12 Apr 2012

Danny Pop: Give me my Linux and computers back!

Linux part of blogosphere is quite big. Different people take different niches there.
My blog, for example, is for people who want to read relatively short reviews of options available in different Linux distributions.
Other niches are taken by Guillermo Garron or Geek-in-Pink.
Today I will introduce you yet another person who writes blog about Linux. Please meet: Daniel Pop.

DarkDuck: Hello Danny. Could you please introduce yourself.

Daniel Pop: Well hello there, Dmitry! My name is Daniel Pop (not complete, I have two extra “secret” names). I am 26 years old. I write to you from the extraordinary (that's not necessarily a good thing ;) ) country of Romania.

DD: You’re a blogger who writes about Linux. What is your blog?

DP: My humble blog is called IT Lure and it resides at www.itlure.com.

DD: How old is the IT Lure blog?

DP: I am quite ashamed to admit that it's almost three years old now. Why ashamed? Because while there should be at least 300 articles on there, I've only managed to reach just a fraction of that goal.

DD: That’s few years now. Is your acquaintance with Linux older than your blog?

DP: O yes, definitely. I'd say somewhere around 2002 I put my eyes on a "Linux special" edition of a popular computer magazine containing no less than 5 Mandrake installation CDs. I called in a geekier friend of mine and spent the whole afternoon reading the huge instructions leaflet and performing all the required steps. I was very, very excited and eager to explore the new possibilities. But, as my computer was quite new and powerful, and I was a gaming fanatic, I couldn't stay too much without my games. Plus, I encountered a lot of difficulties in achieving basic desktop functionality. To Linux's defence, I can tell you that 95% of that frustration was caused by none other than myself, as I was too unwilling to really learn about Linux. I just wanted my games and my mIRC. How silly of me... Anyway, after about a week, I reinstalled Windows. But... the seed was deeply planted in my mind. What attracted me and attracts me the most about Linux is the philosophy behind it: freedom, community and "hackability". For me it was never about price, not because I am rich or something, but because piracy was (and still is) so widespread in Romania that Windows was just as pricey as Linux. :D

DD: So, you started from the free Mandrake CD, just like Geek-in-Pink, but then reverted to Windows. When and how did you come back?

DP: I don't exactly remember the circumstances, but it was somewhere in my first university year that I started to really get my feet wet inside the Linux ocean. I gobbled just about any distro I could put my hands on. To be really honest, I was also pushed by fairly old machine that couldn't really handle modern games, so distro hopping became my favourite past-time. Since then, I've been Linuxing every day. NOT full time, as I still game on Windows and there is one program that doesn't want to work in Wine that I have to use at least once a month. But besides that, Linux is my main platform and I'm loving it.

DD: Who is the target audience of IT Lure?

DP: I guess it would be that boy from 2002, who was bored with his mainstream operating system and wanted to see if and what else is there. I try to keep a light, familiar tone in my articles. I do not consider myself a Linux expert. While I wish my articles were more technical, I think that would drive new users away. It's more like "hey, look what I found, it can do this and this, but it can't really do that and that, maybe you'll like it too!" And maybe that is why I don't write as often as I would want... nowadays it's so easy to just grab an ISO yourself, put it in VirtualBox and explore it that I sometimes find my articles useless. Still, I try to add some entertainment value to my writing so people would find the few minutes it takes to read an article relaxing and fun.

DD: Do you write anywhere else, other than on your blog?

DP: Nope. I used to, back at university in Bucharest. I was working full time as a Linux editor for quite a big website, but circumstances brought me back to my home town where I started IT Lure.

DD: Would you like to become an editor again?

DP: Hmm... While I really would like to see IT Lure turn into a successful self-sustaining site, I am aware that there's only so much I could do by myself. Getting employed again is certainly an option, even though I might miss my current editorial freedom. :)

DD: What is your favourite OS now? Desktop environment? Applications?

DP: Tough question... To narrow it down, I prefer Debian based Oses. I used to be a big Ubuntu fan until Unity came along. While the 12.04 release looks quite promising, I would still choose GNOME 3 over Unity. And GNOME 2 with Compiz over GNOME 3. But I also like the speed and responsiveness of LXDE and Xfce. Oh, and KDE 4 is simply smooooth. Like a James Bond of desktop environments.

To go back to operating systems: PCLinuxOS, Fedora, Puppy, KNOPPIX, Mint, they are all good friends of my hard drives.

As for the applications that I use, in no particular order: GIMP, Audacity, gEdit, LibreOffice, Openshot, Wammu, Transmission, VLC, Super Tux Kart, Pidgin, Firefox, Dropbox, TeamViewer, Filezilla, Phatch

DD: Do you read the blog Linux notes from DarkDuck? What would you like to improve or change there?

DP: I do! I really admire your rapid growth and your perseverance. As long as you keep your enthusiasm, your writing will get better and better. There were some annoying ads, but it seems you got rid of them. :)

DD: Yes, there were some ads from Clicksor, which I removed as soon as minimum payout limit was reached. Now I serve less intrusive ads, I believe. How do you monetize you blog, if at all?

DP: Google AdSense with an astounding total of less than 100 euros. :) But hey, when you write ~60 articles in ~3 years, you can't really expect to bathe in champagne, can you? :D

DD: What other Linux blogs or authors do you follow?

DP: Dedoimedo, SJVN, Carla Schroder, WebUpd8 (another fellow Romanian :) ), gotbletu on YouTube, sneekylinux, Linux4UnMe, LinuxSpatry, Linux Journal, Softpedia, metalx1000, Nixie, quidsup, thisweekinlinux. Of course, I also get my daily fix at Tuxmachines.

DD: Putting Linux and computers aside, what are your hobbies, interests, activities?

DP: Oh, noooooo! Give me my Linux and computers back! Yeah, I guess all my hobbies revolve around computers. I even enjoy fixing Windows machines for friends and family. :D

Well, ok... if you insist... I like watching the occasional thought-provoking movie, I like House M.D., I like "The Mentalist", I giggle at "The Big Bang Theory", I enjoy a good, traditional theatre play, I love my girlfriend, I like spending time with family, I like herding my cat, I gaze at a full moon and I like being nice to people in a world where niceness seems to be more and more out of place. I like alcohol-free beer, I like driving, and I like lazying around, doing nothing.

I used to be a radio host back in high-school and I would enjoy repeating that experience. I help mom run a jewellery/gift shop business she started about 12 years ago.

I am also an IT support technician at a Bucharest-based outsourcing company. Sadly, I've had only one "intervention" in about a year and a half, since my small town is not abundant in companies willing to invest in IT infrastructure.

DD: Thanks for coming, Danny! It was a real pleasure to interview you.

DP: Thank YOU for asking me to do this. It was my first interview (putting job interviews aside) and I really enjoyed answering your questions.


  1. interesting ...

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Two excellent articles on the idea of "Windows Is Free"



    ...and my own contribution to the idea,