About Me

Peter Knowles Hi, my name is Peter Knowles and I am a technical solutions provider, freelancer and stage lighting technician.
The passion to succeed, and help others do the same is what drives me to be a provider of solutions.
I enjoy evaluating the needs of a business, and developing a solution using technology in combination with the gained understanding of their industry.
My background in problem solving started at an early age, when I joined the peer mediator program in grade 7. This experience aided in many difficult life decisions, and led me to pursue solution building as an integral part of my career.
During my mid-teens I found a passion for computers and the Internet (having moved around as a child, the idea of communicating with friends over the Internet caught my attention). My curiousity for how things work created an interest in developing websites, and fixing computers.
Throughout my teen years, into my mid-20's my interest in computers allowed me to acquire various jobs working in sales, customer service, and in technical support for various computer stores, and call centers including eBay and Geek Squad.
In 2000 I began developing The Pete Network a business which was to offer internet solutions including web hosting, and web development.
In 2002, I launched my first offering tpnHosting. This venture lasted nearly 6 years before I decided to shut it down temporarily due to saturation in the market and the desire to pursue a more specific business model.
After struggling to define an identity for my business, I was hired to develop a website for a local business. While working on the website, I became passionate about the service being offered. After discussion with the owner I came on board full-time as a contractor to aid in operations, and further business development once the website was complete.
During the coarse of working with the company, I developed a stragety to reduce the overhead, and improve the companies finacial status by refining the market reach, and coming up with a two tier shipping model.
I realized then what my mission would be, to help businesses through technology realize their full potential, reduce overhead, and improve productivity.
Today I offer SME businesses complete technical solutions including but not limited to: custom web development, business planning, Internet connectivity, VoIP, and technical support. I further educate businesses on how to maintain high customer satisfaction while reducing expenses, and improving overall productivity.
As a small business myself, I'm passionate about working with small businesses who often struggle due to high overhead while their get started. However, will work with any size business aiding in further growth, and smart business optimization.
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Resume

Introduction

Accomplished network engineer, web developer and technical troubleshooter, I focus on quality, security and exceptional communication. Successfully designed and deployed a web hosting cluster, voice-over-ip (VoIP) telephone service and assist clients from coast-to-coast and abroad. I am a self starter, who is primarily self-taught and my skills continue to evolve everyday as I enjoy tackling new challenges while growing my business. I've had the honor of working for some of the world's industry leaders including: American Express, eBay, Geek Squad, MCI Worldcom, and Sprint.

Objective

I am interested in contract and consulting (business-to-business) work for challenging, non-trivial projects in a technical-friendly environment which fosters creativity, productivity and pride in one's work. I can work as part of a team or independently and expect to have to solve problems and research solutions without imposing on others. I am specificially interested in work pertaining to Linux system administration, Linux/Windows technical support, and web development.

Experience

Driveway Auto Inc.
2016 - 2017
Contractor
Vehicle Venue
2016 - 2016
Contractor
Auto Ads Canada Inc.
2014 - 2016
Contractor
Look.Net, LLC
2013 - Current
Contractor
Empire Vehicle Solutions Inc.
2010 - 2013
Contractor
TPN Solutions
2010 - Current
Owner/Operator
eBay Inc.
2008 - 2009
Customer Service
Always Canadian
2006 - 2007
Contractor
Flexible Solutions Ltd.
2004 - 2008
Contractor
The Pete Network
2002 - 2009
Owner/Operator

Software Experience

Of all the following software and platforms I consider myself to be at least modestly familiar with it, but in most cases I possess a firm understanding and a strong knowledge.
* Windows 95 / 98 / 2000 / XP / Vista / 7 / 10, Windows Server 2003 / 2008 * Apple OS X * RedHat / CentOS Linux 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 * Ubuntu 14.04 / 14.10 / 15.04 / 15.10 / 16.04 / 16.10 * Adobe PhotoShop * Ulead PhotoImpact * GIMP * Microsoft Office * OpenOffice * LibreOffice * Adobe Flash / Director * Apache * BIND * Qmail / Postfix * Dovecot / Courier * SpamAssassin / ClamAV * cPanel / DirectAdmin / Plesk / Webmin / Virtualmin * ProFTPD / Pure-FTP * Perl * PHP 4 / 5 / 7 * mySQL / MariaDB *

Interests

My current interests include computer science, Internet programming, radio broadcasting, stage lighting (via DMX), spending time with family/friends, watching movies, playing tennis, and cycling.

