I'm Nick. I signed up as "Nicholas" on Wyzant as that is my custom when creating an account on professional websites, but I prefer "Nick" for person-to-person contacts, as "Nicholas" is fairly formal; I like to keep conversations and discussions informal, while at the same time focused on the subject at hand. I earned a BA in Mathematical Computer Science (magna cum laude, '78) from St. Louis University - I'm originally from St. Louis, Missouri - and an MS in Computer Science from Purdu... [more]
As Linux is largely a Unix workalike system, I consider my Unix experience to be part of my overall Linux experience (see my Unix qualifications). Specific to Linux, I tested various target systems/subsystems built directly or on top of Linux - generally Debian and Redhat Enterprise distributions - as a contract software engineer at Contract Personnel Resources, Canvas M/Greenland Technologies, and Collabera Inc., all of which placed me at Motorola and/or Motorola Solutions. In these assignments, I often used the Linux command line, and also used shell "scripting" (programming) on occasion, e.g. to automate some frequent manual tasks. I still use Unix and Linux personally, under MacOS X and occasionally on a Raspberry Pi-based device running Raspbian Linux.
I have been a Macintosh user since 2002, having never owned a Windows PC - I transitioned from an Atari TT030 (which used hardware technology similar to the early Macs) to a used G3 Mac. I have used Windows PCs professionally, but I prefer Macs, and I like to acquire used Macs and fix/upgrade them rather than spend the money for new Macs; e.g. in 2008 someone "re-donated" a dual G4 Mac to me, and I installed a Newertech "MaxPower" (Freescale 744x-based) CPU upgrade in it. Besides the usual email and web browser use, I have used many applications ranging from NeoOffice (mostly Word-format documents and Excel-format spreadsheets) to a planetarium program (Starry Night), and have even used a Mac for studying some Java programming. My current Mac is a 2010 Mini, and besides acting as my own "tech support" as much as possible, I also support my wife in her Mac usage; e.g. she bought a brand-new iMac last year and I "restored" her Dashboard, which Apple "hid" in El Capitan.
I have been using Unix since I was a graduate student in Computer Science at Purdue University (1978-1980), where, for example, I modified the VAX Unix tty driver for Prof. Douglas Comer. I used Unix for development and support, and developed software for various Unix environments, while a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Labs, and as a technical consultant at Lachman Associates, Uniq Digital Technologies (who placed me at Bell Labs and AT&T Network Systems as a contractor), Interactive Business Systems (who placed me at Motorola), Utek (later Idea Integration; placed me at Lucent and Motorola) and other consulting companies. I also used Unix as a Box Test and System Test Engineer (contractor) at Motorola. In these positions and assignments, I routinely used the Unix command line, and also used shell "scripting" (programming).