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allroy and linux is a personal homepage dedicated to open source software in general and especially GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, Window Maker as well as useless applications that nobody really needs.

my (GNU/Linux) computer story so far

It all began in 1998 when I first installed SuSE Linux 5.3 I think it was, on a Pentium 100. This computer was almost up to date, had 8 MB RAM and a 1 GB hard disk. Soon I compiled the kernel for fun, installed lots of software (e. g. Window Maker 0.17) and was annoyed by SUSe's YAST. I also had minor problems getting the OSS driver for my Soundblaster 16 card to work. Due to an upgrade (kernel 2.0.36 was out), the OSS driver patch couldn't be compiled.

Then I switched to RedHat 5.?, which I found on a CD that was part of a computer magazine. I liked sndconfig much better than the SUSe tool, so I decided to stick with RedHat or some of its deriatives.

At this time there was a RedHat like distribution called "Halloween", which had better support for ISDN and of course it had my beloved sndconfig. I bought a nice little box with four cds. After some upgrading another version was out, which I got for DM 5 at Lehmann's. Apparently this distribution doesn't exist anymore.

As I had another hard disk to play with I bought a set of Debian cds from Heiko Schlittermann and installed it. I had some problems with dselect, but the installation wasn't as bad as some people claim. To be continued...


My GnuPG fingerprint: 8F71 F61A 9D7E B3EE 7E4B 4FA3 BFF7 A5E9 C43A DFCE. Or download my key.


I was born in Berlin and have lived there most of the time. I am a teacher (History and English) and I taught Technical English in Eberswalde, which is a place located near Berlin. I also worked in Saarbrücken for five months in 2003. In 2005 I moved to Bad Neuenahr and I still work there. Where? Bonn is quite near, Cologne is not that far away... Since September 2005 I have lived in Bonn, Bad Neuenahr was too small...

my hardware

I use several computers and own other stuff that can be used with free software. Oh well, I just want to show off.

  • a pentium 100 running FreeBSD.
  • a Sharp Zaurus SL-5500G with opie. Will get a page of its own...
  • a Mac, which is not running at all, perhaps I'll install NetBSD
  • a RIO Nike psa[play 120 with rioutil to copy the files. An rpm is available here.
  • a Sony Vaio notebook, see for details. This one was sold. If I buy a new one, it will get a new page.
  • an AMD Athlon 2 GHz with Mandriva 2007.1

my writing

Apart from writing html poorly and splitting infinitives badly, I have also written some articles about free software. Three were published in the German LinuxUser Magazine and one in Linux Magazin. Two were translated into English.

  • Thomas Zell, “Guter Geist für Mail: Sicher mailen mit Sylpheed”, Linux Magazin Sonderheft Security, 1/2005, 108-111.
  • Thomas Zell, “Wenn der IPCop wacht.” in: Linux User, 07/2003,
  • Thomas Zell, “GTKatalog: Ordnung ist das halbe Leben” in: Linux User, 03/2003, 48-51.
  • Thomas Zell, “Mehr Mail braucht kein Mensch” in: Linux User, 11/2002, 38-41.

my disclaimer

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