Jeff Silverman's web page

picture of me! I'm the sysadmin of However, my day job is as Linux System Administrator for non-standard infrastructure at Google.  Prior to that I was Developer Supporter at Google.  I've been a software test engineer at F5 Networks and a  Network Support Engineer for F5 Networks. Prior to that, I worked two stints for Real Networks as a linux sysadmin. I've been a general computer expert for Seattle Forestry Sciences Laboratory (SFSL) (See the section on below). Formerly, I was sysadmin at Mathsoft's Data Analysis Products Division (next known as Insightful, now part of Tibco, and formerly known at Statistical Sciences (Statsci). Sometimes I write web pages and sometimes I write other software for other things. I am also the president of Men Working Against Abuse (MWAA), a domestic violence organization dedicated to helping men with their abuse issues.  I am a father, and I purport to think about Jewish topics, and sometimes all of these things overlap in various strange and wonderful ways. However, I have written an affirmation of cluelessness, where, after much thought and deliberation, I decide I haven't a clue.

I am also doing some free lance consulting for Area 51 Productions, a start independent startup film and TV production studio.

Table of contents:

(Text in this Arial font are references to external pages)
Computer Stuff and Consulting Services I do.
Judaism Stuff
Personal Stuff (friends and family) and also I have a page of pictures. and a page with links to all of my HTML files.  My Geek Code.
Domestic violence (really abuse) Stuff.
Real World Stuff including transit information and links to the government and my essay on fear of flying.

My resume (using open office BTW. The resume in Microsoft Word format.

Temple Beth Am did a Trip to Israel, including a list of web pages.
Transportation resources: planes, trains, buses, bicycles, boats, automobiles.

I am writing a science fiction novel in the my spare time, The Woman who was unstuck in time. It always bothered me that

  1. There was relatively little science in science fiction, and
  2. The hero always gets the girl at the end of the movie
So first of all, all of the units are in the metric system, and second of all, the protagonist is a woman, and three, she doesn't fall in love at the end of the book: she falls in love near the beginning, and she is happily married with children. Please read the book and then send me comments.

Software engineering and computer system design topics

My software engineering page.  I am trying to make an unbiased comparison of operating systems. I also have a comparison of operating system security between MS-Windows and Linux which I hope you will enjoy.

I am working on an open source project, an open source DNS monitor, with connections to E-mail, SNMP, a web server a command line interface and a VT100 interface.  I am also writing a book, Failure is Not an Option: a guide to building highly reliable computer systems from cheap hardware and open source software.. Also, I wrote an essay on Network Neutrality, which tries to explain why this is a big deal.

In response to the recent break-ins at Target and Neiman Marcus, I wrote an essay comparing the relative security of MS-Windows compared with Linux.

A tutorial on how to send secret information over an insecure system, or, how to send private information over E-mail (This is for you, Hillary Clinton).

Documenting the python dpkt package.

I am working on documenting Jon Oberheide's dpkt python package, which is a python interface to raw packets.  I am building a decoder.  The documentation is at dpkt.html.

Google Charts and Google's visualization API

For more information on my work with Google's visualization API, see google_test_visualization.html.

More essays on software engineering, most of which are now out of date.

Why Not Microsoft?  A manifesto on software reliability and Microsoft operating systems.  Windows/NT on the DEC Alpha (Ha, Ha!  If you want 64 bit computing, you can use Tru64 Unix, Spell Check (or is that Czech?) poem.
E-mail, Viruses and Virus Hoaxes
The Year 2000 crisis
There is a new standard in work from W3C for typesetting mathematics: MathML.
  Do you have an Epson 1670 Perfection scanner running under linux and SANE? Installing it is a pain, so I wrote an installation procedure for the Epson 1670, SANE, and RedHat Fedora Core 1.

Humor: If operating systems were airlines.

