An interview with Codename

Codename has given us the latest installment in our Ubuntu Community Interviews series. He’s a young guy, polite, friendly, and helpful. He also provides us with an example of thankfulness and service, choosing to help others in the community after recognizing the help he received. Thanks, Mike!

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

Well to start things off my name is Mike, and I’m 18. I’ve always been kind of a computer guy, the family calls me “The Computer Whiz Kid”. I was around computers as a kid so I’ve always kind of liked them and hence the reason I’ve became very fluent on the Ubuntu Forums. I really don’t have a job, but I’m working on becoming a Network administrator soon, so I’m really excited, and I want to fulfill that goal.

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

I became interested in computers at a very young age, I’d probably say when I was 5. The first OS I ever used was probably Windows 3.1 and as a little kid I knew how to run simple commands and go to directories to launch my favorite games, but as time moved on I kept on using Windows until XP came out. The OS wasn’t working out for my needs, so I decided to seek an alternative in 2005 and this is where Linux comes in. I looked at a couple of distributions before looking at Ubuntu. My first distribution I used was Gentoo, I used Gentoo for a little bit and loved it, but I was hearing a lot about “Ubuntu” so I decided to give it a shot. The first thing I loved about it was the interface and the simplicity, so I obviously installed Ubuntu and I loved it, and became my primary OS of choice. At the time I couldn’t believe how easy it was to set everything up and it was an absolutley amazing feeling using an OS that worked almost perfectly for me and fitted my needs.

3. When did you become involved in the forums (or the Ubuntu community)? What’s your role there?

I actually didn’t become involved in the forums until May 2007 I think, I had some video card issues and some very talented people helped me out and since then I just thought I should return the favor that people did for me, which was help others in need. I think my role now at the Ubuntu Forums is network support and general support. When I help someone and that person says “Thanks Codename” there’s no better feeling, for me anyways, because I know now that the problem is obviously solved and they now enjoy Ubuntu without having that issue.

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

Sadly I’m not an Ubuntu member, I do plan on becoming one soon.

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

The distributions I regularly use are probably Sabayon and Ubuntu. I think those two distributions of Linux are really innovative, both have great features and of course very simple. I honestly use a lot of software, but if I had to pick some favorites I’d probably say Pidgin, VLC and Eclipse. I think those programs work flawlessly. Honestly I don’t have a least favorite application. The applications I use I love.

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

My fondest memories of the forums would probably have to be helping people, and receiving satisfaction of helping others that need the help, and when when I see great collaboration going on in the forums, there’s nothing like it. My fondest memory of Ubuntu actually is probably when I got my wireless and video card working! Even though that’s not much, that’s really the only problems I’ve had with Ubuntu, and when I got two things to work, everything worked perfectly. My worst memory with Ubuntu is getting frustrated at the issues I’m having, but if there’s anything I’ve learned from using Linux is patience is the key, and once you have patience you can probably fix any issue you have.

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

I’ve actually had great luck. I now have at least 3-4 people that I personally know switch to Ubuntu because I’ve stated the advantages of Ubuntu and why they might like the OS. I tell them remember “Linux is not Windows” and if you have any trouble, let me know and usually I don’t hear back from them because everything just works for them, which is an awesome feeling.

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

I’d definitely like to see Linux in general expand on to the desktop market, which we have kind of seen today. I mean Dell offers computers pre-installed with Ubuntu which is great. I also love the fact that Asus has the option you can buy a Eee PC with Linux pre-installed, I think that’s a step forward. I wish for Ubuntu and Linux in general the best.

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

Remember new users, research the forums and have patience, and believe me it will pay off sooner or later. The forums are also a great place to learn and expand your Linux knowledge, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you have researched your question and nothing comes up, then by all means please ask the quetsion and I’m sure one of the talented people on the forums can help you! Just hang in there.