From March 1995 to November 2002 I had the pleasure of being the lead software developer for the self-sufficient Kermit Project based at Columbia University. Unfortunately, my position was terminated due to decreasing revenues and budget short falls. My farewell letter summarizes the many accomplishments during my tenure.
My departure from the Kermit Project has left me in a very awkward situation. I have worked on Kermit since 1987. Originally as a user and then by 1991 as an author of one of the most used Kermit implementations. Up until 1995 all of my time was donated because the software was strictly open source. Since 1995, my OS/2 version became a commercial product in the form of Kermit 95 for Windows and OS/2. As a commercial product users pay money with the expectation that they will receive support including appropriate guidance, workarounds, patches, and fixes in a timely manner. These are reasonable expectations. Unfortunately, when Columbia University set me free they gave away all of their expertise on Microsoft Windows development, computer security protocols, and the intimate details of the Kermit 95 implementation. At the present time, the Kermit Project does not have the necessary resources to develop and maintain the Kermit 95 product.
In many ways, Kermit is like a child to me. I have worked on it for so long that it pains me to separate from it even if it can no longer support me in a full-time position. After I left the Kermit Project I worked to finish one last release. K95 2.1.3 was released in January 2003. Since then I have continued to add new features and fix bugs in my spare time. A complete list of the changes I have implemented can be found at: http://www.columbia.edu/~jaltman/k95-fixes-since-213.txt. Note: At the present time I am only testing K95 on Windows 2000 and above.
Since my departure, The Kermit Project has been working to convince the Columbia University administration to establish a mechanism by which I can be remunerated for my work on Kermit 95 and in exchange Columbia University can distribute updates to end-users. For the last four years I have continued to work on Kermit 95 in my spare time in the hope that one day Columbia University might decide they wished to support their end users by making available updates at a cost that could sustain the future development of Kermit 95.
After four years I no longer have time to spend on Kermit 95. My company, Secure Endpoints Inc., is growing at a rapid pace and its efforts developing and supporting Kerberos, OpenAFS, OpenSSL, and kx509 in addition to my participation in the IETF security area provide the Secure Endpoints Inc. staff more work than there are hours in the day to perform.
Thank you for all of your years of Kermit 95 use.
Safe Computing on Windows: An Evolving Guide to Virus and Worm Protection (2001)
CS 6998-41: Adv. Scripting Languages (1995)