and the PC/AT under
- "Rabbit 3270-Plus" for many UNIX systems (contributor)
- "UniPress EMACS V2" for many UNIX systems (credited
- "GNU Emacs 18.5[2-8], 19, and 20" for many UNIX systems
- "NetHack 3.0" for many UNIX systems, via USENET (credited
- "keybind", a utility for remapping SVr3 and XENIX keyboards.
- "nrtools", tools for using dot-matrix printers with nroff.
- "spkr", a speaker-control device driver for UNIX machines (now
used in FreeBSD). (USENET)
- "C-INTERCAL", an INTERCAL-to-C compiler. (USENET)
- gud.el, interactive symbolic debugger control from EMACS (Emacs
- vc.el, a version control front-end for RCS or SCCS under EMACS
- I wrote the IEEE reference implementation of PILOT.
- ncurses, a screen-handling library with an API compatible with
System V curses(3). (principal co-developer).
- The InterLink multi-user UNIX BBS.
- I maintain fetchmail, a freeware utility for retrieving and
forwarding mail from POP2/POP3/IMAP mailservers.
- keeper, the archivist's robot assistant used to maintain the
- CML2, a replacement configuration system for the Linux kernel
incorporating theorem-proving. This has been accepted for the 2.5
- I am listed in the Linux credits file.
For more recent projects, see my software
My technical tutorial The Hitchhiker's Guide to X386 Video
Timing (or, Tweaking Your Monitor Modes for Fun and Profit) is
included as an official part of the XFree86 distribution of X11R6
and the high-performance SGCS X server.
I have been an active member of the GNU project, and was
principally responsible for EMACS Lisp maintenance between December
1991 and June 1993. Many of the new features in Emacs 19 were my
I maintain numerous other well-regarded FAQ and HOWTO documents,
Software Release Practice HOWTO, the So You Want To Be A UNIX Wizard? FAQ
(aka The Loginataka), the
Unix and Internet Fundamental HOWTO, the
Unix Hardware Buyer's HOWTO, the XFree86
Video Timings HOWTO, and the How
To Become A Hacker FAQ.
I have the following magazine credits:
- Going Forth, PC Magazine Volume 1 Number 3.
- Understanding UNIX, PC Magazine Volume 3 Number
- Assemblers Without Ulcers, PC Tech Journal Volume
2 Number 3.
- Standards Everywhere, Byte, January 1992.
- Building The Perfect Box, Linux Journal #36, April
- Numerous reviews and short pieces for UNIX TODAY
and Linux Journal.
Understanding UNIX was the lead article of a
special section, and only missed being the cover story because IBM
released the ill-fated PC Junior that week. Assemblers
Without Ulcers was for years standard course material at the
Boston Computer Society's technical seminars.
I have the following book credits:
I was the principal researcher and author of Portable C
and UNIX Systems Programming, ISBN 0-13-686494-5 from the
Prentice-Hall Software series, 249pp. (the name "J. E. Lapin"
appearing on the cover was a corporate fiction).
The Waite Group's 1987 book The UNIX Papers (ISBN
06722-25786, 517pp) features a paper by me entitled The
Future of UNIX and Open Systems Standards. I was also the
major technical reviewer for the book.
I conceived and edited The New Hacker's Dictionary
(MIT Press, 1991, ISBN 0-262-18145-2). This book received
enthusiastic reviews in The New York Times, PC
Magazine, Byte, PC World,
UNIX Review, IEEE Spectrum, and numerous
other popular and technical magazines. In August 1993 the second
edition was cited in Newsweek.
The second edition of The New Hacker's Dictionary
came out September 1993 and, so far, has been equally successful.
The book seems well on its way towards becoming an institution, and
will probably outlive my tenure as editor. Sales to date are about
The advent of the September 1996 third edition led to interviews
in Wired (August 1996) and People
In November 1996 O'Reilly Associates published the second
edition of Learning GNU Emacs, ISBN 0-937175-84-6. I
am a credited coauthor of this edition.
In early 1998, I was the editor of Linux
Undercover, the compendium of Linux documentation published
by Red Hat Software.
In 1999, O'Reilly associates published my three essays on
open-source development as The Cathedral and the
Bazaar. A second edition was released in January 2001. This
book reached #7 on the New York Times's list of business-book
I have the following miscellaneous other credits:
Language I originated has been incorporated in the POSIX Draft
proposed UNIX standard (re tape archive backup formats and
extensions to multi-volume operation) and in the ANSI X3J11 Draft
Proposed C Standard (re the asm() optional extension).
I have twice been a guest lecturer at the Institute For Advanced
Study in Princeton, New Jersey. I ran workshops there on Emacs and
Internet for the technical staff and research scientists.
I was selected to be a member of the program committee for the
first Conference on Freely Redistributable Software, held in Boston
I was an invited speaker at Linux Kongress '97, the Atlanta
Linux Showcase, and the first Perl Conference in 1997. My paper,
The Cathedral And The Bazaar, was very well received. This
paper was subsequently described by Netscape Communications, Inc.,
as a major factor in their decision to release their client
software as open source. Since this event I have been an invited
speaker on various aspects of open source at dozens of technical
I was one of the invitees at Tim O'Reilly's history-making
Freeware Summit in April 1998. Other invitees included Linus
Torvalds, Larry Wall, Phil Zimmerman, Guido Van Rossum, and John
I was also the keynote speaker at Open Source Developer Day in
August 1998 and at the 7th Python Conference in November 1998.
I am a member of Merrill Lynch's Technology Advisory Board.
I earned a design assistance credit in the 6.1 edition of
Close Action (Tempest Games), a highly-regarded set of
rules for simulation of Napoleonic-era naval warfare.
I have appeared as a supporting artist on two record albums:
A Song of Gods Gone Mad (Daystar Records, 1980), and
Full Circle (Third Day Records, 1995).
Undergraduate studies (including some graduate-level courses) in
mathematics and philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania.
I have never taken any courses in computer science or software
My interests (outside of computers) include science fiction,
wargaming, writing, martial arts (I hold a World Tae-Kwon-Do
Federation 1st Dan Black Belt, have fought in battleline with SCA
heavy weapons, and am studying aikido), firearms (especially target
and tactical pistol shooting), epic poetry and music (I play and
compose on flute, guitar, hand drums and voice, and occasionally
perform with local bands in the Chester County area). I have a
novel (SF, titled Shadows and Stars) nearly
Eric S. Raymond <email@example.com>