Remembering Progeny

Two weeks ago, I heard that Progeny Linux Systems of Indianapolis had closed its doors for the last time. The end was a long time coming – in fact, six years longer than I predicted. All the same, I paused last week for a bit of nostalgia. Working for the company in 2000-01 gave me my first sense of my potential and gave me a sense of self-worth at a time when I badly needed it.

I first heard of Progeny through Bruce Perens. I was talking to him over the phone for a story I was doing for Maximum Linux. When our business was done and we were chatting, I happened to mention that I was looking for work. At the time, Perens (whom I'm calling by his last name so that this entry doesn't sound like a Monty Python skit littered with Bruces) was running a venture capital group that had just funded a startup run by Ian Murdock, the founder of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and his partner John Hartman. Would I be interested in doing marketing and communications for the new company?

Somehow, I managed not to gibber incoherently with excitement, and told him I would. But I admit I danced around our townhouse when I got off the phone.

A phone interview and a week or so later, and I was on a plane to Indianapolis, unsure whether the job would work out. I was a bit worried about the cost, since I had quit Stormix Technologies a month previously, but determined to enjoy the adventure.

I was met at the airport by Ian and John and a couple of coders – John Goerzen and possibly Branden Robinson. They whisked me away to a Greek restaurant, where I quickly realized that these guys had serious chops. I had thought for a while that Stormix was the big time, but I realized that, in going to work for Progeny, I was jumping leagues.

Somehow, I convinced them that I would be an asset. I may not be able to write code for a “Hello, World


Bruce Byfield (nanday)


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

nice article

Anonymous's picture

I have the same feelings for my first company - it was 1998-2001, of course during the dot com era and I thought the company was gonna go big time. It didn't but I had more exciting projects than my friends who took more conservative jobs.

One Click, Universal Protection: Implementing Centralized Security Policies on Linux Systems

As Linux continues to play an ever increasing role in corporate data centers and institutions, ensuring the integrity and protection of these systems must be a priority. With 60% of the world's websites and an increasing share of organization's mission-critical workloads running on Linux, failing to stop malware and other advanced threats on Linux can increasingly impact an organization's reputation and bottom line.

Learn More

Sponsored by Bit9

Linux Backup and Recovery Webinar

Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.

In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.

Learn More

Sponsored by Storix