The FreeBSD Corporate Networker's Guide

About the author

Me and FreeBSD

Ted Mittelstaedt I got interested in electronics from a very young age. When I was 14, I was wire-wrapping little GC Electronics kits together and eventually learned to etch circuit boards from electronics schematics. In the early 80s before the IBM PC came out, I began to get involved in current computers like the Commodore VIC 20. My interest then moved away from the computers themselves and into networking them together, first by ASCII text over modems in the BBS scene and eventually by PPP and TCP/IP. Ultimately I got into Ethernet networking in a professional capacity, and I've since worked in many different aspects of the computer industry. I've done everything from desktop support to writing training curricula to flying an ISP. My wife likes to say that I'm not happy unless I'm elbow-deep in computer guts, and she has a point. It's this fascination with computers and how they work together to enhance our lives that has led to pushing the envelope of the commercial DOS and Windows operating systems. When these possibilities eventually petered out, I was led into working with UNIX. I've been mixing UNIX into my production networks since then.

I have used FreeBSD as a server software platform, right alongside Windows NT servers, in all of the corporate networks that I managed. FreeBSD has performed extremely well for routing, mail, webserving, fileserving, and other general-purpose corporate serving tasks. The incredible thing about it is that it has been rock solid and stable ever since version 1.1. Unlike most commercial operating systems there is none of this "upgrading to the next OS version to fix a bug" business. I have been very impressed by FreeBSD's efficiency on server hardware that is now considered too old and slow for Windows 2000, such as Pentium 200Mhz, 64MB ram systems. Today as I replace Windows NT 4 servers with new hardware running Windows 2K, I regularly cycle the obsolete NT4 hardware into FreeBSD servers that frequently outperform their Windows 2000 sisters in speed and reliability.

I set out to write the Networker's Guide as a book, although I initially never expected to publish it commercially. It was to be used as a guide for assistant administrators in the organizations that I worked in, to teach them to administer FreeBSD servers that I had set up. As the book progressed, FreeBSD also continued to gain market share, and it became evident that many organizational network administrators were searching for a guide that would allow them to quickly come up to speed with FreeBSD. I approached Addison-Wesley with the idea of publishing it and they were interested. The result is a book that bridges the gap between introductory UNIX texts, such as those frequently found in Intro to UNIX classes at the local college level, and the extremely advanced texts such as The Design and Implementation of the 4.4BSD Operating System, edited by Marshall Kirk McKusick, that are intended for programmers. Rather than approaching the subject from a general UNIX or Linux viewpoint, I focused on FreeBSD to permit specific examples and instruction.

I hope that the book becomes your most-used reference text in your FreeBSD library, and I look forward to your comments and feedback.

Career highlights

Co-Owner, Portlandia IT LLC
Portlandia IT is a computer consultancy serving the greater Portland metropolitian region

Network Operations Center Director, Internet Partners/Compatible Computers Inc.
Overall responsibility for NOC, all servers, leased line circuits, routers, etc., consulting with customers on their networking needs, managing ISP personnel

IS Manager, Preview Systems Inc.
Solely responsible for all MIS/IS activities

Senior Developer, Computers Plus
Technical writing of network training curriculum for such clients as Hewlett-Packard

System Administrator, TView Inc.
Solely responsible for all MIS/IS activities

System Administration, Symantec
Solely responsible for all Unix server installations and maintenance

IS Technician, Central Point Software
Helped solve user problems and setup client machines


Ted Mittelstaedt


  • Portlandia IT LLC. Portland OR Co-Owner, April 2011 to present
  • Internet Partners/Compatible Computers. Portland OR NOC Director, December 1998 to March 2011
  • Portland Software/Preview Systems, Inc. Portland, OR IS Manager, January 1997 to November 1998
  • Computers Plus Lake Oswego, OR Senior Developer, June 1996 to December 1996
  • Tview Inc. Beaverton, OR System Administrator, November 1995 to June 1996
  • Symantec Corp. Beaverton, OR System Administrator, January 1994 to November 1995
  • Central Point Software, Inc. Beaverton, OR IS technician, June 1991 to January 1994


    Server OSes:

    Netware 3.1x, early 4.X, Windows NT Server 3.1/3.51/4.0, Sun SunOS/Solaris, FreeBSD Unix

    Client OSes:

    NT Workstation, OS/2, MacOS System 7, Win31 & Workgroups, Win95/98, Unix.

    Network topologies:

    Ethernet, 10 and 100BaseT, 100VG, Localtalk, IBM Twinax, T1/fractionals/frame WANS, DS-3 ATM, asynchronous dialup (modems), ISDN, DSL, DSL WANS.

