Getting to know your portmgr@ — Thomas Abthorpe

December 2, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

As port of the ongoing series on getting to know your portmgr@, I interview the portmgr-secretary@, Thomas Abthorpe.  (Yes it is awkward talking about myself in third person)


Thomas Abthorpe

Committer name


Inspiration for your IRC nick

Uninterestingly, just my uid that I have had in near continuous use since 1989

TLD of origin



Regional Technical Support Specialist with the Canadian Grain Commission

When did you join portmgr@

Joined as -secretary in March 2010
Upgraded to full member in March 2011


Inspiration for using FreeBSD

I wanted to run a webserver, and I wanted something free. I was going
to use something linux, then met up with a former prof from university,
and shared my story with him. He told me FreeBSD was the way to go.

Who was your first contact in FreeBSD

clsung, miwi, rafan

Who was your mentor(s)


What was your most embarrassing moment in FreeBSD

I reset a bunch of ports that were name@??, because my
script was only checking for I was called on it
privately, to which I immediately reverted my commit.

Boxers / Briefs / other


What is your role in your circle of friends

Oddly enough, social convener

vi(m) / emacs / other


What keeps you motivated in FreeBSD

I just love that I (and anybody for that matter) can contribute the most
trivial of things, and watch it go live.

Favourite musician/band

Favourite of all time is The Beatles. On the home front, I am huge fan
of the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies. I was so fortunate to even meet
them back stage at a concert in 1997.

What book do you have on your bedside table

The Beardmore Relics. It is a fictionalised story of hoax about
viking relics that were discovered near Beardmore, ON, a little
community I lived in back in the late 70s.

 coffee / tea / other

Coffee, intravenous if possible!

Favourite whisky


Do you have a guilty pleasure

Sitting around in comfortable lounge wear, watching Sci-Fi on TV

How would you describe yourself

N-Space, multidimensional nerd.

sendmail / postfix / other

sendmail for internal use, postfix for anything exposed to the Internet

Do you have a hobby outside of FreeBSD

I am a senior apprentice bicycle mechanic with a grass roots movement
called Bicycles for Humanity

What is your favourite TV show

Big Bang Theory. Physics was my other interest I followed in
university. The interaction among the friends, is uncannily similar as
that among my friends. Fortunately we have no Sheldon. And Barenaked
Ladies do the theme song :)

Love almost anything Sci-Fi, particularly the old Stargate franchise(s), Dr. Who
Sanctuary, etc, etc, etc.

Claim to Fame

Don’t really think I have one

What did you have for breakfast today

Coffee and a bagel.  I have that almost everyday, so when I say to people,
“You expect me to remember BLAH? I don’t remember what I had for
breakfast yesterday?” there is an implied irony.

What sports team do you support

Pro hockey – The one and only Montreal Canadiens
Pro lacrosse – The Toronto Rock
University hockey – Lakehead University Thunderwloves

What else do you do in the world of FreeBSD

core@, donations@, formerly kde@

What can you tell us about yourself that most people don’t know

I used to play the bagpipes. Was “fair” at it. My band was invited to
play at the “Toys on Parage” in Santa Ana CA back in 1987. Astronaut
Neil Armstrong was the parade marshall, and I can claim that I was at a
black tie reception with him. I was performing with the band, and I wasn’t
allowed to get near him, but I can at least say I “partied” with him.

Any parting words you want to share

Always remember the Golden Rule, “Do unto others, before others do unto you”,
or something like that :)

What is your .sig at the moment

Thomas Abthorpe | FreeBSD Committer
[email protected] |

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