Chris Siebenmann

Picture of Chris

Who are you?

I think of myself as a many-faceted being; who I am depends on what facet is turned towards you this time.

No, really, who are you?

At work, I'm a Unix herder in the Unix Systems Group of UTTS (don't ask) at the University of Toronto, a fine institution of higher learning and biannual reorganizations. I think it's a nice place, so there's no resume for you to see.

At play, I can be found on various spots around the Internet and Usenet. My hobbies include Usenet reading (and sometimes posting), MUDing, playing netrek, and finding various pictures that I like. (You'll want to follow the hobbies link)

In person, I'm a five foot ten caucasian male of slim build and no greatly distinguishing features besides a braid of long brown hair and permanently askew glasses, both of which you can see in the picture. I drink too many caffeinated beverages but they tell me it doesn't usually show.

Obligatory Links

It seems every Web page has to have a collection of strange links. Because it's trendy, I've made my full hotlist available. But don't go there; instead, look at this annotated collection of things I become (greatly) enthused about.


I have a lot of projects, most of them defunct (and we won't even talk about work). Here are some of the ones that either aren't or that I like to pretend aren't.
Playing around with the World Wide Web
It's fun to fiddle with your pages in strange ways. Next up on my wish list is some page verification software, which I think I have a lead on. I continue to resist various authoring tools, prefering a plain text editor and Mosaic as a previewer. I've been toying with Netscape, but it doesn't run on my Ultrix machine and the beta version is kind of buggy (including forms support; I had to fill out the Netscape registration form with Mosaic). I've been playing with forms recently (and upgrading the server so I could do it easier), and now I ran weblint over all my pages recently to improve them; it's a cool program.
Using the graphics on my graphical workstation
This deserves a full scale rant, but I find it disgusting that the major use most graphical workstations get is as a convenient way to get lots of VT100s in a small space (although I don't agree with all the opinions in it, a chapter in the Unix Haters Handbook has a nice discussion of how this has affected X). Whenever I can, I try to find graphical tools instead of throwing things up into xterm windows; my favorite ones (some drawn from Plan 9 from Bell Labs) include 9term (inside which I run rc), sam, tkman, and exmh. A recent discovery is wily, a hard to describe editor and environment.
Playing with my new workstation
It's an SGI R5000 Indy and was supposed to have entirely replaced my old DEC MIPS workstation by now, but you know how projects go (not the way they were planned). It has neat multimedia features, like being able to record (and play) music from SCSI CD-ROM drives (one of which I have); perhaps I will do exerpts from particularly favorite pieces. Until I have more time I've just made some snapshots with its video camera, such as the clutter of my desk, or some shelves full of now-obsolete DEC manuals (also available in JPEG version, which I'm not sure converts as nicely), or me in the office with my headphones on, or even me looking thoughtful as I revisit some of CJ Silverio's web pages; her journal inspired me to doodle some with my web pages. Someday I will do a full page of pictures of me and surroundings, to replace the page of pictures I like, and then I will have a place to talk about hair, tshirts, and photographs.

As a bonus round, you can now see a screen image of what my SGI's monitor often looks like. You can even get a guided tour of what all the cryptic windows are.

Updating my web pages
Well, this has sort of made it into the status of a project, seeing as how it's creeping up on a year since I got a nice colour picture of me from a friend that I want to use here but I haven't had time to do all the necessary mangling (like brighten it) before I put it up for real. In the mean time you can see it in its original state. It's contemporary with the black and white picture up above. Plus all the other more serious updates I want to do; my hotlist is approaching the status of a coldlist.

A Digression

I don't believe in backlinks on pages (this deserves to be part of a longer rant on WWW pages that I haven't had time to write), so I don't have many. If your browser doesn't have a command to go back to the previous page, get a better one.

Chris Siebenmann,