Monday, November 21, 2005

Tracking Donations

The BSD Certification Group Donations Button is now officially open for business! Please join us in supporting BSD Certification. We're hard at work on the certification standard and we need your help to continue making it possible. If you would like to be listed on the donations page, let us know. Or if you would prefer to remain anonymous, we can do that too. Contact for more details.

BTW- we're thinking of adopting a donations thermometer to track our progress and give visibility to the generosity of all our sponsors and contributors. Here's a sample (not the real one yet) of what it looks like. The script is written in perl and uses GD::Simple for the graphics stuff. It was fun to write. Let us know at if you think it's a good idea, or would like a copy of the script.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Donations, Sponsors and Plans- Oh My!

The BSD Certification Group website will be modified in the coming days to add a donations button through PayPal. We're in the final stages of testing with four major credit cards as well as other PayPal accounts. Hopefully, this will enable everyone to donate to our project. And right now, donations are sorely needed! We're trying to engage a company for psychometric analysis for our exams, and the projected cost is over $30,000. So, when the donation button is ready- please be generous.

We are also continuing to look for sponsors. If you would like to help sponsor this effort, or know someone who might be interested in being a sponsor, please send an email to

In other news, I'm sorry I haven't been able to keep the project plan updated recently. My DSL went out at about the same time my wireless card broke. As a result, I'm without Internet on my BSD box that has the plan. As soon as this is fixed, I'll update the plan.

Speaking of plans, the business plan is ready. If you would like a copy of the plan, please drop a note to We're going to send it out and follow up with those who request it.

BTW- there have been several interesting articles about BSD systems in the news lately. Good all around.

Monday, October 31, 2005

BSD Usage Survey Released!

Well, the Usage Survey is out the door. That's good news! There aren't very many sources of BSD usage information- and we hope this fills that gap. Maybe we can make it an annual thing. We'll see...

The survey is pretty comprehensive as far as determining how BSD systems are used and who uses them. But, as you'll read in the report, there are ways we can make it better. For example, just pre-screening who receives and processes the survey makes it much easier to determine if there are duplicates from the same company.

So- read and enjoy; especially the comments. Again- very good responses from all over the world. BSD truly is international!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Survey Report, Web Site, and Incorporation News

The Usage Survey Report is coming along. A bit slower than the last couple of documents, as we've all been busier than usual with $REAL_JOB. Hope to get more done this weekend on the Report.

The new website is up now, and everything works. We had some problems with the contact form, but it should be working now.

Incorporation is complete! We got our offical papers from the State of NJ. We can now open a business account and get ready for the flood of donations. You are going to donate aren't you? Hope so... :-)

BTW- the business plan is ready for publication. Use the Contact Us form on the website if you want a copy. Or just post to the mailing list. We'll get started on a wider distribution this soon.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

BSDA Certification Requirements Document Completed!

After some last minute scrambling, we finally got the BSD Certification Requirements Document done. The document lists seven different study domains and has over 100 different topics. Here's the PDF copy. And a humorous note- even after all that checking, the first version we put up had an 'ipconfig(8)' in one of the entries! Thanks to Hugo Silva, one of our translators, for pointing it out.

Also- the Business Plan is now available. We're releasing it to our Advisory Board first, then to the general public. If you want an advance copy- send an email to info AT bsdcertification dot org.

We're now looking for sponsors. If you or your company has benefited from BSD, and would like to sponsor development of the certification, please contact us. We need your help!

Next up is the report on the BSD Usage Survey. We're drafting that right now. And just like the first survey (Task Analysis Survey), this survey is loaded with comments. There are hundreds of comments. Here are a few samples:
  • We're a small start-up. The BSD family of OSes has enabled us to create products and provide an on-line store using no-cost systems. Without BSD we would never have got off the ground. A big thank-you to everyone who has contributed in whatever way. We've been supporting the cause for several years now and hope to be able to increase funding as our business grows.

  • BSD, in any form, is an excellent product and a very robust OS. I am forced to use Windows for one program, but, everything else is done in BSD.

  • And my favorite: Hurry up :-)

Rest assured, we are working as fast as we can!

Side note- Unfortunately, I've had to turn on word verification to prevent spam commenting. My apologies, but it will save me quite a bit of time to remove them. But please don't let that prevent you from commenting :-)

Monday, October 03, 2005

A Hectic Two Weeks

It's been a hectic two weeks. There is a lot going on right now.

