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KernelTrap Interview With Rusty Russell 150

Jeremy Andrews writes "KernelTrap has interviewed Rusty Russell, a humorous and productive contributer to Linux Kernel development. Author of ipchains, netfilter/iptables, futexes, per-cpu counters, hot pluggable CPU support, and the new in-kernel module loading code, Rusty's efforts have had a significant impact on the upcoming 2.6 kernel. For a humorous sample of Rusty's wit, one only needs to look at his email signature which reads, 'Anyone who quotes me in their sig is an idiot. -- Rusty Russell.'" Rusty is a great guy, and this is a worthwhile read.
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KernelTrap Interview With Rusty Russell

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  • Plagarist! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @11:11AM (#7034125)
    Author of ipchains, netfilter/iptables, futexes, per-cpu counters, hot pluggable CPU support, and the new in-kernel module loading code

    We all know SCO/Caldera did that!
    • 'Anyone who quotes me in their sig is an idiot. -- Rusty Russell.'" genius quote, that's defenatly my new sig ;)
      • by Anonymous Coward
        It rather loses its humour if you're not Rusty Russell.
        • Not entirely...just some. If you put his quote in your .sig, you're basically just saying "I'm an idiot." We're still laughing, but instead of laughing with Rusty Russell, we're laughing at the parent.

          Hey, he brought it upon himself.

    • Re:Plagarist! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Deusy ( 455433 )
      I'm not sure what's worse. The legal and economical fallout from the SCO vs Linux mess, or the fact that we're doomed to hearing the same 'it belongs to SCO' joke attached to every single Linux-related story from for the rest of eternity.

      It's like a curse.
  • Sig (Score:1, Funny)

    by deltagreen ( 522610 )

    For a humorous sample of Rusty's wit, one only needs to look at his email signature which reads, 'Anyone who quotes me in their sig is an idiot. -- Rusty Russell.

    Now that's a perfect sig:
  • by Dan Aloni ( 584167 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @11:15AM (#7034169) Homepage

    Leader of the Kstrdup Core Team!

    diff -urpN --exclude TAGS -X
    +/home/rusty/devel/kernel/kernel-patches/curre nt-dontdiff --minimal
    +wo rking-2.6.0-test5-bk2-modules_txt_kconfig1/MAINTAI NERS
    --- linux-2.6.0-test5-bk2/MAINTAINERS 2003-09-09 10:34:22.000000000 +1000
    +++ working-2.6.0-test5-bk2-modules_txt_kconfig1/MAINT AINERS 2003-09-12
    +14:15:42.000000000 +1000
    @@ -1102,6 +1102,13 @@ W:
    W: evel/
    S: Maintained

    +P: Kstrdup Core Team
    +S: Supported
    P: Andrew Stanley-Jones
  • Rusty (Score:4, Funny)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @11:15AM (#7034176)
    JA: Digging through old lkml archives, I see that your first name is Paul. Is Rusty a nickname?

    no I was left out in the rain as a child
  • How long have you worshipped the dark lord Satan?
  • Way to go IBM! (Score:2, Interesting)

    he IBM Linux Technology Center is the misnomer which refers to the worldwide group within IBM whose mission is to "Accelerate the maturation of standard, architecture-independent Linux into the enterprise", or as we say "Make Linux Better". It's our job to contribute stuff where needed: from one point of view it's a way of collecting a paycheck while working full-time on what I love doing.
  • by craw ( 6958 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @11:31AM (#7034319) Homepage
    JA: Is there a story behind your email signature?

    Rusty Russell: The joys of working in an office: Chris Yeoh told me someone quoted me in their sig, on slashdot. Well obviously, I went and checked it out, and the guy had misspelled my name.

    From this sample size of one, I determined that everyone who quotes me in their sig is mentally deficient.

