Remembering the building blocks

I have always believed that the measure of an individual and their success in their chosen profession are down to the people around them that helped them to become who they are. I am pleased with my progress in this rather wacky industry, and the road from when I first fired up Slackware 96 has been unconventional, raucous, strange and unpredictable to say the least.

I am heading to my 10 year anniversary when I first discovered free software and my life changed distinctively, and some key people have been instrumental in helping me to achieve what I have wanted to achieve. Of this group of incredible individuals, there is one guy though who was critical in all of this, but the sands of time have erased his surname from my brain. So, using the magic of the Internet, I am hoping either he will be reading this or someone will know him. Let me lay out the evidence:

  • His name is John something.
  • When I started linuxuk.co.uk back in the day (not the current site which has new owners), Mystery John purchased and registered the domain for me. I was 17, wore a Megadeth t-shirt, had long hair, wore a axe pendent (hence my early nickname of AxeManiac) and he put a surprising amount of trust in me after seeing the website and seeing its potential. The domain was registered around 1998.
  • Back then he lived in Hinckly in England.
  • I seem to remember him working for an ISP, but I may have invented this in my head.
  • Back then he bought in Red Hat box sets at trade price and we concocted the rather devious scheme of selling them at trade price to the community so the community could get Red Hat sets without paying a chunk of mark up on them. Cunning, I know. :P

Anyone know who Mystery John is?

On a different note, some other little bits of information:

  • I discovered in Germany that Mind The Gap, a common uttering on the London Underground, translates in German to Beim Aussteigen bitte die Luecke zwischen Zug und Bahnsteinkante beachten. Crazy!
  • Thanks to Domenico Marozzi for sending me some photos of me delivering Growing Ubuntu at LinuxTag. I added them to the end of my LinuxTag Flickr set.
  • Benjamin L

    It’s just more exact, could also be “Die Lücke beachten” ^^

  • http://jon.aslund.org Jon Ã…slund

    In Swedish: Tänk på avståndet mellan vagn och plattform när du stiger av. Translated back to English: Mind the gap between train and platform when you get off. :)

  • http://oskuro.net/ Jordi

    I love “Doors closing. Please stand clear.”, from elevators.

    And, of course, “This train is for COCKFOSTERS.”

    :)

  • http://www.chrismalley.co.uk Mall/UX

    Might be co-incidence but a very similar domain linuxuk.com was registered around that time (1999) by a John Milopoulos (try “whois linuxuk.com”). Ring any bells?

  • jono

    Mall/UX – nope, not that one. Thanks for trying! :)

  • http://moogman.co.uk/ Kris Marsh
  • James

    I know, John Bacon… :)

  • jono

    John Dorman!! Thats it! Right, I just need to find hi and buy him a pint. :)

    Thanks for your work Kris! :)

  • http://neuro.me.uk/ neuro

    I did some now superfluous research after reading this post in my rss reader, going off to google groups, searching usenet for linuxuk.co.uk and going to the earliest posts: this one was the winner, and the earliest mention of linuxuk.co.uk as far as google’s usenet archive is concerned. And now I find Kris beat me to it. Bah :)

  • http://rudd-o.com/ Rudd-O

    Yes, German tends to be very explicit and almost all of their vocabulary is composed by long, composite words. Bahnsteinkante: literally, the side of the stone (floor) in the station. Personenkraftwagen: car (literally: carriage designed for the transportation of people propelled by force). Okay, Germans usually just say Auto (or PKW).

    There are tons of things one can’t just say in three words like one does in English.

    Odd, isn’t it?

  • http://joskulj.blogspot.com/ Jochen Skulj

    »Mind The Gap« would just be translated as »Achtung Lücke!» or »Vorsicht Lücke!« into German. »Beim Aussteigen bitte die Luecke zwischen Zug und Bahnsteigkante beachten« is more an explanation than an translation. You’re definitely right in thinking that we Germans use longer words and complex sentence structures, but it’s not that worse. Please note, that it’s »Bahnsteigkante« and not »Bahnsteinkante«. Viele Grüße aus Deutschland.

  • http://fmct.blogspot.com fct

    In Hamburg they just say “Zurück bleiben, bitte” (please stand back).

  • http://www.jonobacon.org/?p=1011 jonobacon@home » The legend gets in touch

    [...] A while back I was trying to track down a guy who really gave me my first break in Open Source. I knew he was called John something, but my poor hapless brain cells failed me on his surname. A dude called Kris Marsh did some digging and discovered he was John Dorman, and it all came flooding back to me. [...]

  • http://www.linuxindex.com/2007/08/09/jono-bacon-the-legend-gets-in-touch/ Jono Bacon: The legend gets in touch // The Linux Index

    [...] A while back I was trying to track down a guy who really gave me my first break in Open Source. I knew he was called John something, but my poor hapless brain cells failed me on his surname. A dude called Kris Marsh did some digging and discovered he was John Dorman, and it all came flooding back to me. [...]

  • http://effiejayx.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/block-building-echoes-from-memory/ Block building echoes from memory… « effiejayx’s blog

    [...] while back jono explained in detail who helped him in the Open Source world. I found that a very interesting story. Yesterday I had the [...]

  • http://effiejayx.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/ecos-de-las-primeras-piedras-desde-la-mente/ Ecos de las primeras piedras desde la mente… « effiejayx’s blog

    [...] November 22, 2009 at 11:15 am | In Español, planetalinux | Leave a Comment Hace un tiempo atrás Jono explicó en detalle que le ayudó en el mundo Software Libre/Open Source (enlace en Inglés), Una historia muy interesante. Ayer tuve la oportunidad de ponerme al día con [...]