Welcome to Kurt Lidl's Home Page
Kurt Lidl makes no claims about the content, correctness or
applicability of any of the information contained in any of these web
pages. So there.
- My day job is currently (Spring, 2004) performing independent
computer consulting for Pix.Com
Technologies, LLC -- a greater Washington D.C. area based computer
networking and software development company that I founded in 2004. If
you want to hire a consultant with extensive Internet operational
experience and software development experience, feel free to contact
- Before founding Pix.Com Technologies, I worked for the Internet Software Consortium, a California
based, not-for-profit software development and support organization,
which happens to be headquartered in Redwood City, California. Since I
worked for them, they have changed their name to be the Internet
Systems Corporationand have become a US Federal 501(C)
not-for-profit organization. I worked on both on backend software to
support domain registries and did a little work at trying to speed up the
performance of BIND 9 and get better statistics gathering code in
- Prior to ISC, I worked for Zero Millimeter LLC, a
consulting company that I co-founded with Chris Ross and Dave MacKenzie.
We did networking design, implementation and tuning. We also did product
and tailored services design for discriminating customers. Some of these
services are still available through my new
- I was the primary author on a paper about the BSD/OS IPFW system. This was
published as part of the proceedings of the BSDCON 2002 conference, held
in San Francisco during February 2002. The BSD/OS IPFW system is a fully
programmable, in-kernel filtering system that is a powerful extension to
the Berkeley Packet Filter (BPF) found in many BSD systems. The paper
describes the system in some detail, along with some small example
- In what seems to have been several lifetimes ago, I used to
work for UUNET Technologies, Inc. I used to run
the software research and development group there. I
left UUNET in January of 2001. When I left UUNET, it was no longer the
same company it was when I started working for them, way back in May
1992. A lot of the company culture changed during the period of time that
I worked there, with several mergers and acquisitions drastically
changing the corporate landscape. UUNET no longer exists as a separate
company -- its identity has been thoroughly erased by it's acquisition by
MFS, then Worldcom, the Worldcom/MCI merger, and Worldcom's subsequent
fraud-fueled decent into bankruptcy and re-emergence as MCI. Oh well, you
can't win them all. There were about 30 people at UUNET when I started
working there. At its height of power, UUNET had there were several
thousand people working in Northern Virgina alone. There were thousands
more in the various operating companies that are spread around the world.
Of course the number of people working for MCI has greatly decreased.
Before, during and after the bankruptcy process, the company has laid off
many employees as they struggle for profitability. It is interesting to
watch, just as watching a train wreck is interesting.
- I helped write IETF
RFC 2516 -- which defines the protocol known as PPPoE (PPP over
Ethernet). This was published as an informational RFC in early 1999. It
describes a simple encapsulation method for PPP frames so they can be
transmitted over an Ethernet. This technology is of interest for many
cable modem and xDSL providers. In many parts of North America, it is
impossible to get a consumer DSL connection without using PPPoE, for
better or worse. Even some wireless providers, and fiber to the premises
operators use PPPoE.
- I addressed the 40th IETF (in Washington, D.C.) about further
developments in multicast USENET news. I described a system known as
MNNP, which is a USENET news distribution system that
that my software group was researching at the time. We unfortunately
never had a software release of this system -- most of our efforts were
spent in working on exploration of technologies needed to make the entire
system viable. There are many difficult areas that need to be addressed
to make this work ``well'' on the Internet and the existing Mbone.
Particular attention must be paid to the concept of
goodput -- briefly, the amount of useful data that
delivered to clients from a data source in the presence of network
congestion, packet drops and packet reordering. It's not nearly as easy
as it sounds.
- I was the primary author of paper selected for presentation at the
USENIX conference in January 1994.
The title of the paper is Drinking from the Firehose: Multicast
USENET News. A postscript
copy of the paper is available from this web site. The slides that I used for the
presentation are available at this site. The client side code that was
used for the testing of the system is also available electronically. My
co-authors of this paper are Josh Osborne and Joe Malcolm. Josh and Joe
wrote the client and server code that is described in the paper. We have
have known each other for a really long time. Some people even get us
confused. A little known fact -- there is a picture of the the three of us in existence, which
proves that we are not the same person. I'm not sure that anyone has ever
accused us of being the same person, but I'm sure it is just a matter of
time. (In case you were wondering, that's me on the left, Josh in the
middle and Joe on the right.)
- I have used the operating system known as BSD/OS (aka the BSD/OS
operating system, previously called the BSDi Internet Super Server) for a
great many tasks at several different places. Ultimately, I'll have a
description about some of the cool things that I
have used BSD/OS for, both past and present. I really enjoy using this
operating system, you probably would have enjoyed it too. Too bad that
Wind River killed this product offering in 2003.
- A long time ago, both Josh Osborne and I worked on what was one of
the first hardware based encryption products for a WAN, known as the
LanGuardian. The hardware was designed by Pete Hallenbeck, a
real wizard at doing board layout and getting the most from a given set
of hardware components. UUNET Technologies Inc, the company that built
this system, ceased manufacturing of this product years ago, probably in
1998. I have put a collection of information about the LanGuardian on this webserver. I'm not
sure this information will really help anybody out or not, but if the
information isn't available, it definitely won't help anybody.
- I put a small collection of well known, or at least interesting and funny quotes on my web pages. I hope
you find them enjoyable. I know I did.
- I have started a page of musing about database systems and some of the issues that impact
on a database system in this day and age.
- Oh, OK. I like coffee. I like it a lot. I have this collection of stuff about coffee elsewhere in my
collection of web pages. Maybe you will find something there that you
find funny and/or amusing. Then again, maybe not.
- In what seems like a previous life, I used to hack on XTank.
XTank is a multi-player, X11 based game, that used to run on a
lot of different types of Unix machines. Unfortunately, the state of the
art in operating systems has progressed in the intervening years and
XTank has kept up with the changing times. I haven't spent a lot
of time with it over the last couple of years, as my various day jobs
have been keeping me busy. I'll hopefully get around to putting up some
more information on XTank on this web server eventually, but
don't hold your breath. If you are into arbitrary amounts of pain, you
can get the tar file of the
latest source code snapshot. However, don't expect a lot of sympathy or
help in getting it to work on your machines. This version of the source
code doesn't have any documentation in it, so you probably want to grab
something like the
1.3f version of the game, which was a
full release, with documentation and everything.
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lidl at pix dot net
Last Updated: $Date: 2007/12/07 03:22:02 $