Andrew Tridgell

From Academic Kids

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Andrew "Tridge" Tridgell

Andrew "Tridge" Tridgell (born February 28, 1967) is an Australian computer programmer, living in Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory.

Born in Sydney, Andrew is the initial author of and frequent contributor to the Samba file server, and co-inventor of the rsync algorithm.

He is best known for his analysis of complex proprietary protocols and algorithms, to allow compatible free software implementations.



He was a major developer of the Samba software, implementing the Server Message Block protocol used for workgroup and network file sharing by Microsoft Windows products. He developed the talloc hierachical memory allocator, originally as part of Samba.

He co-developed rsync, including the rsync algorithm, a highly efficient file transfer and data synchronization tool.

He was also a leader in hacking the TiVo to make it work in Australia, which uses the PAL video format.

He also was the original author of rzip, which uses a similar algorithm to rsync, the subject of his PhD thesis.

Academic achievements

He completed a science degree with majors in applied mathematics and physics at the University of Sydney in 1988, before moving to Canberra to complete an Honours degree at the Australian National University, in which he received first class honours in theoretical physics.

Andrew went on to complete a Ph.D. at the Computer Sciences Laboratory of the Australian National University. His original doctorate work was in the area of speech recognition but was never completed. His submitted thesis, on "Efficient Algorithms for Sorting and Synchronization", was based on his work on the Rsync algorithm. (link to thesis below)


Andrew started his career working for a company named Efam Resources from 1987 to 1988, designing computer models of financial markets. His work led to Andrew developing a product named The Options Analyst, which he marketed and sold for 5 years.

From 1988 to 1989, Andrew worked as a software developer for a company named Sonartech Pty Ltd (now Sonartech Atlas), which developed sonar technologies for Australian submarines. Andrew was involved in developing passive sonar technology.

Between 1989 and 1990, Andrew was employed to develop software for the Research School of Biological Sciences in the Australian National University, creating computer models of physical and biological events and environments such as bushfire spread and population dynamics.

From 1991 to 1999, Andrew held various other positions at the Australian National University, such as UNIX administration, satellite control, and supercomputer research. During this period he was seconded to the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Computational Systems (CRC for ACSys) where he headed the PIOuS (Parallel Input/Output System) project - later HiDIOS (High-performance Distributed Input/Output System) - for parallel file systems on the Fujitsu AP1000 and AP+ supercomputers. Andrew also went on to lecture, first as an associate lecturer, and then as a casual lecturer, in the university's Computer Science division. He remains a Visiting Fellow of the University.

In mid-1999, Andrew joined the Linuxcare company's office in Canberra as their first Australian employee. He helped to assemble 14 staff for a research and development team. Linux and open-source companies were quite a new concept at this stage. Andrew was made a research fellow of Linuxcare in 2000.

In March 2001, Andrew joined VA Linux Systems, the second high-profile company to base their business model on the open-source community model. Andrew worked in the network attached storage division for VA Linux Systems, making enhancements to Samba and the Linux kernel to provide enhanced performance for their network-attached storage device range.

Andrew continued his work with network-attached storage technologies when he joined Quantum as a Senior Engineer in the Systems Storage Group. His role once again involved developing functionality and efficiency modifications into Samba to enhance Quantum's Guardian network-attached storage device range. One of the features that he added to Samba at this time was support for Microsoft's Active Directory technology, a new authentication system introduced with Microsoft's Windows 2000 Server product range.

In 2004, Andrew was employed by IBM working remotely for the Almaden Research Center. He left in January 2005 to become an appointed fellow at OSDL in order to lead development on version 4 of Samba.

In April 2005, Andrew's effort to produce free software that interoperated with the BitKeeper source code repository was a source of controversy, cited as the reason that BitMover revoked the license that allowed its free use for the Linux operating system. This resulted in a messy public falling-out between Tridgell and Linus Torvalds, although beyond asserting that he did nothing in violation of the BitKeeper license, Tridgell has yet to make any significant public comment on the issue.

External links

fr:Andrew Tridgell


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