An interview with frodon

frodon has a lot in common with many community members — and that’s probably because he has a lot of interests. Music, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Linux, Perl programming — you name it, frodon has probably tried it … and is interested in it. An Ubuntu user since the Hoary Hedgehog release, frodon was part of the group that brought you the Ubuntu Document Storage Facility — which unfortunately closed shop only a few weeks ago, after years of service. His contributions to the community are as numerous as his interests; read on to get a glimpse of the Frenchman behind the nickname. …

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

frodon’s avatarIn general I don’t tell much about myself on Internet, except with people I have known for a long time. But anyway, I will try to tell a little about myself. I’m a 27-year-old French man and have a rather technical job for which I use Linux as the main OS. In general I’m interested in anything Linux-related and try to learn more each day. My favorite programming language is Perl and maybe you will think I’m crazy, but I’m always having fun writing Perl scripts.

Except for Linux I have two main hobbies: Enemy Territory and music.

As for music, I’ve always played in a band since I was 20. In my current band I play bass guitar and hand drums. Music is surely what creates the greatest satisfaction for me in my life (except my girlfriend, family, friends and so on, obviously 😉 ).

My second hobby is Enemy Territory. With some friends I met in the game, we started an Enemy Territory community six months ago, running two games on a server (at this time) and supported by a website and a forum for communication. Feel free to join the fun; I would be happy to kill you 😛

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

I became really interested in computers (more than just for gaming) mainly when I got my first internet connection — and guess what? It was at this same period that I started to use Linux.

I’m one of those who always saw computers around him, but I can’t remember what was the first computer we had. But I know the second one we had was a well known 386 — so it gives you an idea.

Basically two months after I got my Internet connection my computer had so many viruses than I had to re-install Windows, and that’s what I did. Just five minutes after I re-installed Windows and plugged in my ethernet cable, I got viruses again. So it was too much for me.

I was already used to Linux from my job, but never thought of having it at home. A friend of mine told me that Ubuntu was an easy distribution to start with, so I just burnt the Ubuntu Hoary CD and installed Ubuntu on my computer — and was more than surprised to see everything working out of the box.

This is how I started using Linux and Ubuntu at home.

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

I guess this is the classic story of an Ubuntu beginner enjoying the amazing experience of the Ubuntu Forums.

I joined the forums in June 2005, first to learn more about Ubuntu and to solve my first install issues. But then I was so amazed to see how good the support was (compared to nonexistent Windows support) and how interested were the forum users in helping others. Then each time I solved a problem I started to search for forum users with same issue, to help them.

After some time I decided to change my way of contributing a little, and started to write some tutorials and invest time in the UDSF project. This was surely one of the greatest experiences I had here. I will never forget all the people who invested time and believed in this project — compiledkernel, SD-plissken, manicka, tseliot, lambert, bonzodog, bodhi-zazen, Artificial Intelligence. …

This project has stopped but I have no regrets, as I am convinced we did this with good motivations and did the best we could, so I only have good memories about the UDSF.

One of the things I enjoy here is providing support and writing complete tutorials to help users to accomplish some advanced tasks.

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

Yes I am, I contribute mainly through the forums and Launchpad bug reporting, and in the past through the UDSF project.

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

I only use Ubuntu and have no plans to use any other distro, as Ubuntu just fits my needs. As for the software I prefer there’s a lot, but XChat, Rhythmbox and Epiphany are definitely the software I enjoy and use the most.

I have no least favorite application but in general I tend to prefer GNOME apps over KDE apps as they are better integrated into my GNOME desktop. But I still use some KDE apps like K3b.

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

My fondest memory is surely all these small moments where a person, who believed his computer dead or his Ubuntu installation definitively corrupted, sees his problem solved and you can feel the happiness of this person behind the screen.

It’s what gave me the motivation to invest time here and still gives. Nothing is more pleasant than to help someone and make him recover his smile.

The worst memories I have on the forums are definitely related to some big flamewars we had on some hot topics, like Automatix, Linspire CnR, and so on.

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

I almost converted all my friends interested in computers and still distribute Ubuntu CDs to any friend I feel is potentially interested by Linux and what it offers.

In general Ubuntu talks for itself and I have nothing to do to convince the person as long as this person is interested in computers.

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

What I would love to see is big computer sellers seeing Linux as one of the option to sell their products, and to be honest we are not that far from this.

Once this this done I’m sure that the main remaining issues with Linux will surely disappear as Linux compatibility will be imposed upon hardware manufacturers.

I really long for this moment to come for the benefit of all.

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

We will support you! 😀

Keep up with frodon’s contributions to the Ubuntu community through his Launchpad page. For more interviews with community and staff members, read Nine simple questions.


8 thoughts on “An interview with frodon

  1. Pingback: Nine simple questions « Motho ke motho ka botho

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