About me

A brief history of Joel

I'm currently employed as a UNIX Systems Administrator for FedEx in Orlando, Florida. Actually, IT, Sales, and Marketing are part of a separate company called FedEx Services, but no one outside the company really cares about that distinction (although I did find a page about FedEx Services on the public web site).

I've worked for FedEx since 1998, when I graduated from the University of Florida with a BS in Computer Engineering. While in school, I worked as a UNIX Systems Administrator for a Gainesville ISP called Mercury Communications, which is no longer in business. While there, I learned an incredible amount about UNIX and Internet services from Steve Ulmer (more on him below).

In 2000, Michele and I got married in downtown Orlando. We've even got some of the pictures online. Michele now works for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.


All of my immediate family live in the central Florida area. I grew up in Lakeland, which is in between Tampa and Orlando, but we've all since moved away. My parents have retired to Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island, near Bradenton. My brother Richie lives in Sarasota where he's a litigation attorney for a law firm with a very long name. My sister Leah also lives in Holmes Beach, where she is raising her two children. She and my mother started a business making handmade organic products that are eco-friendly.


Here are links to some of my friends who have web sites of their own.

Mark Fight
Mark and I went to high school and college together. He now lives in Tampa and works as a web designer for Coast Dental.

Noah Rollins
Noah and I also went to high school and college together. After many years in Boston, he moved to Tampa and now works as an architect for Alfonso Arhitects. He has a masters degree from Harvard, which means he's wicked smaht (or at least has a piece of paper from Harvard that says he is).

Ross Helfand
Ross and I work together at FedEx. Ross loves beer, and also eggs. He once ate two dozen scrambled eggs just because I told him I didn't think he could do it. He didn't even want any money!

Brian Hill
Brian is another coworker. We've worked together since just after I started at FedEx in 1998. Since 2007, he works at Highwinds as a software developer.

Steve Ulmer
Back in college, I got my first job as a UNIX systems administrator working for Steve at the now-defunct ISP Mercury Communications. Steve taught me a ton about UNIX, and if it weren't for him, I wouldn't have been able to get a good job after I graduated. Shortly after I left Mercury, Steve went to work for the University of Florida, where he became the technical lead for NERDC's Open Systems Group. After many years, he recently left UF and now works for e-TechServices.com.

Doug Walsh
Doug is a coworker at FedEx. His web site is run somewhat impressively on a massive collection of old, slow PA-RISC and SPARC hardware that he has somehow breathed new life into, and generates the most heat and noise of any site I've ever seen.

Shawn Dvorak
I also work with Shawn, who is a UNIX guru and serious astronomer -- serious enough that he built an observatory in his backyard. (Beware, though, he's shirtless in one of the pictures.) Shawn was also the winner (if you can call it that) of the milk bet.

Shawn McMahon
FedEx coworker and Linux zealot, Shawn could probably retire if he sold his three-letter .com domain name.

Etienne Tron
Another coworker, ET has mad Counter-Strike skillz. One of his home systems has neon lights inside and a big window in the side of the case.

John McElroy
John and I go all the way back to junior high. We lived together in college, too, when John was a Music major. He's since changed his career path and has a Masters in Computer Science and is working on his Ph.D.