jcm portrait

Photo: Jon Masters.
Linux Kernel Tools Engineer, programmer, and author.

The above photo was taken at Nauset Beach, Massachusetts, United States.

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Jonathan Charles Masters, Bsc. (Hons).

I am a 31 year old Linux Kernel Engineer, working with a large Linux vendor. I am also a professional author with a couple of regular monthly columns on Linux technology, when I'm not working on my third Linux programming book, which I'm writing for a large US publisher. I have a degree in Computer Science and was briefly infamous for being the youngest Computer Science student the UK had ever had. I am originally British, but spend a lot of time hanging out with friends in North America.

I have provided professional Linux and UNIX consultancy to companies based in London and throughout the South East of the United Kingdom and further afield. I enjoy travelling around Europe and the wider world, visiting friends (I've been known to go 5,000 miles for coffee) or on business. I have written for various journals, such as Linux User & Developer, and Linux Magazine. I am an O'Reilly author.

I have industry experience working with companies such as Sun Microsystems, Red Hat, Oxford Instruments and Montavista. I used to get paid to work on Embedded Linux devices. These days, I work for a large Linux vendor helping to make their enterprise kernel the best one around. To assist in this process, my haberdasher keeps me in a constant supply of high quality red fedoras. In my copious (or not) spare time, I enjoy hacking on gadgets with PowerPC (4xx) and ARM cores. I especially enjoy working with programmable logic devices such as Xilinx 405D Virtex II Pro and Virtex 4 FPGAs.

I became one of the youngest college (University) students in UK history when I started a degree in Computing 17 years ago at the age of 13. I am currently employed to work on cutting edge technology and may one day persue further academic study.

A keen interest of mine is in Programmable Logic and FPGA technologies, and also electronics itself. I am teaching myself and enjoy working with some gifted individuals who with time help me to understand how hardware really works. I spend a lot of time reading about Computer Architecture, reading about and hacking on various Operating Systems, doing board bringup work, and generally that kind of stuff.

I switched to GNU/Linux almost a decade ago, and today I am heavily in to Free Software. I work with various Linux User Groups around the country to further the adoption of Free and Open Source software amongst businesses and individuals alike. I am a member of the Free Software Foundation as well as the UKUUG and take an active interest in certain political aspects of modern technology. One of my main computing platforms is my Apple Powerbook G4 which runs Debian and Fedora. Another is my Sharp Zaurus handheld which runs a Debian like setup and hooks in to my mobile with infra red for quick email access. I also have a Compaq iPAQ which runs Embedded Debian and even my Apple ipod runs Linux.

More than just computers...

I hold a Royal School Of Church Music Bishop's Chorister Award (Oxford Diocese) and can play several musical instruments. My friends are quite distributed around the UK and wider world, so I am often travelling (by car, train, boat, plane) to visit them or just to hang out and do cool stuff. I seem to end up working in continental Europe from time to time, either doing Embedded Linux consulting or training, etc.

I am a card carrying member of Liberty, Amnesty International, the ACLU, the EFF and the FSF. I belive in Freedom and Equality for all people, no matter where they live in the world. I am deeply opposed to the current trends in society to use technology for great injustices on a large scale and feel obligated to do my bit to help see that the world is a little bit better when I leave it than it may have been before I got here. I am a very liberal person in my political views, it's just the way I am. That's not to say I can't understand other people's views and appreciate their right to disagree with me.

North America

I'm currently spending much of my time in Cambridge, MA. Having been to the States on a few occasions, I've come to really appreciate how much I enjoy being in North America and how much I really do love being there.

In 2005, I decided to do the gap year thing, but without actually taking any time off work. To do this, I had to fly a total of 45 times across over 60,000 miles, 3 continents (and sub-continents), visiting Canada and the US more than 7 times each. As of this writing, I had been to 12 US States and 6 Canadian Provinces - including taking a train from Vancouver to Toronto in the summer of 2005. After one too many visits to Ottawa and spending a couple of weeks of winters in town (and realising it's not all that bad really) I decided I'd enjoy living there too.

United Kingdom

For many years, I lived in Reading (the one in the UK, not the one in MA), which is just outside London. When I'm in London, I enjoy hanging around in good bookshops (e.g. Foyles) and persuing arbitrarily random exploration. I've got some friends who hang out in places like Covent Garden and Leicester Square, so you might find me there too. I sometimes go for walks along the Thames and have on occasion enjoyed cycling around London with friends (frequent cycle buddies have included Trevor, Paul and of course Hussein). On a few occasions, I've wound up with these guys on late night cycle rides to Primrose Hill and the Brick Lane bagel shop at crazy times of the morning. I've been to Critical Mass a couple of times too.

I am on occasion also working on colo (e.g. this host box) located in Telehouse Docklands and use that as an opportunity to explore the Docklands and Canary Wharf area (maybe in a quest for food or coffee). A few of us formed the printk collective before we graduated and in addition to the social element, our main server hosts this and other websites.

Copyright 1998-2012 Jon Masters.