Frequently asked questions

Where did "kenj" come from?

The "J" is from my middle name, John.

The origins go back to 1970 at Monash University when final year Information Science students were allowed to gain personal "ids" for submitting their punched card batch jobs.  KEN (only uppercase letters were allowed) was unacceptably short and KENM was already allocated to someone else, so I chose KENJ.

When I stated using Sixth Edition Unix®, it shipped from Bell Labs with their internal /etc/passwd file, and the username "ken" was already allocated to one Ken Thompson!  So I settled for "kenj" again.

This has remained my preferred username ever since, notwithstanding a period as "kenmcd" at SGI (kenj was already taken there also) and a time as "kmcdonell" at Aconex (a victim of IT standardization policies).