Jon "maddog" Hall

Jon "maddog" Hall, Executive Director, Linux International

For decades Jon “Maddog” Hall has been one of the highest profile advocates for free and open source software. Working in the computer industry since 1969, he has been a programmer, product manager, systems designer, and systems administrator. Hall has worked for companies such as Western Electric Corporation, Bell Laboratories, Digital Equipment Corporation, VA Linux Systems, and SGI. He is also known as the Executive Director of Linux International. As an independent IT-mentor he has consulted with the governments of China, Malaysia, and Brazil as well as the United Nations and many local and state governments on the use of free and open source software.

Maddog was a nickname given to him by his students when he headed the computer science department at Hartford State Technical College. It's the name he now prefers.

We can't begin to imagine why he got that nickname. Could it have been his temper? In an interview published at TechRadar, Hall stated:

At the age of 27 I had to learn to control my temper, which I lost quite a bit. In some cases I was proud of it, but I had an incident at one time that convinced me that losing your temper is a way of losing an argument.

Everybody but my mother called me maddog. She died about two years ago aged 89, and now that's what everybody calls me.

I still have the temper, and I still get angry, in particular at people that do or say stupid things. But I've learned to control and channel that.

It's also a lot easier because if somebody yells "Jon" at you down the street, 20 people turn around. If you hear "maddog", it's usually for me.

Twitter: @maddoghall

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