We can help you on system and network administration tasks. We have above 10 years of experience installing, configuring and administering GNU/Linux and MS Windows systems both for "server-only" purposes (email, WWW, printing, Internet access (filtering/masquerading), DNS, ...) and for more "desktop-oriented" tasks and scientific computing. Linux is our favorite operating system and the one on which we have been building more expertise, but we are also able to support several other Unix variants. We can assist you on initial planning, remote and local administration (eventually training your own staff for handling common tasks), remote monitoring, and end-user support.
We also suggest specific integrated free software solutions for several problem domains (eventually in combination with "commercial" software components). We can assist you installing and configuring those packages on any Windows, Linux or Unix system (sometimes on other platforms, too). Depending on the problem and our skills, customization of the software according to your needs may even involve changes or additions to the original code.
We are currently proficient in Python, ANSI C (and GNU C extensions), and subsets of Perl and of the Bash shell language. We have also programmed in Fortran 77 (extensively), several dialects of Pascal and Basic, and little bits of other languages. If the solution of a problem demands the use of a new (procedural) language, we can usually learn most of what is needed in a few days. On more specific domains, we are also proficient on the TeX text processing system and the MetaPost graphics language. SQL is spoken here too, although virtuosity on it is not yet claimed.
Our preferred development platform is Linux (and Unix systems in general), although we strive for portability whenever feasible.
Our programming background started with scientific computing (especially on statistical physics, solving integral and differential equations and systems of non-linear equations, Monte Carlo simulations, some scientific visualization, ...), and a particular taste for related problem-solving tasks is still apparent. More recently we have been focusing on the development of Internet-based collaborative applications, but many other fields have been explored. The best way to tell you if we have the skills required for a specific task is for you to tell us about the problem to solve. We will only accept those programming tasks for which we are reasonably certain of finding a decent algorithm and implementing it in reasonable time.
In the vast field of Internet-based services, we can assist you at several levels:
- WWW server infrastructure: hardware and software for your own server, or, alternatively, space at one of ours;
- Creation or customization of CGI components, to run within your server or as a complementary external service located at [login to view URL];
- Implementation of database-backed services;
- Specifying guidelines for information architecture, interfaces, document layout;
- Design and implementation of a full integrated service from scratch;
- Site auditing and monitoring: checking internal consistency and information architecture, usability, availability, security, standards compliance.
Although far from being professional typographers or graphic artists, for many years we have been acquiring some technical knowledge on and sensibility for:
- Text processing with TeX (including the LaTeX system and packages, AmSTeX, LamSTeX, Plain TeX, ...) and general document composition matters;
- Image conversion and manipulation with existing free software tools and creation of new programs;
- Data visualization (mostly scientific and statistical data);
- Interface design problems and guidelines.
We would be interested in creating powerful document processing components based on TeX and free image processing tools, for integration in large-scale third-party systems.