    Okay, who was the idiot?:-)
  • The Key (Score:5, Insightful)

    by japhmi ( 225606 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @11:44AM (#7034424)
    JA: When I interviewed Andrew Morton I definitely got the feeling that you've impressed at least him. :)

    Rusty Russell: That's such an amazing compliment, because I aspire be more like Andrew.

    That's what makes a good community, people who inspire, impress and encourage each-other. I've noticed that the 'big name' hackers tend to be ones who want to inspire people, not shoot them down.
  • Magic? (Score:3, Funny)

    by NorthDude ( 560769 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @11:54AM (#7034495)
    Hot pluggable CPU support ...

    Now, that is what I call a technological advance! You can execute code in the kernel and THEN, afterward, plug in the cpu. Does somebody knows how they do this?!?

    I think the quote: "Any technology indistinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced." applies well in this case

    • I think it has something to do with the anticipatory scheduling patches, right? It knows what you're going to do, and then when you finally plug in the CPU, it runs the backlog.
    • I had to do similear for one project I was on. I know exactly how we handle it when someone walks up and pulls the active CPU and data bus, because I've done it: It doesn't work. It only works in marketing's imangination and customer's data centers. The latter is more luck than I ever thought could exist in the real world, now that I know all the different ways data could silently get lost.

      Sometimes engineering makes you too pessimistic about the real world. I'm just glad that all the customers who m

    • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
      - ARTHUR C. CLARKE, The Lost Worlds of 2001. (Dutton)

    • ...then you'll have "steaming hot buttered pluggable CPU support, with real strawberries!"

    I'm willing to bet Rusty is the first person to both a pro football player and kernel developer
  • by Kynde ( 324134 ) <kynde AT iki DOT fi> on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:44PM (#7034859)
    "For a humorous sample of Rusty's wit, one only needs to look at his email signature"

    No pun intented towards Rusty, I do concider him to be a great chap, but to offer a signature as a proof of that?

    I've seen tons of humorous sigs here after completely witless posts. And now that I think about it, this post is yet another proof of that concept.
  • I think I'll change my sig to:
    "Anyone who quotes Rusty Russell in their sig is an idiot."
  • Wow.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bmj ( 230572 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:54PM (#7035505) Homepage

    This has been the least interesting thread on the front page for some time....I mean, I'm browsing at +1, and most of the posts are jokes about SCO, Russell's sig, and the name "Rusty."

    • For once, a troll that is telling the truth. This is a really interesting article, but difficult to comment on without being a bit of a real hacker.

      And therefore, this means that with the average Slashdot crowd... the signal to noise ratio is bad.

      The contribution to making the stock Linux kernel a venerable firewall is all thanks to Rusty Russell, and his work in other areas is very interesting. Kudos to him, he really puts his money where his mouth is. Very good read.

  • personal highlights (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 0x12d3 ( 623370 ) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @02:11PM (#7035666)
    I wrote lots of little things here and there: an example is the compressed loopback module I wrote as a throwaway project in 1999. I found out recently that it's the basis of Knoppix, which is an incredibly impressive project. I could never have done that: is that cool or what?

    Impressive little "throwaway project"!!

    ...Right in the spirit in which he closed the interview:

    JA: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

    Rusty Russell: I love that noone needs my permission to take my code and do something cool with it, and someone else can do the same with that code. I love that an "end user" is usually only a few hours work away from being an active documenter, bugreporter, web-mistress or coder in most projects.

    As a result, I despise anything which artificially raises barriers to entry for programmers and users. Everything from stupid software patents, to bad user interfaces, cabalesque knowledge and crummy code.
    These quotes highlighted the interview for me but the whole thing was great.
  • But he's a bad bad man when it comes to laptops. According to his ozlabs friends, he's destroyed more than anyone elses. This is a pictures of his powerbook G4 [] *sob* the poor thing.
  • I will never forget the 1st chapter on the IpTables-howto. It writes: "Who the hell are you, and why are you playing with my kernel?"
    This guy r0x0rz :)

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.