Hello.

Profile PicturePhiladelphia born and raised…

I enjoy writing, photography, systems administration, online community management, and more.

Free Software & Linux

Red Hat Linux 5.2

Like most folks I’d been using DOS, then Windows 3.1 and 95 at home and Apple computers at school. Procomm Plus was how I dialed into the local BBS‘ and I’ll never forgive the phone company for introducing different rates to call more distant sections of the same area code, 215.

After reading articles about Linux and some brief exposure to more traditional UNIX machines I got a copy of Red Hat 5.2 in 1998 to run on my Pentium 166 machine.  It was ridiculously fun to use something different. As robust as the operating system was, there were no drivers to work with my “Win Modem” so I had to remove it from my 1.2 gigabyte disk drive and return to Windows if I wanted to dial out to my ISP.

Eventually I got another machine that was specifically built for Linux and was able to continue with the distribution that is still my favorite, Slackware. Though I use begrudgingly use Ubuntu today.

At Linux World Expo’s New York City event in 2000 I picked up a tin box of Quake 3: Arena for Linux from Loki Software and Mandrake Linux.

Since 2001 I’ve been working on free software projects with icculus.org. One of my favorite games there is Black Shades, a psychic-FPS that redefines the traditional gaming escort mission.

About that same time I started writing for LinuxGames. Mostly writing game reviews and posting news entries about the latest software releases. A few friends and I spun-off a niche site Linux gaming editorial site called TimeDoctor.org.

In 2008 TimeDoctor.org became a more general video game review/editorial site not specific to Linux and I’ve continued to write for LinuxGames.

At LG I was contacted by the publisher Prima Tech and my first job with them was the technical reviewer role on a book called Linux Game Programming.

When id software released the source code to Quake 3: Arena in 2005 my number one free software project became ioquake3. A free software project to continue support for id software’s Quake 3: Arena. I’m very proud of what the ioquake3 community have combined to accomplish. New features, bugfixes, and a community of players and creators who have made their own original games based on the ioquake3 engine.

Professional Career

Systems Administration

In 2003 I worked briefly at Temple University as a Systems Adminstrator before moving to Seattle where I worked for Akamai to maintain their server hardware at various colocation centers. Since then I’ve done more sysadmin work as a contractor for a number of companies and use those skills to administer servers for my free software projects.

Quality Assurance

With all of the Linux and open-source It was kind of surprising that I followed that up by working with Microsoft on Xbox QA in Washington State area. However, it turned out be a great fit, and I learned a lot working on platform certification there. Seeing commercial games before they’re released was an eye-opening experience and I got to play Halo 2 early which was a lot of fun on our lunch breaks :-)

In 2005 I moved to California and continued in Quality Assurance for a number of years at TV Head/TAG Television (streaming casual games for Cable networks).

While working in QA I couldn’t find much writing on the subject, and so I started Game QA Blog to help new folks get their feet wet. Gamasutra’s Game Career Guide, and PC Zone magazine (republished online here) in the UK, have both interviewed me about Quality Assurance.

Online Community Management

In 2008 I took my talent for community leadership to Joymax for their hit Free2Play MMO, Silkroad Online and enjoyed the opportunity to work on the English localization of the game at their headquarters in Seoul, South Korea.

At hi5 Networks in 2009 I started out as a Games Community Moderator, was promoted to Community Organizer in 2010, and worked with some great third party developers as Developer Relations Manager in 2011.

In 2012 I worked at Red Robot Labs as the community manager for their games and also created their customer support department.

 

So far, I have:

I am not:

You can contact me by emailing zjs@zacharyjackslater.com. TimeDoctor on twitter