We've just finished up the BSD Usage Survey. The data needs some massaging before we are ready to publish a survey report. That will be a few days yet. Over 4000 people responded to that survey. Wow! I was impressed when 500 responded. The survey was very popular, and there were many comments. We'll devote space to the comments again, like we did for the Task Analysis Survey Report. The comments are really refreshing to read.

The BSD Associate certification requirements document is nearing completion. This has been a huge effort. Many people contributed ideas and suggestions, and it's up over 50 pages now. The document contains seven "study domains" that contain about a dozen or so exam objectives each. It's quite detailed. One nifty feature is in the appendix- a chart listing the four BSD projects and common administrative commands and files among them. This should be quite useful to BSD students, young and old.

A lot of time has gone into getting the Business Plan shaped up. The plan is done, and is now being reviewed by the Group. It contains an operating plan for the next two years, and shows three revenue streams- sponsorships, donations, and exam fees.

Speaking of business, that's where more time went- into researching and drafting articles of incorporation and bylaws. We've decided to incorporate as a non-profit organization and we plan on submitting an application to the IRS as a 501(c)(3) scientific and educational charitable organization. If the IRS accepts our application, contributions may be tax deductible. That's good news for us, and for donors too! More details as they become available.

And if all that wasn't enough, I'm transitioning into a new role at my company. More responsibility, and (probably) more work to do.

And that starts in just a few hours- so I better get some sleep!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Live from NYCBSDCon

Dru Lavigne gave a comprehensive talk on BSD Certification at NYCBSDCon. She introduced a couple of members of the group, gave a status on progress to date, and also introduced the BSD Usage Survey. See the news page on our website for information about the Usage Survey. She also discussed some details about the new website, and and how you can help.

Wow- what a difference a few days makes! We are now at almost 500 responses on the Usage Survey. Europe has pulled ahead of the US for responses (53% v. 40%). Also, many, many different types of uses for BSD are turning up: firewalls, hosting, SAN, streaming video, IPv6, attack and penetration platforms, AAA. Very interesting!

We had a bad glitch yesterday with the Survey- a fiber channel interface and then some SAN problems. This was right after Axel Gruner announced us on the popular German BSD site The survey is back up and we hope that our German friends will take the German Usage Survey. Thanks to Axel for translating as well.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Usage Survey, Incorporation Details

The BSD Usage Survey is out! Help promote BSD by taking and advertising this short (19 questions) survey. This page has information and links to the survey and press releases in four languages. More languages as the translation teams get them ready. We've only just released the survey and already there have been 106 responses! That's amazing! Tantalizing tidbits from the first day: FreeBSD and NetBSD are almost neck and neck (62 to 53); major users are IT, academic, ISP; 46 responders have greater than 76% of all servers are BSD; Europe and North America lead the locations- but there still is no response from Antarctica. Wonder why? Hmmm... lot's of penguins there....

The survey will run at least through Sept 30th. Please help us promote this important survey! Thanks!

Looks like we will be incorporating in the US as a non-profit. There are still some details left, but looks like we'll do the Delaware route, and file with the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) after that. More details next week.

NYCBSDCON is right around the corner. Dru will be giving a talk on BSD Certification. If you're in the city- come on over. There is a small registration fee of $40 (ok, maybe not that small but hey- you should have registered before Sept 10). Check out the rest of the lineup here.

Some good progress this week on the Certification Requirements document and business plan. Still major work to go there.

Friday, September 09, 2005

This Weeks Progress

Several more conversations with vendors regarding testing, test preparation, psycometrics, etc. We're in contact with at least a half-dozen organizations. So far, they've all expressed an interest in working with us. Several have offered to help us with a 'writers workshop' where they show us how to write good questions for tests; how to keep track of them in an 'item bank' (database); and how to move things from creation to analysis to preparation to delivery. Some are exclusively based on Microsoft products, and while that doesn't turn us completely off, it make things awkward from a usability standpoint. Discussions are continuing and we hope to narrow the field late next week.

We've also begun the process of incorporation. We're looking at both the US 501(c)(3) model, and the Canadian Incorporation:Not-For-Profit model. Both have advantages. We're also checking with both the NetBSD Foundation and the FreeBSD Foundation to learn from their experiences. So far, we don't see any reason we can't be a 501(c)(3). More to come on this important topic soon.

The BSD Usage Survey is ready. The English version has been sent to the translation teams. We hope to have at least a couple of translations ready by the release of the survey on Monday, Sept 12. This is an important survey and we want to get the word out about it. It's much shorter than the first survey- only 19 questions. Look for the announcement on Monday.

There were some lively discussions on the email list this week on both a code of ethics and on the business plan. Check the archives for details.

