User:Thomas Dzubin

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Greetings! I'm Thomas Dzubin, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada (although on any particular day, I may be editing from Vancouver or Calgary). Because of my Slavic ancesty, I also go by my Patronymic name (what most North Americans consider my middle name, I consider my last name different than my Family name which can be confusing at times).

My main interests are computers, retrocomputing, electronics, gardening, hiking, cooking, human rights, animal rights, anonymity, privacy, music and trying not to make too many hyperlinks in one sentence. Other interests include Public transport, Farmers' markets and the Slow food movement.

My Past

I was born in the 1960s. I began working with computers in 1975, when I received an account on the University of Saskatchewan HP2000F HP Time-Shared BASIC system. In addition to learning to program BASIC on an interactive system (and saving my programs onto paper tape), I also began to learn and use Fortran on the University's IBM System/370 batch processing system using Punched card technology and became acquainted with IBM's Job Control Language (//DZUBINT EXEC PGM=IEFBR14) in 1977. Although I enjoyed my experience with the IBM 029 key punch and the Houston Automated Spooling Program, I quickly learned that the IBM system had the Time Sharing Option running and I could create and submit programs on a dumb terminal. Around the same time, I was a subscriber to Popular Electronics and Byte magazines and saw advertisements for the Netronics COSMAC ELF microcomputer system using the RCA 1802 microprocessor. I immediately bought one and spared no expense anticipating my huge programming needs by additionally purchasing a four kilobyte expansion board. Thus began my long history with microcomputers. Meanwhile, back at the University, when SaskComp (the Saskatchewan provincial government computer department bureaucracy) moved the IBM system to Innovation Place Research Park, I was given access to a DECSYSTEM-20 running TOPS-20 which began my enjoyment of all hardware and software from Digital Equipment Corporation. Later, in the 1980s when I was enrolled at the university in the Computer Science program, I worked on various PDP-11 systems running AT&T V6 UNIX and VAX systems running OpenVMS, programmed in C, COBOL, Lisp, and Assembly language. After graduating with a B.Sc. my job opportunities and positions ranged from Programming and Help desk to Server and Network Administration. In the late 1980s and early 1990s I wrote a large number of DIGITAL Command Language scripts. I have been using TCP/IP and Ethernet since 1985 although I worked briefly with Lantastic, 3+Share, LAN Manager, and Token Ring. I've also been a long-time Macintosh user, I bought a Macintosh 128K in 1984 for $3000 CAN, and a Macintosh SE in 1988. I've used (and was an expert on) CP/M, MS-DOS, Windows 3.1x, Windows NT 3.1, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 2000. I started using Linux in 1992 (kernel version 0.96!) and have continued to use it ever since.

My Present

Computers & Networks

I have a collection of many minicomputers and microcomputers in my basement including seven or eight VAX 4000-series systems. My active VAX systems run OpenBSD and OpenVMS. My active microcomputers include a Mac mini with a PowerPC G4 processor running Mac OS X, and a bunch of Compaq Deskpro systems with Intel Pentium III processors running Windows 2000, Windows XP, various versions of Linux, and OpenBSD all networked together (of course) with Category 5 cable, Fast Ethernet, IPv4, and Cisco, 3Com, and Nortel Networks switches and routers. I make sure that all my equipment and systems have SNMP so I can monitor them with MRTG. I run my own DNS, DHCP, and Server Message Block servers just for fun. For programming, I continue to use C for the most part, although I prefer Perl for quick programs. I also do some Shell script writing. I guess I'm also going to buying a copy of Windows Vista fairly soon, just to keep my knowledge current.


Xeriscaping, Vegetable garden, and Herb garden - my favorite plant that I don't need to water is the Saskatoon berry. I also grow and eat Quinoa.


I hike in Kananaskis, Banff National Park, Kootenay National Park, Yoho National Park, Vancouver Island (Tofino) I've scrambled to the top of many mountains in the Canadian Rockies including Grotto Mountain, Mount Arethusa, Mount Temple, Fairview Mountain (Alberta), Ha Ling Peak, Heart Mountain (Alberta), etc. but my favorite peak to scramble to the top of is Mount Niblock above Lake Agnes (Alberta) which I try to do at least once a year.


Cooking with Lentils is should try it sometime. Broccoli is my favorite vegetable and I really hate Asparagus. (are non-WP:NPOV sentences allowed in user pages?)

Proper Carmelization (and the Maillard reaction) is one of the keys to good cooking.


I do not own an Ipod, although I do own an MP3 player and I generally listen to Rock music with emphasis on Progressive rock such as Klaatu, Yes, Genesis, and, of course, Canadian band Rush. Although not progressive rock, one of my favorite bands is The Eagles, one of my favorite albums is Hotel California, and one of my favorite songs is Hotel California (song). I'm angry with Don Henley and Glenn Frey for kicking Don Felder out of the band. And in a complete about-face, 180-degree turn, if I need to relax or concentrate/study, I'll listen to Classical music, particularily Mozart or Bach or almost anything from the 18th century.


The love of my life is Lois. We have pet cats. We try to use public transit or walk as much as we can, however sometimes, we have to drive our car.

I'm unfortunately partially sort-of maybe kind-of responsible for User: since I was in the room and had input into the design process when the IP address was assigned on the Calgary Board of Education firewall....sorry about that.

My Future

I am concerned about the Year 2038 problem and I hope to get rid of my collection of old computers by then! (maybe I can sell them to John Titor)