The head of the IT Department at NifTech.
Alan has two equally important (and difficult) jobs: first, he has to keep upper management from wrecking their network by replacing their efficient, stable, Unix-based technology with the dreaded Nifty Doorways operating environment; second, he has to keep his employees from wrecking their network by installing the latest Linux distribution or compiling the newest Linux distribution on live machines.
OS Preference: Linux, but he’s not married to a distro.
Alan’s best friend and right-hand man — equally capable at hacking code and smashing skulls with a length of pipe — Jack has been programming longer than most of the other guys have been alive. This knowledge is not always used responsibly: he once turned the Ubersoft Paperclip into a virus unlike anything the world have ever seen.
OS Preference: He’ll use anything, as long as he can tinker with it.
His enthusiasm for Linux is matched only by his deep and abiding joy in acts of malice and capricious behavior. His enthusiasm for Gentoo took down the entire production environment as he insisted on recompiling the kernel on a live machine. His fondness for deleting and defacing Wikipedia pages once got him into trouble with Federal law enforcement, causing him to be fired, and then causing the rest of the group to be outsourced.
OS Preference: Red Hat Linux.
The youngest of the NifTech IT staff, Johnny is not inherently malicious but is easily influenced by Steven. He has a pretty good track record of predicting what’s going to happen next, but people don’t listen to him much so nothing comes of it.
OS Preference: Debian Linux.
Paul remembers when Unix was Unix, and not “Unix-like,” when big iron machines ruled industry and when HP-UX was the crowning achievement of man. Those days are long past, and it makes him cranky. He briefly worked for a CSI department, but after his supervisor asked him to do something genuinely stupid with a computer he was put on house arrest for aggravated assault.
OS Preference: HP UX.
Polite, well-groomed, and well-dressed, it’s difficult to believe that he works in IT. Obviously he has a screw loose somewhere…
OS Preference: BSD, because it has the most ideologically pure license.
The CEO of NifTech, he has no affinity for technology whatsoever — and he knows it, and is perfectly fine with that fact. While he is often shortsighted to the point of myopia, he is by no means stupid.
OS Preference: It depends on which sales rep takes him out to lunch the most, so usually Nifty Doorways.