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Author Topic: Moderator introduction....  (Read 3555 times)

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Offline Patrick Wilson

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Moderator introduction....
« on: July 30, 2013, 05:16:48 am »
Greetings to everyone here in the Securifi Community Forum!   My name is Patrick Wilson,   and I have been asked by Securifi to act as one of the Moderators of these Forums.   


I have a long history in computers,  including both Microsoft Windows and Linux Operating systems,  this extends back to the 1980's.  My favourite subjects when it comes to Routers is remote network management.   I have been playing with remote access to my own network since 1986.  This was the heyday of the old BBS era.  I operated a BBS back then,  which I attached to the Fidonet network.  (Yes this was the DOS/Desqview era,  as Windows was only at v2.0,  and few people played with it until it matured to Windows v3.1/v3.11), 

My main interest then,  was quite similar to interests today.  Remote Access to my network.  I built my own Router in 1991,  as I simply couldn't afford to buy a commercial one,  as they were very expensive back then.  I successful built my own Router to take advantage of my "leased-line" Internet access.  (This pre-dated Broadband Internet access in my market by a full 5 years).  It was very challenging building my own Router.  The hardware was easy enough,  a simple PC with dual Ethernet adapters,   and a serial port was all that was required.  The challenge I soon discovered was the software. 

My homemade Router used Linux,  and packet forwarding within the GNU/Linux kernel to bounce packets between interfaces.  Even this part was fairly easy to setup (believe it or not).   The real challenge back then,  (similar to today) was firewalls,  and network security,  especially with my desire to maintain remote access to my network from "anywhere".  I soon learned how to play with IPTABLES,  and firewalls.  I later started playing with OpenWRT,  and DD-WRT firmware on commercial routers,  as they were far cheaper than my PC-to-Router conversions,  and were a lot quieter.   ::)

Why a moderator? 

I have actually performed duties as a moderator in various forms ever since I started in Computers and Networking.  Initially it was just as a typical BBS Sysop.  (System Operator),  but later I found myself doing Forums moderation for various employers.  My technical knowledge,  and writing skills worked together to permit me to operate a private Technical Support Forum to support Computer Technicians in the field,  supporting a very large Government network which includes more than 35,000 Windows PC's spread out over an area of just under 1 million km2.   Most of these technicians had excellent PC repair skills,  but most lacked a thorough grounding in IPv4/IPv6 networking,  WAP and Router setup,  and network printer configuration in a Large multi-forest Microsoft Active Directory Enterprise network. 

I was responsible for providing technical assistance to these field technicians,   and to help them when they got into things that they aren't comfortable with,  and to occasionally keep discussions topical etc.  (It was a closed Forums system,  so I didn't have to worry about Spammers, or deleting Spam messages etc).   I found that I enjoyed helping others,  and that I enjoy technical writing.  Securifi has asked me to use my skills here,  to help make these Forums a success.  I am one of several Moderators here,  but I'll let my colleagues introduce themselves. 

Please help me to help build this into an active Community Forum.  Please ask questions.  I do not work for Securifi Technical Support,  so I will likely refer some issues to Securifi for resolution.  (I can always help with Firmware configuration issues,  but I can do nothing to resolve hardware issues).  While I have extensive experience with Routers,  Firewalls,  and Remote Access technologies,  I am not an expert in everything.  I will "fess up" when I can't answer your questions,  and similarly I will "fess up" if I inadvertently provide any misinformation.  My goal here is to keep these Forums running smoothly,  and to both teach and learn from others within the Securifi Community.

I am new to Securifi's NUT OS,  and to Home Automation,   but I have extensive experience with embedded Linux devices (including both Routers and NAS devices),  so like the rest of you I too will be learning as a I go.  My recent experience with non-Securifi Routers is mostly with using DD-WRT Routers,   which I have been using in many interesting ways,  including playing with DNS,  DHCP Reservations,  NAT-Loopback,  and configuring advanced features like setting up Site-to-Site OpenVPN encrypted tunnels,  and setting up SIP adapters etc. 

I want to work with the Securifi Community to help all of us to get the most out of our Almond,   and future Almond+ products.  Some of this stuff is as new to me,  as it is to everyone else.  Hopefully we can work as a community to both teach and learn from each other.  If we work together we can make the Securifi Forums into a friendly place,  with knowledgeable people and newbies all helping each other. 

There will be many Securifi customers that will simply "pop in" when they experience issues,  who will disappear just as quickly once their issues are resolved.  (There is nothing wrong with this,  as we all lead busy lives).  I am however hopeful that we can develop an active community where people "hang out" here for the sole purpose of sharing information with other community members.  Routers have changed a lot since the 1980's,  and I want to help everyone here get the most of their new Securifi hardware.   

Lastly I would like to extend a special Welcome to all the new Kickstarter Backers and Developers.  Without this financial support,  these products might have never come into existence.  Thank-you for your support,   and for helping bring these excellent products to market.  Please don't be shy,  post your questions to the open Forum.  Doing so will help other community members not only with answers,  but even your questions will help others.  Don't be afraid of asking "stupid" questions,  We were all new to Routers (and Home Automation devices)  at some point in our pasts. 

Lets work together to make Securifi Forums a success for everyone. 

Patrick Wilson
Victoria, BC Canada.
Patrick Wilson
Victoria, BC Canada

Offline obscurus

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Re: Moderator introduction....
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2013, 03:15:16 am »
Thank you Patrick for your extensive and interesting "welcome story"! :)
Rest assured, I'll ask questions! ;)


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