Once upon a time, a Linux distribution would be installed with a /dev directory fully populated with device files. Most of them represented hardware which would never be present on the installed system, but they needed to be there just in case. Toward the end of this era, it was not uncommon to find systems with around 20,000 special files in /dev, and the number continued to grow. This scheme was unwieldy at best, and the growing number of hotpluggable devices (and devices in general) threatened to make the whole structure collapse under its own weight. Something, clearly, needed to be done.
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In our conversations, we spoke to Sam Lamonica, CIO of Rudolph and Sletten Construction, a general building contractor; Philipp Huber, CTO/COO of the UK based XCalibre Communications, a hosting firm; Clyde Williams, Infrastructure Systems Manager for Southeast Alabama Medical Center; and Walt Cornelison, Director of Information Technology for Tropitone Furniture, a manufacturer of high-end outdoor furniture. Here's how our conversation went: