Alexander Aminoff

Unix System Administration & Programming Consultant

175 Richdale Ave. #121., Cambridge, MA 02140-3353
(617) 576-2004

  • scalable, manageable, automatable production system architecture 
  • project management 
  • unix systems engineering 
  • unix systems administration 
  • Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD
  • Sun Cluster, Oracle Parallel Server (SA not DBA)
  • Perl (expert), Bourne shell, C-shell, Common Lisp, Scheme, CVS
  • Apache, mod_perl
  • DNS, NIS, NIS+, NFS 
  • sendmail, postfix, Courier, SpamAssassin, Mailman, SqWebMail
  • MySQL, PostgreSQL
  • Cisco router IOS, BGP, mrtg
  • ssh, ssl, tcp wrappers, Cisco IOS access lists, ipchains, nmap, ntop 
Previous Contract Clients February 2002 - National Bureau of Economic Research Cambridge, MA
Perl Programming and Systems Administration - Developed database-driven email list application, disk-to-disk backup application, off-site backup system, AJAX working paper submission system, several enhancements to the NBER mysql/mod_perl web site. Implemented diskless boot for FreeBSD and Linux. Migrated NIS to LDAP. Advised NBER on T1 provider negotiations.
September 2005 - December 2005 Russell Draper & Associates Watertown, MA
Contract Negotiation - won IT services contract from Veterans Transportation. Wrote contract, negotiated terms. Referred RDA's first employee.
December 2003 - March 2004 Wayne, PA
Perl Programming - Developed a web search interface to a database of economic literature references using glimpse and perl CGI.
March 2002 OmniGuide Communications Cambridge, MA
Server upgrade - Upgraded enterprise server to Red Hat Linux 7.2 from 6.2. Installed & configured PowerChute UPS management software. Developed bash scripts in support of remote shutdown of other OmniGuide servers.
February 2001 - June 2001 Akamai Technologies Cambridge, MA
Provisioning tool enhancement - Developed a new version of a perl tool used by Network Operations Center staff in support of provisioning. Discovered and forged communication links with stakeholders across Akamai. Performed unit testing, wrote documentation.
March 2001, May 2001, September 2001-November 2001
Unix Systems Administration - Installed and configured Veritas Volume Manager and Sun Cluster software on a 2-node cluster. Helped install and de-install Oracle Parallel Server on this cluster. Responsible for all unix systems administration.
September 2000 - December 2000
Newton, MA
Unix Systems Administration - Installed and configured a dozen Solaris servers for TimeTo's staging environment. Developed scalable systems architecture including access & authorization management through ssh and distributed system configuration automation using perl, bourne shell, and CVS. Set up internal DNS, NFS.
July 2000 - November 2000
Akamai Technologies
Cambridge, MA
Administration tool enhancement - Developed an enhanced version of a perl tool used by the Network Operations Center staff. Performed unit testing, wrote documentation and functional specifications, trained NOC staff.
March 1999 - May 1999 Harvard Divinity School Cambridge, MA
Security breach recovery - Responded to a security breach on a Solaris 2.5 system, restoring the integrity of the system and emplacing further security safeguards.
Professional Experience Spring 2000 - present Cambridge, MA
Sole Proprietor - Own a small business which provides colocation and dedicated managed linux servers in my basement data center. I also provide internet connectivity and intranet capabilities to other residents of Cambridge Cohousing. Developed business plan. Set market positioning. Developed pricing structure. Survived T1 provider bankruptcy and service termination with 2 weeks notice by provisioning wireless WAN uplink. Configured Cisco routers for multihomed uplinks with BGP and access control; set up authoritative name servers, mail service with secure IMAP and postfix, mrtg . Developed home-grown monitoring system and billing system in perl with PostgresQL backend. Deployed Meraki wireless mesh network boxes to provide free wireless internet access to residential neighbors.
December 1999 - June 2000
Akamai Technologies
Cambridge, MA
Unix Systems Engineer - With a team of 15 systems engieers, maintained, managed, and developed management architecture for Akamai's production network of 4,000 unix-based content delivery servers around the world. Responsible for timely completion of several projects. Designed workflow for worldwide deployment of software releases. Served as process watcher and facilitator of the organizational and human architecture interacting with the systems architecture. Rapidly developed and documented many tools to automate daily tasks, which were adopted throughout the Systems Engineering group.
October 1996 - December 1999
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
University Library Office for Information Systems, Unix System Administrator / Programmer -Managed 6-14 unix servers, primarily Solaris with SunOS, Digital Unix, and Linux. Built consensus and established architecture and standards for application interface to operating system and common services. Developed automated methods to assure that all systems complied with these standards and to use system administration staff time more efficiently. Maintained strategic focus on infrastructure, including security, scalability, robustness and high availability for production servers. Developed change/release management system for Harvard University main web site.
October 1995 - October 1996 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
William James Hall Computing Services, Unix Support Specialist - Administered 3 Unix timesharing servers, including Solaris and Ultrix, as well as general network and desktop consulting, troubleshooting, and support. Upgraded and installed unix systems. Managed Annex terminal servers. Developed scripts in perl.
1996 - 1999
Professional Development
Coursework in Business & Management: Introduction to Business & Management I & II at Northeastern University and Information Systems Management at Harvard Extension School. Coursework in Information Technology: Enterprise Network Management at Harvard Extension School.
Fall 1993 - Spring 1995 
Northwestern University Evanston, IL
M.A. in Psychology. Designed and implemented computational models of basic level effects in categorization with Dr. Douglas Medin and Dr. Evan Heit. Investigated effects of qualitative stimulus factors on symmetry judgements of visual figures with Dr. Dedre Gentner. Co-maintained the NWU Psychology Department's web server. Consulted on technical aspects of lab-mates' research. Served as a T.A. for Developmental Psychology, Perception, and Experimental Design.
Fall 1986 - Spring 1991 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
S.B. in Brain and Cognitive Science. Concentrations of courses in computer science and artificial intelligence. Served as President of Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity. Minor in Music.
Publications Ferguson, R., Aminoff, A., & Gentner, D. Modeling qualitative differences in symmetry judgements. in Proceedings of the 18th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, San Diego, July 12-15, 1996.

Aminoff, A. Automated Modular File-based Distributed Configuration Management for UNIX Servers of Heterogeneous Applications. in Proceedings of the IEEE Third International Workshop on Systems Management, Newport, April 22-24, 1998.

Ferguson, R., Aminoff, A., & Gentner, D. Early Detection of Qualitative Symmetry. submitted to Visual Cognition. 1998.

References available upon request.