DarkDuck: Hello Steven, thanks for coming for an interview. Could you please introduce yourself?
Steven Ovadia: I'm Steven Ovadia. I run My Linux Rig (www.mylinuxrig.com). It's a blog about desktop Linux and how people use it. It features an interview series called The Linux Setup where I interview people about their desktop Linux setups.
DD: How did you come to the Linux world? When did it happen?
SO: I've always found both Windows and OS X kind of frustrating and I've always been interested in Linux, so while I was in graduate school, I threw an Ubuntu partition on my ThinkPad and I loved it. I needed Windows for some applications (SAS, Stata, Word, and Excel), but once I graduated, I wiped the Windows partition and went to Linux full-time. That was around five or six years ago, I guess. And I've never looked back.
DD: Why and when have you decided to go blogging about Linux?
SO: I started blogging about Linux so I wouldn't forget the things I was learning. My Linux Rig started out as a public journal about working with Xubuntu. But after a while, I felt I had mined that pretty well, so I went broader and launched My Linux Rig and the Linux Setup.
DD: Is mylinuxrig.com your only blog or online project?
SO: Right now it is. I was a hockey blogger for a long time, but it kind of burned me out, so that's on an indefinite hiatus.
DD: You have conducted lots of interviews with different people in the Linux community. Who is your most valuable guest from your point of view?
SO: This is going to sound like a cop-out, but I find them all interesting. In general, I've really enjoyed the interviews with thoughtful people who not only discuss what they use, but also talk about why they use it. Any time the conversation can get beyond tools and into processes, I think it's a very cool thing. Noah Lorang's interview generated the most traffic for me and it was also a really great interview content-wise, so I think that's a pretty nice confluence of events:
DD: Who are the most influential people in the FOSS world from your interviewees list, from your point of view?
SO: Well here is a list of everyone I've interviewed. Importance is subjective and I truly believe every Linux user is important, since we're such a small community. I think journalists might be impressed by someone like Dan Gillmor or Steven Rosenberg. Mint users probably appreciated Clem Lefebvre. CrunchBang users probably enjoyed Philip Newborough. Everyone has their own Linux associations, so I try and hit a bunch of different points. But I don't think anyone in the community is more important than anyone else.
DD: Do you usually find your "victims" yourself, or they find you?
SO: Some people reach out to me, but for the most part, I reach out to people. It's nice, because I've gotten to interview some famous Linux users. I've also been able to target some of the users who are less well-represented in the public face of Linux. Having said that, though, I love when people reach out to me. It helps me connect to Linux users who maybe don't have a huge public profile, but who are doing very interesting things. Any DarkDuck readers who want to be interviewed can contact me through this form or through Twitter (I'm @steven_ovadia)
DD: Does it include myself?
SO: Definitely! I'll email you.
DD: You ask everyone to share their Linux desktop. What’s your current desktop?
SO: I'm using OpenSUSE 12.1 and GNOME 3. I LOVE both. GNOME 3 is just so effortless to work with. And OpenSUSE is a great distro that doesn't get the love it probably should. I'm waiting on some life things to settle down before I upgrade.
DD: Can you show a screenshot?
|Steven Ovadia screenshot|
DD: What are your favourite Linux distributions, Desktop Environment, applications?
SO: I use fairly standard stuff. Chromium for browsing and tweeting (I like the Silver Bird extension a lot). I use gedit for most of my writing. I can't stand Nautilus so PCMan is my default file manager. I use Clementine for music, gpodder for podcasts, and my backup is via SpiderOak. If I have to word process or do a spreadsheet, I use LibreOffice. And I use the GIMP fairly frequently. I size images a lot for some reason. Parcellite is also very helpful for clipboard management. GNOME seems to have a very short clipboard memory. It used to be very annoying before I installed Parcellite.
DD: Do you read Linux blog from DarkDuck? What do you think about it?
SO: Of course! Everyone knows DarkDuck. I always appreciate your distro reviews.
DD: Heh, this opinion contradicts the one from many commenters, and also general opinion of me from LXer residents. They usually say that it is too high-level, or that Live reviews are pointless.
SO: Every distro runs very differently on different hardware, so I really use distro reviews to get a sense of a distro. But I understand that the review hardware is most likely very different than my own, so I'm not too particular about if a review is based off of a live CD, a virtual machine, or an actual install. I'm really using a review to decide if a distro is worth further investigation. I'm not trusting it to be the final word.
DD: Apart from running online resource, what are your interests in the real life?
SO: I'm an academic librarian, so that takes up a fair amount of mental bandwidth. When I'm not doing that, I enjoy running, playing guitar, reading, and hanging out with my wife (one day I'll convert her to Linux!).
DD: What are your future plans?
SO: I just want to keep The Linux Setup rolling. I'm adjusting the questions a bit, which I think will help to keep things fresh. I periodically think about leaving Tumblr, but the community is just really awesome and tough to leave.
DD: Thanks for coming, Steven! Hope you see you again one day!
SO: Thanks for having me!