Lynne Jolitz - Early Years

On the formative history of Lynne Jolitz. Part of the Jolitz Heritage Site for the Jolitz Family of Silicon Valley.

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California Girl

Lynne Greer Jolitz , formerly Lynne Greer Messner, was born in Fremont, California. Lynne received a Bloss Scholarship for outstanding achievement to attend Berkeley upon graduation from Merced High School.

Lynne remembers one of her fond memories of high school - appearing in the local high school musical:

I was in "Oklahoma" in high school. I was the Gypsy Fortuneteller - a really really blond gypsy fortuneteller, mind you. They had to use about ten layers of base and I still looked very very pale. I was supposed to be married to the sheriff in the town, so I guess I didn't have to worry about nonconformist issues like reading tarot cards. I had one line, "And to your house, a dark club man." OK, that doesn't really mean anything, does it, but that was the line.

I was in most every scene, though, because I was one of their strongest singers, but I got so bruised up getting up and down dancing to the theme song that I bought a pair of basketball knee pads and wore them under my skirt. After that, several people asked me how I could be so "bouncy" and "smiling" all the time. I kept the knee pads a greenroom secret.

Musicals are a great way to lose weight, let me tell you. I lost about 10 pounds during rehearsals because the dance routines were so rigorous, so my low-cut dress got lower and lower. So the director moved me to the front of the stage for the run of the play.

A student of natural history and anthropology, Lynne made a shift into "hard science" and following high school went to the University of California at Berkeley in the Physics department. Surrounded by Nobel prize winners, Lynne Jolitz graduated from Berkeley and applied her skills in business and technology pursuits, eventually finding a home in understanding how technology and people fit together.

Lynne Jolitz Rises Through the Business

At Symmetric Computer Systems, Lynne started by writing the manual on the 375 computer while she was still a student at Berkeley, and even hand assembled over 50 of the initial systems, troubleshooting defective boards, IC's and software. Her skills at communication and organization led to a series of rapid fire promotions from administrator to general manager to finally marketing executive, where she handled a national ad campaign in Byte, Dr. Dobbs, Unix Review, DEC Professional and Unix World.

Lynne Jolitz Sifts Technology

An early BSD user of Version 6 Unix and 2.8BSD on PDP-11's, she found early systems a mixture of good and bad. "Good" needed explaining, but "bad" needed replacement. Unless you got "bad" out really fast, it took on a life of its own, with many attempting to find a way to justify it as "good". Sometimes the "bad" would thus end up as terminating the "good". Eventually, with 386BSD she got a chance to explain this and attempt to winnow the "bad" from the "good".

Lynne Jolitz Focus on Technology

Lynne quickly discovered the interdependence between business, technology and people. Few people could understand the "why" behind how to apply technology so that business could apply it in a way that people could most effectively use. Altering career path, she has focused exclusively for the last decade on the most critical technologies that can be brought to market ( InterProphet, ExecProducer)with the greatest impact on the world today.

Lynne Jolitz speaks - "386BSD Mania were the two crazy years (1992-1994) after the first complete releases hit the Internet. Dr. Dobbs Journal paved the way for this frenzy by publishing the monthly "Porting Unix to the 386" series starting in January 1991, and it established a serious following.

When 386BSD Release 0.0 went out the door, only a thousand or so downloads was expected. Boy, were we wrong. The original download site got overloaded and mirror sites were set up all over the globe. Downloads were reported from every continent except Antartica. Hunger for 386BSD fed by the Dr. Dobbs Journal article series led to an estimated 250,000 downloads from the Internet in the first week.

Lynne speaks - "The Symmetric 375 was a very unique computer. Based on the NS32000 microprocessor, it was a portable no wait state computer with virtual memory, hardware floating point, large processor main memory, and ethernet. Unlike PCs, it supported 4 users easily with a host of compilers, debuggers, tools and utilities, and applications. It ran a custom version of Berkeley Unix (4.1BSD, 4.2BSD, 4.3BSD) called Symmetrix. Later versions offered a configurable kernel software package for device drivers and SCSI support. Much of this work influenced work later done in 386BSD. I wrote the "The Symmetric 375 and Symmetrix Owner's Manual" for it.

One of the most interesting aspects of this manual was that it did not follow the typical "Unix Man command" style. Instead of offering a printed command manual with some hardware pages as was the common approach, the 375 came with an online man function (early UNIX boxes often didn't do this to preserve disk space).

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