Jeff Silverman's web page

picture of me! I'm the sysadmin of However, in the past, I've automated test software for Juniper networks, software test software for Impinj, system administration for Tommy Bahama, 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. I've also done Natural Language Processing for Prosoft.

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. Science fiction for the American and British markets were frequently in the English or Imperial system,
  2. There was relatively little science in science fiction, and
  3. 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.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

I met this guy, Kerry Fultz, at a Puget Sound Python Users Group (PuPPY) meeting.  He said that he needed a python programmer to do some Natural Language Processing.  I told him that I knew nothing about NLP.  He said that that was okay, he didn't have any money to pay me.  So, I studied NLP.  There are a couple of places you should go.  If you are a student of NLP, and want to learn how it works, then go to the Natural Language Tool Kit (NLTK).  On the other hand, if you just to get something done, then is the way to go.  There is a web page called displacy, which shows off how to do a block diagram of a sentence, and uses spacy's technology.

If you are going to "do" NLP, then you should be familiar with the Pennsylvania Treebank Part of Speech (POS) tags.

Question: What is the difference between "Let's eat, kids" and "Let's eat kids".  And before you are horrified, consider that "kid" can mean a human child or a young goat.

Software engineering and computer system design topics

I 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.

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. Also see the annotated line demonstration.

More essays on software engineering, most of which are now out of date.

Spell Check (or is that Czech?) poem.
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.


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.  A link to Google's patent server). and my geek code.

My wife is an experienced nanny in the Seattle area.  

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.

Happy Computing

The Government

City of Seattle
  Solid Waste Utility
King County
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 Maria Cantwell.

My public keys

If you want to correspond with me secretly, then use openssl to encrypt and decrypt messages.  I have documented the procedure at Jeff Silverman's public Keys page, which has both openssl and GPG public keys.

My home website

I have created a website for experimenting with various web design applications. See Jeff Silverman's experiments in website design.