An interview with LaRoza

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

Some people make their way to Ubuntu after decades of working with Linux, or with computers. Not many can claim the opposite — of buying their first computer a year ago, teaching themselves to program, and then becoming an impressive and respected member of the forum community. LaRoza is one of the latter. An admitted Vista refugee, LaRoza has already built a programming wiki and volunteers time with the Unanswered Posts Team. But more than that, LaRoza is consistently knowledgeable, trustworthy and helpful — which often is more valuable than just years of experience.

Tell as much as you’re willing about your “real” life — name, age, gender, location, family, religion, profession, education, hobbies, etc.

LaRoza’s avatarI am closed usually about my real identity. I have not disclosed my gender although some people have a good idea what it is. It is not needed on the Internet, and I feel that being mostly unknown results in better communication. So my personal statistics are not important, except that I am 19 years old. I am a self-taught programmer, and like to learn constantly.

I started my wiki,, to help others learn. It seems popular, with new visitors constantly and many returning visitors. I enjoy learning new things, about anything, even if I never use the knowledge.

I have the most respect for those willing to learn, no matter their ability. I have little respect for those who have no drive to learn, yet want to have the same benefit as those with knowledge.

A few screenshots, of Vista, Fluxbox and Gnome. …

When and how did you become interested in computers? in Linux? in Ubuntu?

I first owned a computer at the end of last year, but have many books on the subject and know computers pretty well. I started programming in February of this year. When Vista came out, I bought it on for my computer, which was “Vista Compatible.” I ordered it on 29 January 2007, received it 30 January 2007 (the first day) and installed when I got it.

I used Linux soon after. My computer was not high-end, but it was new but couldn’t handle Vista at all.

I first got Linux from a book I bought, that came with an Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake DVD. I didn’t have the Internet at the time, but loved it anyway, and installed it on the ex-Vista computer. I had bought a new computer, a much more powerful computer which had Vista preinstalled. I joined from a school computer, and posted from there.

I have had the Internet at home since last month, and my posting has increased as a result.

Having two computers makes it easy to try many distros, but I have never felt a need to use anything other than Ubuntu. Although I feel Arch and Slackware might be more for me, why mess with a working system?

When did you become involved in the forums? What’s your role there?

I joined the forums from school, as mentioned above. I don’t remember exactly how I found it. I have found the forums to be a very good resource for almost all computer-related issues.

My role is just a regular member and a member of the Unanswered Posts Team. I find helping others to be rewarding, and search for problems to solve.

Are you an Ubuntu member? If so, how do you contribute? If not, do you plan on becoming one?

No. I will not likely be one. I have a lot going on, and don’t really have much time.

What distros do you regularly use? What software? What’s your favorite application? Your least favorite?

I use Ubuntu 7.10 now, but could very likely use Slackware or Arch someday. I use Opera, Fluxbox, and Abiword instead of the typical applications. I use a lot of programming software, but do not use IDE’s. I use Vim, Gedit, Kwrite, and Kate for programming.

I don’t really have a “least favourite” application, if I don’t like it, I don’t use it. I am not fond of Emacs and KDE although they are very well developed applications, I prefer Vim and simpler Destkop Environments.

What’s your fondest memory from the forums, or from Ubuntu overall? What’s your worst?

I like it when I help people, but memories that stick out are when I see other people giving my wiki and Web site as answers to other posters. I like it when people find my work useful and I appreciate the feedback.

The worst memory involves someone who said nasty things to me when I tried to help. This poster did the same to other people. Basically, the poster asked people to tell what they think of a site, and snapped at anyone who offered suggestions.

What luck have you had introducing new computer users to Ubuntu?

I have had no luck, only skill. … I have gotten people to use it, and just recently have someone eager to install it and get rid of his former operating system.

What would you like to see happen with Linux in the future? with Ubuntu?

I just hope Linux continues to grow. I don’t care about how many people use it, or statistics, but I feel many people would like to know about it. Ubuntu is one of the best ways to introduce and keep new users.

With Ubuntu, I hope it stays with its philosophy, which is stated on the home page.

If there was one thing you could tell all new Ubuntu users, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to ask!

LaRoza’s home page is here, with the programming wiki here. For more interviews with community members and staff, read Nine Simple Questions.


6 thoughts on “An interview with LaRoza

  1. Bruce Milmine

    I was impressed to find out LaRoza was only 19, and has been a member of the Ubuntu forums since April 2007. That 4600+ bean count convinced me LaRoza was a guru that “by chance” started using Ubuntu last April.

    But after reading this … I guess I’m in shock, would be the closest thing to say!

    This young person displays a degree of intelligence, wisdom and thrust for knowledge far far beyond his/her years.

    An absolutely amazing person.
    LaRoza, I wish you well in all your endeavours.


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