Deep from Within the Blogosphere

Interview with Weric

BigBearOmaha - 7/6/09

It was early one morning, the sun began to shine through the windows of the space shuttle as we orbited the dark side of the moon. I was preparing for my space walk to modify the lunar Apache Server which would provide content for the space tourism council. I was bustling around, making last minute checks on equipment, when another space walker entered the prep room. I glanced up only briefly and gave a short wave in greeting as I was pre-occupied.

"Well, you Omaha bears aren't nearly as ornery in person as you are in IRC channels," he said, causing me to stop everything to see who it was who knew me so well apparently. By golly, it was good old Weric, BEL Project member and PCLinuxOS Ripper extraordinaire. As we finished our preparations together to walk in space before the long flight back home, we chatted for a bit. I had my digital recorder on thankfully, and this is how it went...

BB) You sell PC hardware on your online store called "LinPC," that includes PCLinuxOS being pre-installed on assembled systems. Why did you think to sell Linux based computers?

W) My motivation was simply to help promote PCLinuxOS. I have worked for a reseller for the last 11 years. That put me in a position to get my own wholesaler account with the local distributor.

BB) So you don't intend LinPC to be a "full-time" business, but more like an extension of things you already do?

W) I wish I could quit my job and just watch the money roll in. It seems that it has been a very slow start. Of course, as I mentioned before, I didn't start the site to get rich. I make very little from each system.

BB) You help maintain the PCLinuxOS forums, as well as host some of the MyPCLinuxOS associated sites. Is this a "labor of love," and what motivates you to participate at such a level?

W) Again, I wanted to help with PCLinuxOS. Website development and hosting was an area [in which] I could help.

BB) How did you get into a position as to be able to officially host such sites for PCLinuxOS?

W) After I became a trusted member of the IRC channel, I was asked to be an IRC operator. From there I helped with the main site a bit when it switched to Joomla CMS. Later, the community sites needed a host, and I was able to step up.

(I wonder if they had thought of a "bribes for Ripper status" email address, that might work.)

BB) You host a website called "LinFX," which is a graphics gallery devoted to Linux, mostly PCLinuxOS, related images. How did that get started?

W) This site first began after the PCLinuxOS developers lost some of the graphics associated with PCLinuxOS. I started it as a place to backup the graphics so a loss as before would be less likely. This was the beginning of me trying to give back to PCLinuxOS.

BB) What and when was your introduction to Linux?

W) I was first introduced to Linux in 1999, first Redhat then later Mandrake. I began messing with apache and webmin in 2000 using Clark Connect Router.

BB) Do you think using Tux as a mascot is kind of "sissy" having a cute little penguin, or is it cool because a penguin can also front for a major league hockey team too?

W) I have no clue how the mascot was chosen, but I think its cool.

BB) There have been subtle rumors that you may be slightly partial to the KDE DE. Why is that and are there any other DE's or window managers you like also?

W) Yes I am biased, maybe because I have used it for so long. I find it offers more control than any other DE. I also like Xfce, LXDE, Enlightenment, and even IceWm.

BB) On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being "dead in the water" and 10 being "the center of all greatness" where does 'home desktop" Linux fit in on that scale? How about "business desktop" Linux?

W) Well, in my opinion, Linux could end up owning both areas. Currently I would say as a desktop its a 3, as a workstation maybe a 4. ( He passed the 'raving fan boy test with that answer. Only a raving fan boy would have marked both as a 10.)

BB) How could Linux end up 'owning' these areas?

W) Again just my opinion, but as Linux becomes more popular, more people will move. Along with that, Linux is becoming a better operating system, and the development is moving faster as more people begin to contribute. Eventually, development will be at such a pace that no single company could compete, even MS. People contribute to the development of Linux because they have a love or a need, not because they are paid to do so.

BB) Where do you fall in the spectrum of FOSS software advocacy? Way over on the Richard Stallman "All proprietary software is evil" side, way over on the Linus Torvalds "If it works, use it" side, or somewhere in between? Why? (My bet is Stallman thinks of himself as Obi Wan Kenobi and sees Bill Gates as the villainous Emperor?)

W) Somewhere in between, but very near Linus. I learned computers using MS and proprietary software. That said, I never liked the outrageous cost of it. It doesn't make sense to me that software can cost 3 times the amount of the hardware, even more at times.

BB) If Smokey the Bear took on Yogi the Bear in a "cave match," which would win?

W) Smokey of course. (Actually, Booboo will whoop on both of em.)

BB) Will the 2.6.30 kernel make a major impact in the Linux using world, or not so much?

W) I have no knowledge of major changes in 2.6.30, so I would have to say no more impact than any other recent kernel. (Don't worry about it, 2.6.31 will be "da bomb" so go the rumors.)

At that, the door alarms went off, telling us it was time to get moving. Space walks don't last forever you know. It's good to know that no matter where you are in the universe, you can always find another Linux geek to keep you company. Even in the coldest reaches of outer space.

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