Summary

I enjoy working with others, but am equally productive working independently. People generally view me as a friendly, and caring person, who gets the job done. I work hard each day, and like to have fun, but not at the expense of professionalism. While my experience is broad, my passion lies in offering technical solutions, I equally enjoy working with people and working hard to meet their needs. Please contact me if you are interested in discussing an opportunity. References are available upon request.

Testimonials

Virtualmin Training

Had a great communication this past Friday with TPN and via TeamViewer learned a lot about some great configuration settings one can use to take advantage of all that Virtualmin can do.

I have two dedicated servers one for VPS hosting and one for shared hosting and TPN was very helpful in the Virtualmin configurations.

Now i am learning about what Cloudmin has to offer for my VPS hosting.

BTW I purchased both licenses.. Cloudmin and Virtualmin Pro

Thanks to TPN and the guys at Webmin / Virtualmin / Cloudmin..

Hope to get some one on one with TPN in the near future. Keep up the good sharing.
- February 2014

Virtualmin Training

Honestly it's as simple as this. If I wouldn't have met Peter on the forum, I wouldn't have had Virtualmin Pro. He gave me the confidence to go ahead with the install as he watched and helped via Team Viewer. Also take into consideration, I'm a complete Linux Newbie!

My Unbuntu 14.04.1 LTS web server setup consist of a LSI raid card running two raid configurations. I needed help moving the hard drive location. Peter moved website data /home folder to my 2nd hard drive. Answered a million of my questions including the dynamic DNS aspect of the install.

He walked me through the entire install with some performance optimizations of turning some items off that didn't need to be activated.

Activated a new theme which looks pretty cool.

Peters problem solving skills great, not only did he help me with Virualmin Pro but also helped with the aspect of Linux that I didn't know. If your wanting to learn or get help. Contact Peter -- Maybe the happiest man on the Planet

In short I would go to say Peter knows Linux and the product very well. I would recommend this guy to anyone.

Thank you Virtualmin Pro for a good product and the luck of meeting Peter.

Pretty cool little setup!!!
- January 2015

Safari Browser Issue with Website

Started work with us on this project immediately. Within a few hours, had done a quick analysis and proposed a solution. Provided us with a replacement file by the end of the following day.
- April 2010

Virtualmin Training

If you are like me, there is not enough time to learn everything about Webmin-Virtualmin, dns, linux, sql, and email authentication to the extent you'd like to, to be sure that what you are doing is correct or reasonably intelligent. Why? because you are doing other things too. Even though I read and understand, I have not had enough experience to really know the right process or approach for some of these more difficult issues. After many years managing these websites on a Virtualmin-Webmin VPS, I decided we needed some expert help. In short, this is where Peter comes in.

We've had our small VPS with about 8 websites, for about 17 years, and I've managed ok during that time, with some help from our provider at times. We've been through one provider's bankruptcy during the dot.com bust and stuck with the company and migrated to a good provider and recently that company was purchased.

Greater email authentication is being required by major email companies like AOL, Yahoo, hotmail, etc. Our email was starting to be dropped or bounced for some reason. We were warned several times by blacklists and I had difficulty determining why. We had spamassin and antivirus but were getting more junk. Our certificates were not working properly. Support from our new provider was not great, they resisted putting in place rdns when I know it was was needed for our outgoing email, they cut of my access to the DNS panel because they wanted control (I learned that their servers were blacklisted at times and they wanted control) and they suggested that we move to cpanel because they did not know virtualmin - webmin. It was time to address our problems with an expert, and after our first discussion with Peter, I was pretty sure he could help us.

Being sure your email gets delivered without soft or hard drop, or bounce is pretty basic to business these days. I used to take it for granted, then recently we started living with bounces and copying and sending from another account. After leaving for a couple of days, we found one of our accounts with endlessly bounced email, that had to be deleted. Then we started getting emails that disappeared into thin air. Thin air that meant we lost business. That does get your attention. So we hoped Peter could help with that. I had a pretty big list in my head including SPF, DKIM, DMARC and Feeback Loops for our email. Peter called and we talked. The list got bigger and we decided to move to his servers.

