skip navigation
My Blog

Engineering Computing is responsible for many computing and network services for the Faculty of Engineering, and we also play an important role in computing in all faculties of the University of Waterloo though projects we create, like Nexus and wireless security

 Read some of my presentations and discussion papers.

My Job

As Director, I work with all team members to co-ordinate our services.  I also play an active technical role. My specialties are Windows programming and Web programming.  I focus on issues regarding PC clients, making them fit in the big picture (particularly Nexus), and the networking which connects everything in this faculty to each other and the world beyond.

Our staff sit on various committees, including  WNAG, CNAG, ESAG (links on the left).  I am on CTSC.

 

I encourage resource sharing where units maintain sovereignty over their systems and devices, but that we can share them so users get the benefits.

Nexus

My focus is Waterloo Nexus , the 4,300 + computer system which is the primary undergraduate and faculty PC computing system in all six faculties.  Nexus is the fourth PC network designed by the same group dating back over 20 years.  I have been the system architect for Nexus since its inception.

Here are some recent Nexus related documents.  I'll give away the ending, Nexus administrators chose to adopt a four member team of emergency administrators, with system-wide powers.  

The earliest public Nexus document I can find is this one from the planning stages.

Many key points of Nexus were based on earlier systems we deployed (Polaris for Windows 95 and Watstar for DOS).

Engineering Computing manages the core technology of Nexus (like domain controllers), but it is otherwise run as a federation where each department is free to manage its users and computers as it sees fit. 

Laptop Computing

Laptops are a growing force in computing.  We need to make smart design choices to keep their support costs scalable.  I presented talks on this in 2006.  A demo can be found here.  An updated version (greatly improved) is available for Aruba.  I also spearheaded wireless printing for Windows, Unix and Macintoshe.

Systems Security

I manage security on the Engineering networks, and sometimes computers become infected with viruses, worms, and other malware.  I wrote a set of tools which can catch day-zero malware, before the anti virus products can.  Othello can inspect a suspect system, and Cerberus can watch good systems and send Email when they go bad.

Emergency Preparedness
I designed Emerge, the PC/Mac/Linux/FreeBSD notification system which will alert thousands of computers if an emergency arises on campus.

Systems Programming

There are many special features of Nexus and other systems which I created as a systems programmer.  These would include device drivers, GINAs, system services, LSPs, etc.