The author of the iptables tutorial was born in...
No, jokes aside. At age 8 I got my first computer for christmas present, a Commodore 64 with a C-1541 diskdrive, 8 needle printer and some games etc. It took me several days to even bother. My father managed to put it together and after 2 days he finally learned himself how to load a game and showed how to do it for myself. A life immersed in computers was born this day I guess. I played mostly games at this stage, but did venture into the C-64 basic programming language a couple of times on and off. After some years, I got my hands on an Amiga 500, which was mainly used for games and some school work and fiddling around. Amiga 1200 was next.
Back in 1993-94 My father was clearsighted enough to understand that Amiga was, unfortunately, not the way of the future. PC and i386 computers was. Despite my screams in vain he bought me a PC, 486 50MHz with 16 MB of ram, Compaq computer. This was actually one of the worst computer designs I have ever seen, everything was integrated, including speakers and CRT screen. I guess they where trying to mimic the Apple designs of the day, but failing miserably to do so. It should be noted though, that this was the computer that got me really into computers. I started coding for real, started using the Internet and actually installed Linux on this machine.
I have for a long time been an avid Linux user and administrator. My Linux experience started in 1994 with a slackware installation from borrowed CD's. This first installation was mostly a trial installation. I had no previous experience and it took me quite some time to get modems running et cetera, and I kept running a dual boot system. The second installation, circa 1996, I had no media around so I winded up downloading the whole slackware A, AP, D and N disksets via FTP on a 28k8 modem. Since I realized I would never learn anything from using graphical interfaces, I went back to basics. Nothing but console, no X11 or graphics except for svgalib. In the end, I believe this has helped me a lot. I believe there is nothing to teach you how to use something as to actually forcing yourself to do it, as I did at this time. I had no choice but to learn. I continued running like this for close to 2 years. After this, I finally installed XFree86 from scratch. After an 24 hour compilation, I realized that I had totally misconfigured the compilation and had to restart the compilation from scratch. As a human, you are always bound to do errors. It simply happens and you better get used to it. Also, this kind of build process teaches you to be patient. Let things have its time and don't force it.
In 2000-2001 I was part of a small group of people who ran a newssite mainly focusing on Amiga related news, but also some Linux and general computer news. The site was called BoingWorld, located at www.boingworld.com (no long available unfortunately). The Linux 2.3 kernels where reaching their end of line and the 2.4 kernels where starting to pop up. At this point, I realized there was a half-new concept of firewalling inside of it. Sure I had run into ipfwadm and ipchains before and used it to some extent, but never truly gone heads first into it. I also realized there was embaerassingly little documentation and I felt it might be an interesting idea to write an iptables tutorial for boingworld. Said and done, I wrote the first 5-10 pages of what you are currently reading. Becoming a smashing hit, I continued to add material to the tutorial. The original pages are no longer anywhere to be found in this tutorial/documentation, but the concept lives on.
I have worked several different companies during this time with Linux/network administration, writing documentation and course material, helped several hundred, if not thousand, people emailing questions regarding iptables and netfilter and general networking questions. I have attended two CERTconf's and held three presentations at the same conference, and also the Netfilter workshop 2003. It has been an hectic and sometimes very ungrateful job to maintain and update this work, but in the end I am very happy for it and this is something I am very proud of having done. At the time of writing this in end of 2006, the project has been close to dead for several years, and I regret this. I hope to change this in the coming years, and that a lot of people will find this work to be of future use, possibly adding to the family of documents with other interesting documentation that might be needed.