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I've seen him, and probably even exchanged words with him, a couple
of times before last night. I just never realized who he was until
conversation over a table at Denny's.
Paul Kunz is
awesome. The first webserver to be set up outside of Europe was his
fault, at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center where he spent much of
his time in 1991. He came back from meeting with Tim Berners-Lee of
CERN, the creator of the World Wide Web, and along with a couple of
colleagues got North America into the Web for the first time.
I'm an avid user of Linux. I use Debian GNU/Linux whenever I can get
away with doing so. When I have to use another distro (or, heaven
forfend, Windows) for work-related activities, I simply have less fun.
Debian makes me feel good. It's not just Debian, though: my favored
computing environment uses the GNUstep framework with the WindowMaker
window manager. It turns out that Paul Kunz was the guy that kicked off
the GNUstep project in the early '90s, too.
Last night, we sorta introduced ourselves to each other and
conversed, along with about a dozen other Linux enthusiasts at a LUG
meeting in Denny's. I couldn't believe my luck when I relized who he is
and what he's done. I even put together sort of a programming
enthusiasts' study group a few weeks ago in part so that I'd have an excuse to work
with others on learning Objective-C, the programming language in which
GNUstep is primarily implemented. Yes, I like GNUstep that much.
These days, I make more money doing web programming than anything
else. I'm using technologies that this man pioneered on this continent
about a decade and a half ago.
I guess, in a way, he's sort of a hero of mine. I certainly admire the man.
. . . and last night, I met him. He's a nice guy, very personable. I
wonder what his reaction will be when he finds out I started a
Wikipedia article about him.