I’m thrilled to say that my next interview is from somebody I feel is an almost under-rated member of the community. Nathan Handler (nhandler) is a member of numerous teams within the community, however I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you, so please do read on.
1. Tell as much as you‚Äôre willing about your ‚Äúreal life‚Äù like name, age, gender, location, family, religion, profession, education, hobbies, etc.
My name is Nathan Handler (nhandler). I live near Chicago, Illinois, USA, where I am an active member of the Ubuntu Chicago LoCo. I am currently a full-time student, and I enjoy contributing to Ubuntu and programming in my free time.
2. When and how did you become interested in computers? in Linux? in Ubuntu?
I have always had an interest in computers. About three years ago, I decided I would make the switch from Windows to Linux. I tried out several different distros. It was Ubuntu’s great support for my hardware, and their excellent forum that convinced me to install it on my computer. I had already been using many open source applications on Windows, so the switch to Ubuntu was not too drastic. Thanks to the help of many users on the forum, I soon had Ubuntu setup the way I wanted it. After that point, I never went back to Windows.
3. When did you become involved in the forums (or the Ubuntu community)? What‚Äôs your role there?
I became involved in the forums shortly after installing Ubuntu. The very active forum was one of the reasons I chose Ubuntu over some other distros. As soon as I had acquired enough knowledge to start helping out, I began answering questions. This eventually led to me joining the Ubuntu Beginners Team, where I currently serve on the Ubuntu Beginners Team Council, and the Ubuntu Unanswered Posts Team. I have always had an interest in programming and development. With the help of many great developers, I began patching and packaging applications. These activities would lead to me becoming an Ubuntu Contributing Developer in July of 2008, a MOTU in December of 2008, and a member of the MOTU Council in
March of 2009. During that time, I also joined many other development-related
4. Are you an Ubuntu member? If so, how do you contribute? If not, do you plan on becoming one?
I am an Ubuntu member. I gained my membership by becoming an Ubuntu Contributing Developer. I am also a Kubuntu member. I mainly contribute to Ubuntu as a developer. However, I also contribute to many other non-development teams.
5. What distros do you regularly use? What software? What‚Äôs your favorite application? Your least favorite?
The only distro that I currently use is Ubuntu. However, I do plan on installing Kubuntu and Debian in the near future. Most of the software I use is for Ubuntu development. However, some other applications that I regularly use include Firefox, vim, irssi, and screen. I do not have a least favorite application.
6. What‚Äôs your fondest memory from the forums, or from Ubuntu overall? What‚Äôs your worst?
This is a hard question to answer. I would have to say that everyday is filled with fond memories. I really enjoy getting to work with so many great people to improve Ubuntu. This fun and friendly community is one of the things I like the most about Ubuntu. My worst memories are when I need to deal with users who insist on not following the rules and guidelines that exist to keep this great community running smoothly.
7. What luck have you had introducing new computer users to Ubuntu?
I have had some success converting a few friends to Ubuntu. They were very impressed with the level of support provided on the forums and on IRC. They also enjoyed having thousands of applications only a few clicks away.
8. What would you like to see happen with Linux in the future? with Ubuntu?
I would like to see awareness of Linux and Ubuntu increase to the point where I can walk up to a random person on the street and talk about Ubuntu and/or Linux without getting a blank look back. Eventually, I hope to see Bug #1 marked as ‘Fix Released’ on Launchpad.
9. If there was one thing you could tell all new Ubuntu users, what would it be?
I would tell them to join a team. Joining a team is a great way to meet other people who share similar interests. It is also an excellent way to begin contributing back to the community.