DebConf10 dates and venue announced
on 31.10.2009, 00:29
in debconf-news
A Few Questions For Gunnar Wolf
on 27.10.2009, 09:23
in interviews

DebConf10 dates and venue announced

published on Sat Oct 31 00:29:00 2009 in debconf-news

The DebConf10 team just sent out a press release announcing the dates and venue for DebConf10 in New York City. Most of the readers of this blog already saw it through some other list, so I’ll just put the dates here and provide the full text plus other relevant info via links.

We hope to see many of you there!

A Few Questions For Gunnar Wolf

published on Tue Oct 27 09:23:35 2009 in interviews

A Few Questions For Gunnar Wolf

How did you end up using Debian and becoming a DD?

I have been a Free Software user for a very long time — In the beginning, without even noticing.

Around 1983, when I was six or seven years old, I started going with my father (a physicist) to the University on friday nights. He taught me the basics of TeX and Emacs; we used it at a Foonly F2 machine. This computer had the first TeX installation outside Stanford. So, yes, I am the proud user of a piece of history.

Being well mentored, by age ten I started picking up programming. Soon afterwards, I got some shareware - And the whole sense of sharing software, allowing people to try before buying just... made sense to me. I wrote some very amateurish shareware (BASIC, DOS), entered the BBS scene in the early 1990s, and started getting involved in some larger projects' development.

By 1995, I was a very happy Amiga user. Amiga faced a dead-end as a platform, though, and I got in contact with the free Unix-like systems, trying to find something usable that could be run on my system. Sadly, my computer lacked a MMU, so only Minix could be run (and it lacked hard disk support). I got stuck for about a year, but got to know some of the systems available by then.

A year later, I got my first formal job, as a systems administrator at a local ISP. I got a PC I could sink my teeth in, so the first thing I did was to try this Linux thingy. I got a Slackware disk, based on kernel 1.0.9, and -trying to get things running- learnt quite a bit. Didn't manage to get the system to a useful state, though, until I finally reached the Mexican Linux User Group.

In 1996, our group rolled a large (1000 copies) edition of RedHat 4.2. I was a RedHat fan until version 6.0, and was briefly involved with a Mexican RedHat derivative (LinuxPPP).

RedHat 7 (around 2000) was a flop quality-wise. They started shaping their distribution towards the corporate desktop, and that was quite different from what I wanted. Also, at that time I was trying to get more involved into Free Software as a developer.

Looking for some quality, I flirted with OpenBSD, but found their system too limited compared to what I have already got used to with Linux, and their community too aggressive. Then, after playing for a couple of months with Debian, I felt right at home there.

I applied for NM in late 2001, being accepted as the first DD in Mexico in April 2003.

How are you currently involved in the Debian project?

My main affiliation is with the pkg-perl and pkg-ruby-extras groups, although my activity has declined in both due to real-life constraints - But I'm always trying to step back in and get back to speed with both. Package-wise, besides this, I am maintaining the Cherokee webserver and few other minor packages.

Besides this, since 2005 (and except for 2008), I have been part of the DebConf organization team. Organizing such a big, complex conference is a real challenge - and a very, very rewarding experience.

And lastly, I have just started working with Jonathan McDowell as a Debian keyring maintainer. I am still picking up some details of this task, but am quite honored by the appointment.

How do you currently use Debian?

Debian is the only operating system I use in the computers controlled by me. My main job is as a systems and network administrator at the Economic Research Institute Mexico's National Autonomous University (IIEc-UNAM); all of our services are run by using Debian.

What do you do when you're not working on Debian?

Umm... Tough one :-}

I very much enjoy biking. It is not like I go out that much often in long rides, but I try to spend at least a couple of hours biking every weekend - Plus, in average, I bike to work three to four days a week.