From the talk with him it was pretty clear to me that he knew Virtualmin-Webmin, Linux and DNS because of the thought that had gone into how he sets up his servers, He patiently explained what was happening to us and how he would address the email problem. I actually did not quite believe him because of my recent experience, but it was basically the way we had setup the email originally going through one server, but with more authentication. One outgoing mail server with good authentication. Peter used a UPS analogy with regard to email configuration, delivery notice, and delivery which was very helpful. There are more details, but basically Peter sets up his servers to be optimized for the job they do, with as few open ports as possible and he often split the jobs onto two servers. He is a strong advocate for efficiency and has some great analogies and a wonderful sense of humor.

We are about about one half of the way through the migration and there have been a few setbacks, but Peter's skills, knowledge and speed have turned this into an easier journey without having to be too anxious. His enthusiasm, sense of humor and patience is remarkable. The first plan was to set up the DNS, then migrate the webs, then the email, but we had to setup email somewhat manually first, and the websites should transfer more readily with tools available in Virtualmin "Transfer".

During this process I was struck by how powerful DNS is in the hands of someone who really understands how it works, because he migrated the email and then activated the email on the new server,while making manual entries into Virtualmin to keep the websites up on the old servers. He checked ips and verified email delivery and outgoing, and then checked the DNS configuration. Then he had to make adjustments for the websites on the old server still. It was a little faster than I could absorb, but I pretty quickly knew I was watching a master at work.

So my suggestion is to watch and learn. Some of it will sink in and you will become better too and use those new skills for your more routine operations. Teach others, you will learn more, this what Peter does.

So we are about halfway through the migration, now, and it is late, but I will report back after the second half.

Thank you Peter!
- July 2014

Install livezilla chat (The remote server returned an error)

Superb communication lightning fast work very knowledgeable dont hesitate to hire this freelancer.
- September 2010

Virtualmin Training

I had a centos 6 vm that had pam, sasl, and smtp issues. I have posted about this issue on the forums. I also had another vm with webalizer missing data issues. The sasl issue was a flag that somehow didn't get set on sasl at install. The webalizer issues was caused by log rotation and a limitation of webalizer. It took less than 1.5 hours to find the e-mail issues on one vm and the webalizer issues on another vm. Well worth the price paid and will use again!
- January 2015

Joomla Module

Great work, excellent service.
- March 2010

Virtualmin Training

Just had TPN Solutions run through setting up CentOS 6.5 to Virtualmin setup which I'd be having intermittent success on for ages. Very happy with the competency to action the issues and answer questions. Need to watch the system and see if it runs smoothly now, but the tweaks and fine tuning should help from today. Much appreciated after finally catching up on different time zones. Thanks again ;-)
- October 2014

Virtualmin Training

This is just a note of thanks to Peter for his most expert advice. He did a great job for me in a difficult situation, and he deserves to be recognized. I totally recommend him to other newbies.

Thanks very much Peter!
- November 2013

Virtualmin Training

I came to TPN looking for a bit of help setting up a dedicated with Virtualmin. This was supposed to be for my client sites, but now they are going to TPN Solutions cheaper than I was paying before, with more options, and amazing, AMAZING support.

Also did I mention they completely secured my box, and setup everything I requested, and even showed me how they did it along the way.

Amazing, just amazing. Goodbye WHMCS, hello Virtualmin!
- January 2014

Paypal & Google Checkout API Setup In Prestashop

Great to work with. Took lots of time to make sure I understood what hew was doing. Will work with him again! Thanks for helping us launch our site on time!
- April 2010

Virtualmin Training

TPN Solutions is an excellent consultant who helped us migrate and reconfigure with some major improvements to service and security.
- September 2014

Virtualmin Training

I must say that Peter spent a great deal of time explaining his reasoning and basis for setting things up the way he did, going so far as to assist me with domain name issues with a former host and setting me up for free on his own solution so that we could easily move forward on my project. Not only that but he was very helpful with various other features and settings for my particular needs. Looking forward to working with him on a continual basis as I develop more client solutions.
- November 2014