Judaism and philosophy

On light and being: Kabalah (or Qabalah) and Quantum Mechanics
Creations: A comparison of creation stories. Evolution, the big bang, and the creation stories of Genesis.
A management audit of the sedrah Noach - the Noah story and the Tower of Babel.
Elastic Judaism and the Pittsburgh Platform, or why I am having troubles getting Daniel to judaica studies.
Jewish Humor .  Also, recipes for obscure burgers.
Experiments in rendering Hebrew for the Web.  This is somewhat ironic because I don't know hebrew (maybe I should learn!)
The end of the world, or should Jews eat out every once in a while?
  Why are we here, which I delivered 30-August-2002.

A short story about how how I met the Messiah.

The map of the middle east I always wanted to draw. Now google apps gives me the technology to do so.

Stop the war in the Persian Gulf!

I got a letter from Ingrid Brucato which was published Dec 12 2002 in the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Ingrid also wrote a letter to the editor with regards to North Korea, which has not been published. Finally, I wrote a letter about Ingrid's story, and how it is relevant to the Iraqi war.

Have you wondered why removing dams from the Columbia river might be a bad idea? Me niether, but my son did, so I created a calculation of Carbon Dioxide emissions resulting from removing a dam from the lower columbia river.

I wrote an essay comparing gravity, elecromagnetism, and the Strong Force. In reading it over again, I see that it really needs more exposition.

Somebody convinced me to start blogging in public.

An Action Alert: Israeli Politics!

Please see ActionAlert.htmfor more information on what the radical right religious minority is doing in Israel.

My Personal stuff

My portfolio of selected writings and presentations, gathered into a single page.

This section is devoted to material which doesn't really fit into other categories and is mostly about people I care about.  It does have a link to My resume, and to my patent (or, you can look at's patent server). and my geek code.

My wife is an experienced nanny in the Seattle area.  
Person Website
My wife, Judith Silverman  judith
My brother, John Silverman (english) (francaise) (German)
My mother, Goldie Silverman Camping with Kids

Maps: I love maps

The US Census TIGER database (your taxpayer dollars at work!).  The United States Coast and Geodetic survey (USGS).  Yahoo's Map server.
MapQuest has topological maps.

I am mastering a program called GRASS, which is an Open Source GIS system. Here is a map I made of the pacific northwest.

Weather, tides, and other time variant information

The current time in Seattle, Washington USA is  time!
The weather and tides in Seattle.
The weather is from the U.W Department of Atmospheric Science.
More tides and weather from NWBoating and NOAA. The tide information is also in tabular form.
The Next generation weather radar for Seattle and vacinity.
See also the Time and Weather page.

Current highway conditions are at the Washington State DOT.  Where is my bus (Metro Transit in the University District and at the Hub)?  Check out BusView for the U district!  The railroad station in Wenatchee, WA.  Amtrak Train 8 to Chicago leaves at 8:52 PM and Train 7 to Seattle leaves at 5:30 AM.

Happy Computing

Sometimes, I visit my sister in San Francisco.  There is transit information there, too.

The Government

City of Seattle
  Solid Waste Utility
King County
Want to take a bus from Seattle to the Evergreen State College (TESC) in Olympia? I created a page especially for the weekends. Washington State
  The Legislature
    My legislators from the 43rd district in the house: Frank Chop (D), and Murray, Edward  (D).  In the senate: Sen. Pat Thibaudeau (D-43)
    The Washington State Department of Transportation, who has webcams of Seattle,Snoqualmie Pass, and Stevens Pass.
United States
  Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
The United States Department of Agriculture.
  The National Forest Service.
   The Forest Service The Pacific Northwest Research Station in Portland Oregon.
    The Seattle Forestry Sciences Laboratory, which is also known as the Fire and Environmental Research Applications Team.

  US Coast and Goedetic Survey (USGS)
  The White House
  United States Congress
    The Senate
      Our senators, Patty Murray and Jim McDermott

My openSSL public key

If you want to send me a secret email, then encrypt it with Jeff Silverman's openssl public key:

-----END PUBLIC KEY-----

For instructions on how to do it, refer to How to send encrypted email over an insecure connection.