Alexis is a grognard. An angry one. Ok, maybe just slightly cranky. He's also got some neat ideas at his blog, The Tao of D&D. Recently, Alexis has posted how he tackled the use of skills in 1e AD&D. Like me, he's used a variation on the life path. However, instead of letting his player's choose, he has it determined randomly. In addition, many of the possible backgrounds supply special bonuses and dictate how much money your character starts the game with.
He's got some other interesting posts as well, like this one about pro-active players.