Just a followup note on the business plan- yes we do have a plan. Yes, we are actively developing it. Yes, we will publish it. If you have questions, comments, concerns or would like to help, send an email to the public list. Most of what needs to be done is to research the market in three specific areas- BSD usage (hence the above survey); other Unix certifications (Solaris, HP, Linux, others) for recent certification numbers; and finding a good gauge of employer interest. If you have info on these topics please send us a note.

The NDA is ready- the only outstanding item is the jursidiction. We will have to wait for incorporation for that. We'll post the text to the public list for comments this weekend.

Finally, the Certification Requirements document for the first certification is starting to take shape. Here's a question- would you like 75-100 hard questions, or 50 harder questions? Ahh, the pain of testing... :-)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

NDA, Online Testing, Certification Names, Usage Survey

Progress on several items:

The NDA is in final draft. A lawyer prepared it, but it still needs some tweaks about contact info, jurisdiction, and use of public keys for exchange. Group members are reviewing now- it should be finished in a few more days.

Several conversations this week regarding online testing. We're researching partners to help do curriculum development, psycometric analysis, and test delivery. So far, discussions have been good, but this will take a while. One candidate looks promising, but we're pursuing several others for our due diligence.

The final vote for the initial certification names has been distributed to BSD Certification Group members. We had to have a preliminary vote to narrow down the possibilities from around 60 (Section 3.2.9 of the Task Analysis Survey Report) to eight or nine. The vote closes next weekend. Results will be announced on Sept 12. The names are part of the Certification Requirements Document for the initial certification outlined in the Certification Roadmap.

Finally- we've released a test version of the BSD Usage Survey to the BSDCert mailing list today. We wanted the BSDCert list members to have a chance to make comments and suggestions before the final copy of the BSD Usage Survey is released next week.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Another Important Item...

is our Business Plan. We are developing the plan now. One of the harder things to estimate is the BSD market- BSD system usage, worldwide, for any of the four major projects. I've looked for previous market studies and haven't found much at all.

There was Henry Norrs SF Chronicle article, the controversial security study, and Sean Michael Kerners article in

Not surprisingly, the most informative article was from Netcraft, and it provided the most specific detail on BSD usage yet- 2.5 million FreeBSD servers in use in 2004. Perhaps they have additional detail on the other projects.

If you have any information on BSD usage, (production, staging, lab, personal, whatever) we'd like to hear from you. We are currently developing a survey to gather this information.

Ideally, we'd like to know:
  1. Which BSD flavors are in use and how many of each? (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly BSD)
  2. How many BSD systems are in use?
  3. How many admins are maintaing these systems?
  4. What services are being provided?
  5. How large is the organization?
  6. What industry?

There are a few more questions. A sample set of questions is being posted to the BSDCert mailing list today. The actual survey will be announced in the next few days.

Comments and suggestions are welcome here or on the list.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Roadmap Released

The BSD Certification Group released the Certification Roadmap today. This lays out a fairly aggressive plan to get an initial certification ready by April 2006. We'll need your help to get there and I hope you'll consider helping out.

Things will be heating up very shortly. The following activities are starting:
  1. Certification Requirements Document for the 'Associate' Certification
    See Section 4.4 in the Roadmap. This document is due Oct 4. A draft outline should be ready next week. Let us know if you have curriculum suggestions.

  2. Legal Incorporation
    The BSD Certification Group is investigating the best plans for incorporation. There are several different options we are considering. If you are a lawyer, with experience in this area, please use the contact form and let us know.
  3. Non-Disclosure Agreement
    We have a draft NDA we are working on. This will be finished soon.

  4. Online Testing and Lab Testing Studies
    These two independent subgroups will research the ways we will eventually administer the exams and labs. Your ideas and suggestions are welcome.

  5. Employer Support Program / Verification Database
    These two items are a bit further out, but we're beginning some requirements gathering. If you are an employer that employs BSD system administrators, we'd like to hear your thoughts on how best to structure these two initiatives. Please tell us more on the contact form.

You can read about all of these activities,and more in the Roadmap. If you want to help out, use the contact form on the website, and indicate what your interest is, how much time you have, and your level of expertise with the topic. That will help get things rolling.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

OK- Here we go...

Welcome! If you are reading this for information on BSD certifications by the BSD Certification Group you are in the right place. In this blog, we'll try to keep everyone up to date on how things are moving along. If you are not already on the public mailing list for BSD certification, please join. We're just getting underway with the certification tasks. Check out the news page on the website for more details.