Erik E. Fair


[EFF Free Speech Online Blue Ribbon Campaign graphic] I am in favor of free and unfettered speech on the Internet and everywhere else. There are no dangerous ideas; only dangerous actions. I think this article from Slate also makes this point clearly.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is not just a good idea, it's The Law. If only our Congress would obey it, instead of pandering to religious zealots and violating their oaths of office.. After all, what part of "Congress shall make no law..." do they not understand?


The world wide web was designed to be platform and software independent, and it is only ignorant designers who would have it otherwise. I fully support the Viewable with Any Browser Campaign to clear the web of platform-specific HTML tags, and plug-ins.

The Internet only works when we all conform to the agreed upon protocol and file format standards. It is not for Netscape or Microsoft to unilaterally dictate what is and what is not in HTML (or any other Internet standard), regardless of their standing in the market. Open, public standards are the best way for the computer industry (and its customers!) to make real progress.

Form versus Content

You will also find these pages do not suffer the surfeit of graphics which is in vogue almost without exception throughout the web. I think that the riot of graphics is deplorable, because having lots of graphics does not usually assist in conveying the message of a particular web page; they distract and detract from that task, in addition to slowing down the experience for the user at the other end (hurry up and wait for the pretty graphics, flash animations, etc., to download through your slow dialup modem, or to your cellular phone's browser).

Most often, people are adding the superfluous graphics to web pages just because they can, not because they've thought through the issues carefully and designed something that will actually improve the presentation. It's a "form versus content" issue - I'm more interested in content than form, as a general rule; "what does it say?", rather than "how does it look?"

Who Am I?

I was born in San Francisco, California (one of that increasingly rare breed called "native Californian"; it seems that most of the people who live here are from out of state). I grew up in marvelous Marin County (the place on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge).

[42K GIF of Erik Fair]

This picture of me, along with a scary closeup, was taken in March 1996 at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) meeting Los Angeles by Peter Löthberg.

The previous picture that occupied the top spot on my web pages was deemed to be either too dark, or not sufficiently flattering to me by my friends, and after they berated me enough, I replaced it with the one you now see.

For the curious, there are more pictures of me on Stupi AB's WWW Server. These pictures were taken at various IETF meetings, by Peter Löthberg and Ulla Sandberg.

You can also find some recent pictures of me in Nevin Williams' pages; while he was visiting the bay area in October 1996, we both dressed up in formal wear for a party in San Francisco. I'm the one on the left in the top hat.

I am

I am also

If this set of web pages looks a bit superficial to you, it's because I'm a low-key, private kind of guy. Or perhaps you just wandered into the ones that I haven't entirely fleshed out yet (this is, of course, a work in progress - I poke at it from time to time).

In any case, if you want to get to know me, you really have to talk to me. I love good, stimulating conversation; one of the best ways to spend an evening is engaged in such over a fine dinner at a good restaurant.


What time I do reserve for myself I try to spend part of with the interesting people from these virtual places:

I've also made quite a few friends through professional contacts (not entirely surprising, since I consider computers and networking something of a passion, rather than "just a job."). The following organizations have been central to both making and maintaining some of these professional friendships, and also to my continuing education.

I stopped going to USENIX a few years ago; the UNIX community isn't as cohesive or as vital as it used to be. Perhaps this is a sign of maturity. Perhaps I'm getting blase. The amusing thing is that a largish fraction of the most interesting people from the UNIX community who attended USENIX Conferences all those years, are now going to IETF meetings, so it's not as if I've lost contact with those people...

Erik E. Fair <>
June 1, 2022