about me

I’m a software developer living in Italy with my beautiful wife, my great son, and my two (female) cats.

me

tl;dr

Looking at me by different views:

Me by Computer Science

I’ve always been fascinated by computers since the age of movies like War Games. My very first computer was the very popular Commodore 64 that my father bought to me and placed into a wardrobe with an old CRT television. I wrote a few programs using the BASIC language, and did not found it very fun: spending so much time to get a bouncing ball on the screen seemed a waste of time.

A few years later my grandpa gave me an Intel 8088 based PC with a green monitor and, of course, a version of MS-DOS. I remember doing a recursive dir on the 50MB disk running for a couple of seconds!

I grew up and got an Intel 486 DX personal computer that I used to do some homework while attending school. I remember doing some spreadsheets related to my archery performances, as well as using it to print out sight notes. After that a few Intel Celeron PCs took place on my desk, then it came a laptop, and a lot of other hardware I really don’t remember.

I attended the computer science course at my local university, where I was (badly) introduced to Unix, or better to Linux. I felt in love with the philosophy of the system: you were not limited in any way, you could just type and do whatever you wanted piping a few commands.

My first Linux distro was a Red Hat 5.2, and since I was still not aware of the root concept (in the sense that Microsoft did not have to teach you such concept), I had to install it over and over again because I was jamming a few configuration files… At my fourth year of university I did switch totally to Linux, keeping around a bootable Microsoft Windows for those games and programs I was not aware to find a substitute.

My first job, luckily, required me to manage a few Linux servers, so I had the chance to improve my skills on such system. After a few years I met OpenBSD and FreeBSD and I switched to the Unix culture. Today I use both Linux and BSD as my own operating systems, with the former being the leading OS.

Being a Linux/BSD user meant to me I embraced the Open Source culture to the point I believe it is the only sane way of producing software. Of course this does not mean I will do and accept only Open Source jobs and tasks, I can work comfortably even in environments where the code (and/or data) must be kept not-public.

Me by Achievements

There was a time when I thought achievements were really important. Today I look back and truly believe that is much more important to demonstrate my value on the field, not on a piece of paper. By the way, if you are interested, the following is a partial list.

In the academic world:

  • Master Degree in Computer Science, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, final vote 110/110 with honours, year 2002
  • PhD in Computer Science, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, year 2005
  • Adjunct Professor, Nipissing University, years 2011-2014
  • lecturer at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia for several courses including Java, OOP, operating systems, years 2003-2006
  • lecturer at local high schools for HTML, Javascript, networking, years 2009-2014
  • BSD Certification, year 2013

In the computer science world:

me a few years ago (2013)

In the archery world (when I was young):

  • regional champion FITA, FIELD, INDOOR (several times)
  • medals at the national championships, twice bronze individual: 1994, 1996; silver and bronze team: 1994
archery

You could also be interested in the papers page.

Me by Skills

Not a complete enumeration, but this is what I use on an almost regular basis:

  • Perl - 15+ years;
  • Java - 15+ years;
  • PostgreSQL - 10+ years;
  • Linux - 18+ years;
  • Emacs - 18+ years (it was my default editor since day one and yes, I don’t know vi!);
  • Git - 5+ years, with a couple of years over Fossil; of course I used also other systems;
  • SQLite - 4+ years;
  • BSD - 6+ years;
  • PHP - 10+ years;

Of course, I do not declare myself a guru of any of the above, but let’s say I’m not scared to sit in front of any of them.

On an irregular basis, i.e., not for production but for personal use, I deal also with:

  • C++ and Qt - no production experience, let’s say I can manage them and got inspiration from such a great language and library;
  • Digikam and Gimp - because we all need to keep clean our photo collection;
  • VirtualBox - a good virtualization solution for testing other systems;
  • LibreOffice, Org-mode, LaTeX - because my documents should look good;
  • Redmine - a very rich issue tracking and activity manager tool I recommend and use;
  • Eclipse RCP - up to version 3, it was a very inspiring ecosystem and the SWT was light-years ahead of other Java models (AWT and Swing);

There was a time when I was more a sysadmin than a developer, and back in those days I used:

