This interview has already been published on my blog. Unfortunately, due to some technical issues, all the links in that post got corrupt. That's why I decided to remove the old version and re-publish the text. Please enjoy reading now, and welcome to the linked sites too.
Linux part of Blogosphere is big. There are different people, different blogs. Some of them die, like it was with K.Mandla’s, some continue to grow. Today’s guest in my interview room is one of the most mysterious bloggers in the Linux world. Nobody saw his face. Nobody read his replies to the comments below the articles, simply because there are no comments. But still, he owns one of the most respectable and popular resources. Let’s talk with Dedoimedo about Linux, books and life in general.
DarkDuck: Hello Dedoimedo. You’re one of the popular bloggers in the Linux world. How would you introduce yourself in few words?
DD: Dedoimedo is a nickname. It sounds quite unusual. What is the story behind it?
Dedoimedo: Dedoimedo sounds unusual indeed. It means either "grandpa and bear" or "finger and fear", depending of whether you like Croatian or Portuguese. The nickname was actually conceived by my brother in about 30 seconds of intense thinking when we sat down to register my new domain in 2006.
DD: Your blog is about different aspects of computing: Linux and Windows, Security and games, 3D animation and general editorial articles. Which of those themes is your favourite?
Dedoimedo: I guess the passion comes in waves. I have these periods [sic] when I'm in a mood to be philosophical, so I write life articles. Other times, I'm into physics or 3D art. Software is more or less my bread and butter, so it's the easiest to go with.
DD: How old is Dedoimedo blog?
Dedoimedo: Dedoimedo will be six years old come June this year.
DD: It may be a little bit early to congratulate, but Happy Birthday! 6 years is a lot in the world of Linux and in the world of blogging. How long ago did you get an impression that your opinion counts in the community?
Dedoimedo: Toward the end of 2008 or so; that's when the traffic soared up and feedbacks started trickling in, slowly but surely.
DD: Do you have much feedback from your readers? Why are you not allowing comments on your blog?
Dedoimedo: I get some feedback, approximately 4-5 mails a day, sometimes less, sometimes more. Most of the emails are to thank me for a nicely written tutorial. Now and then, readers ask me for a help or point out a typo in this or that article. When I write a particularly scathing review or a deliberately controversial piece, there usually comes a flood of total agreements or outright accusations.
Now, as to comments, I do not have the time or patience for the administrative overhead the comments would entail, nor do I fancy giving a shouting stage to just about anyone who feels like warming up their keyboard.
DD: You have tried so many distributions so far. What are your favourites at this moment of time?
Dedoimedo: I would say the favor revolves around Ubuntu, Mint and CentOS.
DD: What is about DE and applications? Which ones do you prefer?
Dedoimedo: Gnome 2, but that will unfortunately die one day. The nearest equivalent is Cinnamon, it seems. KDE is ok, but it's a bit schizophrenic. As to the apps, well, my best of compilations reflect what I use.
DD: You are not only a blogger. What are your other projects and activities?
Dedoimedo: Okay, deep breath. Let me now make it appear as if I'm a multi-talented geek who absolutely has life away from keyboard. I cut down trees, I eat my lunch, I go to the lavatory. On Wednesdays I go shopping. Wait, I got confused. So I work full time in the IT industry, I write books, I draw and paint, do sports, volunteer in the community, the usual plethora.
DD: You have published a book recently. What is it about? Who is the target auditorium for it?
Dedoimedo: If you're referring to The Betrayed, it's a classic epic fantasy novel. Now, some people may assume it's about magic and green monsters and culturally diverse quests. But it's just a brutal love story in a fictional setting, really, softie that I am. The audience, hm, well I'd say mature fantasy fans.
DD: How can one obtain a copy of the book? Where is it available?
Dedoimedo: The book is available on Amazon, both in paperback and electronic edition, CreateSpace and many other online and offline retailers.
DD: Can you name some of those "off-line" shops?
Dedoimedo: The book should be available for order in pretty much any store. I know for a fact that Barnes & Noble have it in stock. I've also checked in two local shops where I live, and it's available there, too, so I guess anywhere is about as accurate as it gets. Whether they want the book to weigh down their shelves, that's another matter.
DD: Was the process of writing and publishing the book a worthwhile experience? Have you enjoyed it?
Dedoimedo: Writing is probably the best personal activity one can indulge in. It's not the matter of enjoyment, it's the matter of internal need, so to speak. The publication process was a long and complex experience, but a useful lesson in how things work in the big world. Namely, you get the ping-pong of revisions and re-revisions, subtle changes in wording and styling and cover art and press release notes and other details. But at the end of the day, I think it's a nice achievement to have a fruit of your imagination released into the world, properly packaged, glossy pages and all that.
DD: Apart from The Betrayed, do you have any other publications?
Dedoimedo: Well, does my Crash Book count? If so, then yes. But nothing as fancy as The Betrayed, yet.
DD: Are there any other books in your plans?
Dedoimedo: Technical, I am planning a few. Fantasy, I've almost finished the second book in the series and will soon begin writing the third. And there's a childhood action adventure I've written 20 years ago that I want to publish, too. I haven't read it since, and I think it will be an absolute thrill to see how I thought I could write back then. That's for now.
DD: Do you read the blog Linux notes from DarkDuck? What would you like to change or improve there?
Dedoimedo: Yes I do. I'd like more images! More! My biggest gripe with many blogs is the lack of visual information. Text is all good, but images are the key to a compelling and vivid story. That, plus high-quality content.
DD: I assume that was a compliment to me, because I only need one ingredient (images) out of two: high-quality content and images.
Dedoimedo: (In Borat's voice) Ah yes.
DD: What other blogs and authors do you follow, if any?
Dedoimedo: The greatest sites list on my site pretty much sums my favorites. Still, non-technical, I love Maddox, David Thorne, Encyclopedia Dramatica, xkcd, and many others. Technical, I am a fond visitor of DistroWatch, tuxmachines, Gizmo's Freeware, OSNews, and HowtoForge, to name a few.
DD: I suppose, after everyday work, blogging and writing books you don’t have much spare time. But if you have one, what are your favourite off-line activities?
Dedoimedo: I actually have a lot of spare time. I don't believe in being idle or wasting time. So, my offline activities would be hiking, yoga, driving. Oh, and gaming. But that's not really offline, is it?
DD: Thanks for your time, Igor. I wish you all the best in all of your projects!
Dedoimedo: Thank you! It was fun. See you around.