Thanks for the Memories Sys Admin Magazine

David Bianco clued me in to the fact that, after 15 years, Sys Admin magazine is shutting down. (I was on the road this week and found the issue in my mail when I returned.) The August 2007 issue, pictured at left, is the last. Appropriately for the digital security community, the issue topic is Information Security. I bought my first issue of Sys Admin in the fall of 1999, at the point where I was finally coming to grips with my work at the AFCERT. I had spent the previous year-plus climbing the steep learning curve associated with becoming a network security analyst and I was ready to learn more about system administration. Looking at the copy in my hands, I see where I underlined (using a straight edge, a practice I continue to this day) content I believed was useful. That issue featured articles like:

  • Maintaining Patch Levels with Open Source BSDs by Michael Lucas

  • Landmining the Cracker's Playing Field by Amy Rich

  • Hardening a Host by Dave D. Zwieback

  • Intrusion Detection Strategies and Design Considerations by Ronald McCarty

  • Practical Packet Sniffing by John Mechalas

No wonder I bought that issue! Michael Lucas, if you're reading this -- I marked the heck out of your article. It's one of the first artifacts I have of my involvement with FreeBSD.

After subscribing to the magazine for several years, I managed to get my first article into the April 2004 issue -- Integrating the Network Security Monitoring Model. This introduced NSM to a wide audience prior to the publication of my first book. That was followed in February 2005 with More Tools for Network Security Monitoring. I covered Dhcpdump, PADS, and SANCP. Funny, I'd forgotten all about Dhcpdump, but I might be able to use it for a certain problem. This demonstrates one of the main reasons I write -- I can't remember everything that might be helpful! In February 2006 I was confident enough to try writing about FreeBSD, so I contributed Keeping FreeBSD Up-to-Date. This detailed a variety of means to keep the FreeBSD OS up-to-date, including all the old methods plus new ones some people haven't heard about or are unwilling to try. It's nice to see many of these new methods integrated into the base OS in later versions of FreeBSD 6.x. My last article appeared in the August 2006 issue, called Tuning Snort. I talked about the essential tasks one should perform for any Snort installation.

I hope Sys Admin publishes a final CD with all of the magazine's issues. Sys Admin, thanks for the memories, for the learning, and for the opportunity to contribute.


Anonymous said…
A Haiku for SysAdmin

Paper Degrades Slow
Your knowledge is forever
bye-bye SysAdmin

It was the last of the great UNIX magazines of the 90's. UnixWorld, SunWorld, UnixReview....

How gently they went into that good night.
Anonymous said…
Sad to see Sysadmin go out this way, it's been shrinking in page size but the quality never suffered.
Anonymous said…
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Anonymous said…
I re-subscribed in July 07 - is any one else out of pocket??
AnonymousDog said…
Yes, I just renewed too. They sent a postcard offering a free copy of their archive CD (with all issues ever published).
Anonymous said…
does anyone have a suggestion for a replacement? i just ordered a trial of linux pro, but being a solaris admin, i'm not sure how useful it will be. it's really sad to see Sys Admin go...
Anonymous said…
I started subscribing to Sys Admin magazine back in the late 1990's. It was an excellent UNIX magazine. It covered all flavors, Solaris, HP/UX, AIX, most of the various Linux flavors, and many of the BSD flavors as well. Although the subscript was a bit steep, I thought it was well worth what I paid. You can't say that about a lot of things these days. I will miss it. Although I never received a postcard telling me that Sys Admin ceased publication, I want to wish everyone involved with Sys Admin the very best in their future. They will be missed.
Anonymous said…
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