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June 24, 2008

Interview with Christer Edwards, Ubuntu Utah Founder

by @ 10:00 am. Filed under interview

Say hello to Ubuntu Utah Founder Christer Edwards. Being one of the major open source contributors recognized around the community, I was curious to know more about Christer.

Please tell us who you are.

Christer Edwards, aka Zelut. 28yrs old. Geek.

How long have you been in the tech industry (i.e., made a living through your knowledge of computers)?

I’ve always been interested in computers but have only really got into “the industry” over the past few years. Previous to that was mostly tinkering and self-study. Currently I’m working as a Linux instructor for Guru Labs, teaching primarily RedHat Enterprise Linux.

How many different operating systems (either Open Source or proprietary) have you used?

Linux, Windows and Mac are the primary ones. I have not owned (or plan to own) a Windows machine in nearly three years. At home we have Ubuntu desktops, laptops and servers and my wife uses an iMac with OSX Leopard.

What draws you to the philosophy of Open Source Software?

Open development. Transparency. The *only* people who benefit from proprietary products (whether it be code or hardware) are the vendors. The open, transparent philosophy in the Open Source / Free Software world is what draws me. I am free to use the information in any way I see fit and no one is able to control how, where or for what reason I use my machine.

What was the Linux distribution you started with? When did you first start using Linux?

I first started tinkering with Free Software nearly ten years ago with a BSD variant and ended up melting a video card fighting with X11. After that I took a few years off (hehe) and eventually made my way back to RedHat 9. About the time they “went corporate” with RHEL I got a little burned and went back to XP for a year or so (this was also due to some nagging by the then-girlfriend). In early 2005 I was looking for a solution regarding viruses and the like and thought I would give Linux a try again. Ubuntu single-CD installer downloads faster than a Fedora DVD so Ubuntu made it to my machine and has stuck ever since.

Which Linux distributions have you used, and for how long did you use each?

I’ve used slackware, Mandrake (when it was mandrake), Fedora, opensuse, and Ubuntu.

What is your preferred Linux distribution? Why do you like it more than the others you’ve tried?

I prefer Ubuntu far more than the other distributions out there for a number of reasons. 1) compared with Fedora, Ubuntu actually puts focus on usability vs just bleeding-edge (although Fedora should be applauded for constantly pushing the envelope). 2) I prefer it over openSUSE recently because in the 10.x series there have been too many big changes. rug, smart, zypper.. zypper again. Major changes like that have made for a rocky road and I’d rather just get work done. Also openSUSE seems to try and re-invent the wheel constantly vs use established tools such as kickstart, yum, apparmour, etc. If openSUSE were to become a little more.. established I don’t mind it, but until all the smoke has settled its too volatile for me.

Do you contribute to any specific distribution? Tutorials, maintain wiki articles, develop packages, other types of personal efforts?

I contribute to the Ubuntu project by way of localized support teams, bug work, wiki contribution, etc. I also maintain the ubuntu-tutorials.com blog, which has regular instruction on how to make the most out of your ubuntu / linux machine. I have also recently begun working on .deb packaging and the Ubuntu MOTU project to help maintain the community supported repositories.

Are you part of any organizations or user groups that you would recommend?

http://utah.ubuntu-us.org for local ubuntu support. http://utos.org for a collection of utah based free software groups and resources.

<end interview>

There you have it directly from the source: Christer Edwards. Take a look at Christer’s Linked-In Profile, or his Launchpad Page.

June 16, 2008

Interview with Clint Savage, Fedora Ambassador

by @ 6:50 am. Filed under interview

Please welcome our guest today, Clint Savage, Founder of the Utah Open Source Foundation, and Fedora Ambassador. He is also a Linux Instructor by way of profession. Having met him in person and finding him a neat and interesting person, it seemed appropriate to find out more about him. I contacted him via email and asked a few questions, to which he was kind enough to respond. Here is who he is and a few of his thoughts regarding Linux and open source.

Please tell us who you are.

As I tell on my website at http://fedora-tutorials.com, my name is Clint Savage, people online call me herlo.

How long have you been in the tech industry (i.e., made a living through your knowledge of computers)?

I’ve been using computers since I was about 10 or 11 years old. With the Apple IIe in 5th grade, I started getting interested in the coolness of it all. My first real program was Logo and I built a cool spaceship that dropped bombs on the world below.

As far as my technology career, it really started right out of high-school as the ‘Tech Guy’ at a small medical transcription firm called Remington-Fox. I started programming in 1998 as a Java developer for Big Planet, now part of Nu Skin International in Provo. So I guess that’s about 10+ years of development, and 15 years overall.

How many different operating systems (either Open Source or proprietary) have you used?

Oh gee. I’ve used everything from many distros of Linux to Dos, Windows to Mac OS 9, Solaris, HP-UX (very little) and the BSD family. I came to Red Hat Linux in 1998 (around Red Hat 5.1 or so) and have been using that off and on as my primary OS ever since.

What draws you to the philosophy of Open Source Software?

For me its about the community as a whole. I’ve never met so many smart people in my life willing to share their knowledge with others. In the business world there seems to be this philosopy of ‘someone will steal everything I know if I share’. While I can understand this attitude for some situations, I can’t justify that overall. The community and businesses around open source do not seem to be this way. In fact, the changing mentality of many of the businesses starting to embrace open source is the reason I love this area.

I’m also a big fan of the release early, release often concept in the open source development structure. I find myself willing to give away code to others so they may learn how I did something, and vice versa. To me, its about sharing and growing together as a community, improving it as a whole. Nobody should be left behind if they’d like to learn.

What was the Linux distribution you started with? When did you first start using Linux?

I started with Red Hat 4.2, and quickly moved to 5.1. This was about 1997/1998.

Which Linux distributions have you used, and for how long did you use each?

I started with Red Hat and used that for a few years, until about 2001. I tried Mandrake, Gentoo, LFS and others while running Red Hat as my primary OS. In about 2003, I got back into Linux and found Fedora Core 3/4. I have tried YellowDog, LinuxMint, Ubuntu, PuppyLinux, attempted to set up Slackware and other various ones I’ve tried just to make sure I’ve been well versed. Most recently, I tried Foresight Linux, its a distro to watch but defintely needs to mature some.

What is your preferred Linux distribution? Why do you like it more than the others you’ve tried?

As a Fedora Ambassador, I’m pretty happy with the Fedora community and the Fedora Project. I’ve decided that you run a distro based upon your preferences, but you stick with it because of the community.

Do you contribute to any specific distribution? Tutorials, maintain wiki articles, develop packages, other types of personal efforts?

Recently, I joined the Fedora Docs project, and have been helping by contributing screencast videos for the Fedora Marketing team. In addition, with Utah Open Source, we try to run each of the main distributions (Fedora, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE) just to keep up. I’m a fan of logging bugs, but I don’t do it every day.

Are you part of any organizations or user groups that you would recommend?

I would highly recommend Fedora as a great organization. In fact, the organization I founded, Utah Open Source has taken a good bit of their ideas as good pieces we’d like to implement throughout our programs. I’d recommend that most people find a good Local User Group in Utah, but my interests currently involve python so I enjoy the Utah Python User group. Other good groups include the Salt Lake Linux User Group (sllug.org), Ubuntu Utah (utah.ubuntu-us.org), Provo Linux User Group and some new start up groups including the Ogden Area Linux User Group (oalug.com) and the Utah Database User Group (udbug.org).

<end interview>

So there you have it, folks. When you have a moment, check out http://fedora-tutorials.com. Also, when you get a moment, take a look at the Utah Open Source Foundation home page.

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