Eric is most famous as the author of the Cathedral and the Bazaar (the complete text of which is available on his web page), the book that first described the OpenSource development model, convinced Netscape to open their source code, launched the Mozilla web browser project, and introduced Linux to Wall Street in 1998. He's also the editor of The New Hacker's Dictionary (the online version of which is known as the Jargon File), and president of the OpenSource Initiative.
He was also maintainer of the Emacs Lisp library a decade ago, author of Sunsite's original software cataloging engine (the basis for the Trove software map used by freshmeat and sourceforge), the guy who put Curses support into Python, co-founder of one of the first community ISP's back in 1993, a contributor to Nethack, and most recently author of the Bogofilter spam fighting software.
He's also been going to ScienceFiction conventions since the 1970's, and has more science fiction books in his basement than most big-city libraries.
Eric wrote ConventionsAtLightSpeed which is mirrored on this Wiki.