William Yang

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William Yang's involvement with the Free-Net

While an undergraduate student at The Ohio State University, Bill moved up through the ranks, starting as a public computing site monitor in 1990. In 1991, he was promoted and was put in charge of hardware and software maintenance for the residence halls computing labs on north campus (Royer and Taylor computing labs).

In June, 1993, Bill moved again into user support for OSU's central Mail and Global News User System (MAGNUS) cluster; in August, 1993, he was promoted and became a system administrator on the MAGNUS cluster.

In early September, 1993, Bill was offered an opportunity to split his time between MAGNUS and second-level UNIX operating system support and debugging for the campus area with the UNIX support group. Bill happily accepted this opportunity, splitting his time between MAGNUS and workstation support.

In Febuary 1994, the UNIX support group for OSU was asked to design and develop a user-friendly, secure, efficient, fast, cheap, and highly accessible environment for use as the user interface of an Internet service providing system to be utilized at OSU. This initiative, under the authority of Professor Steve Gordon, was challenged to offer Internet-based information services (through the standard protocol of Gopher, an interface to read and send e-mail, and "perhaps, someday, USENET-style news", as well as a variety of community information sources). Bill, along with Bob Manson and Mowgli Assor, modified the University of Minnesota's Gopher 2.06 client to do a variety of cool things. This gopher client became the FreeNet's main menu program, and became the basis by which the FreeNet would operate.

In the end of April, 1994, Bill was offered a student programmer position with the Free-Net, to provide day-to-day administrative support for the FreeNet cluster (then two machines). Leaving the employment of MAGNUS, Bill accepted the position and became the FreeNet sysadmin. He continued to run the FreeNet through the end of his college career, overseeing a variety of major software and hardware upgrades, and overcoming a tremendous number of system design challenges. With his graduation in June, 1995, Bill was offered a full-time position as a Computer Specialist to continue to provide technical know-how and operations to the FreeNet. He began as a full-time employee on July 1, 1995, and has continued to be involved in the Free-Net's operation ever since.


Last modified June 26, 2005
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