  • FreNAS - a good solution for home and business storages;
  • pfSense - as main firewall solution;
  • netflow - lot of data to shut up users;
  • OpenLDAP, Samba, NFS, Netatalk - because you have to manage a lot of different systems;
  • Jabber - because your users need to share an emoticon;
  • Wireshark (even when it was named Ethereal) and tcpdump, because your network does not always do what you think. Thanks God then came netflow;
  • a lot of Unix daemons including dhcp, sendmail, postfix, cups and a lot of stuff like that to make your network appearing serious;
  • Zyxel appliances including routers, wi-fi spots, firewalls, modems and alike;

Last but not least, I believe I’m one out of few people knowking the Dataflex 3.1d ecosystem, or ehm, I would not call an ecosystem, so let’s say I’ve spent around 10 years developing on such ancient platform. If you have such a system, chances are I can help you get out your data in a more portable way!

Feel free to search for fluca1978 on the forums, mailing lists, IRC channles to validate the above.

Me by Username

My public username is fluca1978 and it has been for a while, allowing for you to scout the net searching for my very first steps. I strongly believe in keeping the username the same to let other people know my achievements and experience, as well as a way to prove how long I was around on a particular subject.

The choice of the username has a particular meaning. When I was a child and was learning to write, I used to sign my homeworks with F.Luca, where of course the capital F was for Ferrari. Having fun on me, my parents were used to read the whole string without the separating dot, making therefore it FLuca and calling me with such nickname. When it was time to set up my first internet account, as you can imagine, there was no combination of name and surname available for me, so I switched to old nickname, but there was no available fluca as well: in both cases I had to add a postfix number to say my account from another. Therefore I decided to place my year of birth, 1978, which interestingly is the minimal and only set of numbers that I need to write my whole d-m-y birthday.

And that is how fluca1978 took the field. Since then I changed a lot of account managers and service providers, so chances are you can find my username tied to different services, but you can be sure that account is mine.

Interestingly, I waited for my archery career to stop before having a fully customized quiver with my nickname on it. Please consider this does not include the number because, well, in archery the nickname does not care.

quiver

Me by Projects

Today I have very little time to start-up a project from scratch, and so I try to help (a little) existings ones. That is why I like to participat in Hacktoberfest or CPAN PR, that allow me to contribute and learn without having to waste time.

For a detailed view on what I can consider projects see the projects page.

Me by Blog

In this blog you will find random thoughts pretty much on computer science related topics. I do write sometime personal things, but not very often.

The main language for this blog will be english, but please consider it is not my main language, so be aware of errors, typos and false-friends ahead! I will write in italian stuff that does make sense only in such language, i.e., localized material, but not technical stuff.

I’ve merged all the content of my previous blog into this one, so this is the right place to read on. However, converting different post formats made most of them hard to read, especially for code and indentation, so please be patient while reading old blog posts.

There is a specific page with some stats about the activity of the blog, and a specific post with some notes about the activity..

Me by Emacs or Vi

In the case you are interested in the holy-war of computer science, here it is my list of choices:

  • Emacs or Vi? Emacs since day one;
  • Gnome or KDE? KDE since version 1;
  • Firefox or … ? Firefox, there was a time I used Konqueror, but I believe the former is better and ported to much more platforms;
  • Thunderbird or … ? KMail when I was using a mail client, today I read all my emails via web;
  • Bash or Bourne? zsh as interactive, Bourne for scripting (one day I will learn pdksh!);
  • Linux or BSD? Linux at work, FreeBSD in the spare time, with seldom usage of OpenBSD;
  • Windows or … ? Isn’t it clear from the above line that I do not use Microsoft Windows any more? Really, I cannot help you on any version of Windows more recent than XP!
  • Gimp or Photoshop? Gimp, even if my parents were masters at using the latter;
  • Perl or Python? Perl, for whole life! It is not I don’t like Python, it is just I cannot find anywhere else the same culture and approach that Perl has;
  • PostgreSQL or MySQL? PostgreSQL because I believe it is much more superior and not driven by business;
  • Apple or … ? or, period. Having managed several Apple workstation in a mixed network I can say I don’t like the way Apple does things, even if they are cute on eyes;

Me by Social Networks

No way!

