Every year Sys Admin sends out a reader survey through
which we hope to learn more about our readers and determine which
topics you most want to see covered in the magazine. In this way,
we hope to make Sys Admin more useful to you. The results
of the 2003 Reader Survey indicate that, once again, security, performance
tuning, system monitoring, and scripting are the topics of most
interest to you. Amy Rich's Q&A is your favorite column (for
the third year running), and I'm pleased to say that the regular
technical articles are liked best of all.
According to our survey, the most frequently administered operating
systems are (in order): Linux (mainly Red Hat), Solaris, Mac OS
X, HP-UX, AIX, BSD (mainly FreeBSD), Tru64, SCO, and IRIX. 62% of
survey respondents have been administering a Unix system for more
than 6 years and, of that number, 27% have been at it for more than
10 years (congratulations to you!). This year, respondents are personally
supporting more users -- 32% support more than 100 users, and 30%
support more than 500. Last year, those percentages were 22% and
The "write-in" answers are my favorite part of the survey. We
always ask, "What do you like most about Sys Admin?" and
the answers tend to be quite gratifying. For example, one respondent
wrote, "It's relevant to what I do. I have 2 or 3 old copies in
my car that I'm constantly reading", and another wrote, "Discovering
something new about Unix every month". Here are a few other representative
- It's technical yet friendly.
- The Q&A sometimes answers questions I didn't know I needed
- Articles that I can apply to my work.
- No fluff.
We also ask, "What do you like least?". Here are some of those
- Smaller than it used to be. (Alas, that's one of my least favorite
characteristics, too. We intend, however, to maintain at least
64 pages per issue in the future -- AA)
- Having to pay for it.
- Off the wall articles that are irrelevant to everyday sys admins.
- Not enough content for new admins.
- Not enough advanced-level articles.
And here are some suggestions we received for making Sys Admin
- Publish weekly.
- More Mac OS X and FreeBSD.
- More HP-UX.
- More code examples.
- More reader interaction.
I thank all of you who took the time to respond, and I invite
those of you who did not receive a survey to send your likes, dislikes,
and suggestions to me at: email@example.com.
Editor in Chief