My Friend Ken


(JUN 5, 2014)

I have an extraordinary friend named Ken Swain.

Ken showed me so much about computers. He showed me TCP/IP. He showed me Active Directory. He showed me DNS.

He showed me Linux.

We were in the back of the class I met him in, back in 1999, and he was like, “Hey, you guys want to see Linux?”

I told him about the issues I was having with my Exchange 5.5 server upstairs in the lab that I ran, and he was like, “We should install Linux and be done with it. I have a great distro you can use.”

We installed e-Smith Linux, which was an Exchange replacement, and that thing ran for YEARS. Like, for a decade afterwards.

In that same few days he also showed me Google. I think I was using Northern Lights at the time.

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He was there when I installed Redhat for the first time. He came to the house. It was the day, in that small room, he learned that Nesquik doesn’t agree with me.

He also taught me about security. He went to a Linux class and taught me what a DMZ was. I wrote an article about them later on

Then, one day I come over and he wants to show me this new Apple OS. I hated the Apple’s at the computer lab where I worked at university. Hated them.

It was OS X. He was there when I saw it for the first time.

Ken was a mentor to me. He helped me get enthused about computers, and I’ll never be done thanking him for it. But this post is a reminder to me, and everyone, of what he did for me.

Normally, you do this kind of thing when someone passes, but I try to appreciate things when they are here. Ken is very much alive, and he’s very much my friend. I just wanted to say to him:

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