    Network protocols:

    IPX/SPX, Appletalk, TCP/IP, NetBIOS (on TCP, IPX & NetBEUI transports) BGP4, RIPv2

    Network Devices:

    All major brand Ethernet adapters, HP, 3com and Cabletron hubs and switches, Cisco Access routers, > 1005, 1600, 2500, 2600, 3600, Cisco High End Routers, (72xx), Wellfleet LN routers, 3com Netbuilder, Shiva LanRover, US Robotics Total Control servers (both old and HyperARC models) USR Netserver, USR modem pool, Livingston Portmaster PM2E

    Network Programs:

    Cisco IOS, SNMP managers (HP Openview on Windows, Sunnet Mgr on Unix, UC SNMP tools)


    Cisco Voice over IP, Northern Telecom 0x32 KSU, Northern Telecom Option 11 (Meridian), Active Voice voicemail system, Northern Telecom Meridian Mail, AT&T Merlin KSU, numerous other DSU/CSU's, Kentrox, Larscom, Tellus, Cisco, Adtran, Motorola, etc.


    Use and support of all common Internet applications, all MS Office Pro apps, support of MAS90, BPCS, Winsales, and Telemagic contact databases, Business Works, Quickbooks, ODBC client apps.


    Proprietary Microsoft Mail, Lotus cc:Mail, all SMTP (Internet) email packages and support apps, LDAP.



    Carrier contract negotiation for data and long distance voice, desktop hardware, network devices.

    Cost Analysis/Accounting:

    Phone bill cost reduction, Internet service cost reduction, capacity calculation and planning, quarterly IT budget forecasting. Executed successful accounting system conversion for Internet Partners.

    Project management

    Both Inter and Intra-company interties, phone system removal and replacement, fixed asset inventory tracking, space planning and buildout.


    IT interviewing and hiring.


    Network Operations Center Director, Internet Partners/Compatible Computers Inc. managed the ISP

  • Manage another administrator and several tech support people
  • Overall responsibility for NOC, all servers, leased line circuits, routers, etc.
  • Perform most complex customer turn-ups on customer sites
  • Integrate customer networks with Internet
  • Rebuilt news, secondary DNS, and e-commerce servers.
  • Often consults with customers on their networking needs

    IS Manager, Preview Systems Inc. Solely responsible for all MIS/IS activities

  • Replaced Vodave phone system with NT Option 11 Meridian
  • Upgraded and replaced all major production servers
  • Rebuilt company mailserver, moved DNS serving onsite
  • Replaced hubs with single switched 100BaseT
  • Constructed and programmed WAN for site-to-site connectivity for corporate merger for simultaneous voice, data, & video
  • Managed project for seamless intercompany extension dialing
  • Reconfigured phone system in Cupertino to eliminate 50% of trunking

    Senior Developer, Computers Plus Technical writing of network training curriculum

  • Wrote multiprotocol network printing documentation for HP training
  • Reprogrammed phone system and added voicemail
  • Reworked Internet to Microsoft mail gateway and company Internet connection

    System Administration, TView Inc. Solely responsible for all MIS/IS activities

  • Converted site over to Win95 from Win31
  • Worked with the sales force to switch over to Winsales contact database from a
  • homegrown MS Access database
  • Facilitated the move of the development staff of the company to a second location by
  • designing and building the network at the new location
  • a dedicated WAN link between both sites
  • changing network apps to be IP compliant to be used on the WAN
  • Developed phone system switch plan that reduced the monthly phone bill
  • Designed and built part of a company Intranet (mail, news & web services)
  • provided desktop support as needed

    System Administration, Symantec

  • Upgraded, installed and maintained 15 Netware production servers
  • Designed and helped to implement recabling of the internal LAN
  • Solely responsible for all Unix server installations & maintenance
  • Programmed and managed routers via SNMP

    IS Technician, Central Point Software

  • Set up master nameserver for, ftp, email (SMTP) & Usenet news
  • Helped solve user problems and setup client machines
  • Integrated Symantec and Central Point NetWare networks


  • Current author for Network Community for Computer Bits Magazine, Portland, column started in 1995
  • "The FreeBSD Corporate Networkers Guide" to be published by Addison Wesley in winter 2000
  • Whitepapers for Intel, Sendmail Inc., and


  • Use of Unix software to provide upgrade server solutions for legacy Windows NT/ Win2K servers
  • Design and construction of routers based on PC hardware for internal LAN and external WAN use.
  • Corporate WAN design, particularly DSL, and DSL/Frame hybrids, and shared Voice/Data
  • Integration of Corporate networks with Internet network access
  • Telephony Voice over IP


    Portland Community College Portland OR '85 - '87, returned fall '90

  • 1 1/4 years in the Electronic Service Technology certificate program.
  • 1 year general degree requirements
  • All lower division Computer Science courses

    Oregon State University Corvallis OR '84 - '85

  • General studies coursework

    Site hostingSite design and maintenance
    Internet Partners Inc.
    Web-Strider Enterprises

    © Copyright 2000-2003 Ted Mittelstaedt. All rights reserved.