Establish Development Environment On Plesk Server Using SVN

One of the best freelancers I have had the pleasure of working with. It's obvious that customer service is Peter's #1 priority. He spent time discussing and understanding our needs, then delivered a solution that far exceeded our original expectations. In fact, Peter surprised us further and became the first freelancer to help identify ways to streamline our processes and drastically reduce our yearly costs. We are now looking forward to working with Peter long term!
- April 2010

Setup Nginx

I'm glad I got Peter to do the proxy, knows what he is doing and straight to the point where everything has to be done. He has done some extra bits to secure the server. Will be hiring him on other projects soon.
- July 2012

Prepare Ubuntu 9.10 VPS For Hosting Use

Peter is a very professional and competent freelancer. He's always available to help and very cooperative. We will definitely work with him again in the future!
- October 2010

Virtualmin Training

I just want to say that Peter helped me a huge deal, and still checks in from time to time to make sure everything is going well.

He doesn't just "fix things" - he shows you how to do it yourself, and what may go wrong in the future, and how to fix that.

I was a little shaky going from cpanel to Virtualmin, but after Peter's lessons and cpanel's recent security issues, I'm now confident I made the right choice.
- February 2013

Virtualmin Training

Peter helped me. He has a thorough system of making sure your Virtualmin installation is running what you need for your set up, but no more. By following his instructions on removing unneeded services, I dropped over 100mb of memory used. Also, removing the unnecessary services, like an ftp server, make my hosting more secure.

Thank you Peter.
- March 2013

Web Server Static IP set up HELP!!!!

Wow awesome!!! Super communication, extremely knowledgeable and prompt with solutions and workarounds. Definitely will hire again and would recommend to a friend.
- October 2010

Virtualmin Training

Just wanted to post review of some consulting I received from TPN solutions.

I was having trouble configuring a Virtualmin install with Amazon's Route 53 DNS . So I decided to bring in a pro and have him go through Amazon and Virtualmin configurations. Money well spent! He fixed all problems, did through cleanup and explained what was going on and why. Nice.

Bottom line, TPN Solutions is a valuable resource to anyone with Virtualmin problem solving needs. A+
- September 2014

Copy Traffic Files

Second project with solid work. Will use in the future.
- April 2010

Virtualmin Training

Great tutorial Mr Knowles. Was very informative. You really know your stuff. Now I know at least I am starting off with a decent configuration, and that the 'mins' are the way to go for great server control.
- February 2013

Virtualmin Training

Despite having to work across different time zones we managed to hook up on a couple of occasions. Peter spent a great deal of time helping me during a couple of intense sessions. What started out as a question about Postfix set up through Virtualmin turned into a session reorganizing and rationalizing my routers and network configuration. I have to say that Peter really knows his stuff. He did a great job in sorting out my DNS issues and other things that I had not set up in the best manner.

What was really great is that Peter explained what he was doing and why he was setting things up in a particular way. This is so much better than someone just jumping in and sorting it for you. It really meant I was able to get hold of these issues myself and start using some of the things Peter suggested. By the end I really felt I was getting to understand what was going on. Its like having your own personal master class in Virtualmin. Peter clearly doesn't just know the ins and outs of Virtualmin but he really knows what's going on behind the scene. If you are starting out in the world of Virtualmin like me, it's really fantastic to have the type of support that Peter gives. I'm looking forward to keeping him up-to-date with my progress.

Peter really is fantastically generous with his time. He did a great job for me. If you are a newbie and lost in some dark corner of configuration hyper space Peter is the person to talk to. I totally recommend him.
- November 2014

Virtualmin Training

Hey, i have to admit that Peter knows his stuff. He is very friendly and helpful, he also shows those little tweaks, which help you a lot in the process of understanding the -min world.

If you ever run into problems with Virtualmin, he's the one to help you ;-)

Thanks Peter. If there would be more ppl like you, world would be loads better....
- May 2014

Small Help To Change DNS Nameserver Settings Linux Webserver

Terrific expertise on web server. He is more than a provider, a friend, advisor. Reliable go to person for help. web server, secure your website, domain you name it he is expert.
- March 2010