I’m a software developer living in Italy with my beautiful wife, my great son, two (female) cats and one (female) dog.
Looking at me by different views:
- Me by Computer Science
- Me by Achievements (see also the Papers page)
- Me by Skills
- Me by Username
- Me by Projects (detailed projects page)
- Me by Blog (stats)
- Me by Emacs or Vi
- Me by Social Networks
- Me by Ages
- Me by Music
- Me by Television
- Me by Beliefs
- Me by Cats
- Me by Dogs
- Me by University
- Me and the Dolphins
- Me by interviews
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 of 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
- BSD Certification, year 2013, converted into Linux Professional Institute in 2020, LPI ID
In the computer science world:
- co-founder of the Italian PostgreSQL Users Group, president between 2013-2015
- BSD Magazine writer and reviewer
- speaker at several PGDay.IT and LinuxDay events
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
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 (years are roughly computed since 2020):
- Perl - 18+ years;
- Java - 20+ years;
- PostgreSQL - 18+ years;
- Linux - 20+ years;
- Emacs - 20+ years (it was my default editor since day one and yes, I don’t know
- Git - 15+ years, with a couple of years over Fossil; of course I used also other systems;
- SQLite - 8+ years;
- BSD - 15+ years;
- PHP - 15+ 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
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.
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.
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. This also means I don’t see the excitement behind projects like Atom.io or Sublime Text as well;
- 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!
- 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;
- 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;
- Gimp or Photoshop? Gimp, even if my parents were masters at using the latter;
Me by Social Networks
I do not use famous social networks, or better, I seldom use them. The fact is that I believe they are evil and so I don’t like them.
If you need to get in touch with me drop me an email or a phone call.
“So why those social links in your site?”
When I started to publish my technical books, I was convinced to push some advertising on social networks, and that is why I’ve added my social accounts up there. However, I do repeat it again: I don’t like social networks and they are not the correct way to contact me!
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.
- Daytona 500;
- BMX Bike not owned, I didn’t like it;
- Black and White CRT Television with an orientable antenna;
- Fiat 131 Supermirafiori owned by my father, Volkswagen Scirocco First Generation owned by my mother, Peugeot 504 one white and one blue owned by my parents, Fiat 900 by my grandpa;
- Minolta 7000 my first reflex camera, Polaroid 636 instant camera and Fujifilm FP-14 passport camera;
- Termojolly portable heater, still owning and working;
- Leonino mountain bike;
- NEC G8, my first mobile phone and its successor G9
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;
- 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;
- Squid proxy;
- Pegasus Mail and The Bat!, only tried a couple of times;
- FVWM 95 and Window Maker;
- PCMCIA modem with antenna, something that required minutes to get online and seconds to get offline;
- Anzio as a telnet client, that I quickly replaced with PuTTY as an SSH client, laughing at my boss who remained used to telnet;
- Vypress Messenger used only for that short time of the year I had to boot on Microsoft Windows;
- Perl 5.6 even if I was using it as v5.4;
- Simon the Sorcerer, Duke Nukem 1, 2, 3D, Commander Keen (and my favourite Keen Dreams);
- IBM Jikes Compiler as well as Jikes Research Virtual Machine.
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);
- Alanis Morrissette;
- Puddle of Mudd;
- Foo Fighters;
Me by Television
I’m not a television addicted, 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.
- The Nanny;
- Automan (when I was a child);
- The Simpsons;
- Friends (the only one show I truly watched from the beginning to the end, more than one time);
- According to Jim;
- The Big Bang Theory (not completed yet!);
- Young Frankenstein;
- Murder by Death;
- The Duel;
- Big Fish;
- Matrix (mainly the first of the trilogy);
- Big Trouble in Little China;
- 1997 Escape from New York;
- 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”;
- Rocky I, II, III, IV, V;
- The Proposal;
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 not sure I’m catholic anymore, surely I’m not (and never was) a blind believer.
Me by Cats
Long story short: there has always been a cat (or two!) in my life. For more details, see the cats page!
Me by Dogs
I’m not a dog-person, I do love cats and usually don’t get very impressed by dogs. However, a few dogs happened in my life and quickly became an important part of my day-to-day activities. For a brief story see the dogs page.
Me by University
Uhm, it’s a long story, maybe 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.
Me and the Dolphins
I’ve swimmed with the dolphins twice, and it is one of the most exciting experience I’ve done. Both time I swimmed at the Malta Marine Park, and as far as I can tell it is a place where these great mammals are treated very well.
The first time I’ve swimmed was after the EuroBSD Conference in 2013, that took place in Malta. Reading a magazine on the flight, I learnt about the Marine Park, so I dedicated one day to go visit it and asked for a swim. Unluckily, it was required to book your swim slot in advance, but I was lucky enough to get a chance.
The experience was so incredible that on my tenth wedding anniversary I took my wife and son to do the same experience, and they have been both enthusiast!
Me by interviews
I would never expect, but I got a few short interviews, written, spoken and video!
Check the interviews page for an almost complete list.
If you want to contact me, please drop and email to fluca1978 (at) gmail (dot) com. I usually reply within a couple of days, and as a rule of thumb I do reply to everyone who writes me.