I have been heavily involved in Open Source software; primarily FreeBSD, but also Varnish (I am no longer involved, but was one of the original developers) and OpenPAM, which started out as a FreeBSD project before branching out. It started in late 1997 or early 1998, when I had been a member of the wider FreeBSD community for some time and started looking into an annoying syscons bug—a classic “scratch an itch” story. I submitted a patch, and a few weeks or months later, Jordan Hubbard offered me a commit bit. I got my bit on April 8th, 1998 and made my first commit two days later. My first botched commit came only five days after that, on April 15th. Since then, I’ve made over 2,700 FreeBSD commits, over 500 OpenPAM commits and nearly 600 Varnish commits (see my Ohloh page for details).
There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch
Being an active Open Source contributor costs money. My employer, the University of Oslo, covers travel expenses to conferences and DevSummits, and lets me release most of the code I write for them, but I spend a significant amount of money out of my own pocket on things like: * development hardware, replacement parts and supplies * test hardware * hosting for the server this web site runs on (as well as tinderbox.freebsd.org, www.openpam.org and several other sites) * domain registration and renewal fees * software licenses and subscriptions * electricity for the equipment I keep at home (which accounts for about 20%-25% of my total consumption)
My most pressing needs at the moment are hosting for the Sun Fire servers I mentioned earlier, and parts to upgrade my main development box. See this post for details.
What you get
Mostly, my gratitude and a warm and fuzzy feeling. However, I will also mention your donation on my blog, and list it on this page. If you support a specific project, I will mention you whenever I blog about my progress and results, and I will credit you in source code and / or commit messages that result from the work you sponsored.
How to donate
If you wish to donate hardware, contact me in advance so we can discuss shipping arrangements. Remember that if you send me hardware from outside Norway, I may have to pay VAT on reception. Unless the hardware in question is used, it will probably be easier if you send me money to buy it locally. The simplest way to donate money is through the PayPal button in the sidebar. I own a sole proprietorship and can provide an invoice for your records, should you need one.
Here is a list of donations I’ve received in recent years:
- Ole Stenbeerg-Aamot made a cash donation.
- The University of Oslo donated 10 decommissioned HP Proliant DL145 1U servers, and more recently, 28 decommissioned Sun Fire X2200 1U servers.
- Hiten Pandya sent me additional RAM for the aforementioned HP Proliant servers.
- Domeneshop provided spare disks for the Proliant servers and additional RAM for the Dell PE1950 this site runs on.
- Alastair Hogge, GetOnline Ltd. and Dansk Scanning AS provided disks for my work on Advanced Format disks.
- Dansk Scanning also gave me a fully loaded Drobo Pro for helping out with the FreeBSD iSCSI initiator after Drobo promised me one but never came through.