I do not use social networks, or better, I seldom use them. The fact is that I believe they are evil and so I don’t like them, so if you need to get in touch with me drop me an email or a phone call.

Please note that this also mean I don’t do any effort to keep my social profiles up-to-date, and this includes my LinkedIn profile.

Me by Ages

I don’t think I’m old, but I’ve seen and experienced a lot of things that are now pretty much ancient. So, just for the records, here it is a short list that could give you some information about my background.

In Life

In the Archery World

  • Hoyt TD/4 Medalist frosted riser. Please note it’s not a typo: it was not the Gold Medalist, just the Medalist one;
  • Hoyt Radian without bushings the first commercial release of this great riser;
  • score boards written with pencil, and it was a lot more fun than today;
  • black, white, gray field targets, as well as FITA targets without the X and Las Vegas used only for 18 mt compounds;
  • Oneida compound (never tried, I’m a recurve man and I’m not going to change my mind);
  • aluminium arrows all way long and with the nock peek at the end;
  • Beiter nocks when Beiter was doing only nocks, clicker and button;

In the Computer Science World

  • Commodore 64 first and last releases, as well as Commodore 128;
  • GEOS
  • Zilog Z80 diskless, and I don’t remember how many memory it had;
  • Intel 8088;
  • MS-DOS 6.0 and 6.2;
  • Red Hat 5.2 and Mandrake 6;
  • IEEE 802.3 on coaxial cable, a real mess when the cleaning people did hurt the plug;
  • U.S. Robotics external modem, the only way to get connected to the Internet from a Linux box;
  • Ethereal, later renamed Wireshark;
  • Sun UltraSparc II with Solaris 2.8 (if my memory serves me well);
  • HP diskless X-Terminal but I don’t remember which one;
  • lpr, printcap and friends, yes, printing was not fun at all;
  • PCL 5 to drive printers, something can make you fall asleep on the keyboard;
  • Forte for Java, the father of Netbeans, also Eclipse 2 and JBuilder;
  • PCMCIA modem with antenna, somethig that required minutes to get online and seconds to get offline;
  • Perl 5.6 even if I was using it as v5.4;
  • Simon the Sorcerer, Duke Nukem 1, 2, 3D;

Me by Music

What I play everyday on my music device:

  • Depeche Mode;
  • Soundgarden and Audioslave;
  • Guns’n Roses (the original band);
  • AC/DC (with Brian Johnson);
  • Madonna;
  • Alanis Morrissette;
  • Nickelback;
  • Puddle of Mudd;

Me by Television

I’m not a film maniac, but there were a few shows that drove me crazy. I don’t say these are my favourites, rather are those I would never refuse to watch over and over.

Television

  • The Nanny;
  • A-Team;
  • Automan;
  • Supercar;
  • The Simpsons;
  • Friends (the only one show I truly watched from the beginning to the end);

Film

  • Ghostbusters;
  • Murder by Death;
  • The Duel;
  • Big Fish;
  • Matrix (mainly the first of the trilogy);
  • Big Trouble in Little China;
  • The Crow;
  • They Call Me Trinity, Trinity is Still My Name, Odds and Evens, Crime Busters, Even Angels Eat Beans;
  • Wall Street;
  • Hudson Hawk;
  • Trading Places, known as “Una Poltrona per Due”;

Me by Beliefs

I do believe in Open Source.

I do believe in automation: why should I spend my time doing things the machine can do for me?

I do believe in humanity, honesty and personal values.

I do believe in free culture, in the sense that everyone should help each other to learn new things without secrets or speculation.

I’m catholic, but not a blind believer.

Me by Cats

Long story short: see the cats page!

Me by University

Uhm, it’s a long story, may be one day I’ll write it down. However, I did attend the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia from 1997 to 2002 as a student (yes, I was one of the first students using the “new” engineering department), from 2002 to 2006 as a PhD student and lecturer. If you have been around in those years, chances are we have met.

Contact me

Drop an email to fluca1978 (at) gmail (dot) com