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An interview with Joeb454

The Ubuntu Forums are blessed with an amazing and wonderful group of staff members. This time around, we have the privilege of hearing from one of the younger and newer additions, a wonderful guy named Joeb454. Be sure to check out his personal blog as well.

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

Well my name is Joe, and if you look hard enough, you’ll find my last name too 😉 I’m 19, from Leicester UK where I go to University (Software Engineering) which is great, as I recently found out one of my lecturers uses Ubuntu too! Hobbies are basically, computers, music & Xbox 360.

I’ll also provide a Desktop (well…laptop) screenshot of what my Desktop currently looks like (I’m using the DustTheme):

Joeb454's desktop on October 9, 2008
Joeb454's desktop

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

I became interested in computers somewhere around 2003, I’m not too sure. We got our first PC in 1997, a Win95 machine with 16MB RAM, a 133Mhz Pentium & a 1.9GB HDD 😀 We then didn’t get another PC until around 2003, which is when I really got into them. Ubuntu came about around Hoary (5.04?), I have no idea how I found it, but it looked good even then, but I couldn’t get it to run. I finally got around to installing Feisty (7.04) around May 2007, and have been running Ubuntu ever since 🙂

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

I joined the forums August 2007 (the 31st if you want specifics), and I didn’t post too much at first, except when I started University in September, when I had long breaks (2-3 hours) I used to browse the forums. It was then I started to realise “hey, I think I know how to fix that” so I started helping. In December, I joined the Ubuntu Forums Beginners Team, who are a great group of people, we just generally try and help out the new guys.

By the beginning of March, I’d accumulated 1,000 posts, which I thought was quite good, however the next thing I knew, I’d got 2,000, then 3,000 and it was only May. I guess that may have helped to decide whether or not I got asked to be Forum Staff in July, which I was offered, and gladly accepted. I enjoy doing it, though it’s not all fun and games.

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

I am indeed, I got accepted around the middle of August this year. I contribute mainly to the forums, as I mentioned above, however I also recommend Ubuntu to people within the community, and make it known that no – I don’t often use Windows. This usually raises some questions which allows me to talk about it a little. I’ve had some luck with getting other people looking at it too. Sometime soon I may be going to a LUG meeting, as recommended by the lecturer I mentioned earlier 🙂 Hopefully I’ll enjoy it!

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

I only use Ubuntu. I do have Windows Vista installed, but it rarely sees the light, I just think it’s a good idea to remember how to use Windows while all my family still use it (I’m the go-to guy). I use Firefox, Xchat, Thunderbird & Amarok quite a lot, they all work just as I want them too. I don’t think I have a favourite application, though my least favourite is definitely Ekiga…It’s the first thing I do on a clean install (apt-get purge ekiga)…I mean, who uses it?!?!

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

There’s been so many fond memories, I can’t even choose, I liked the fact that I got a thread made about whether I was a human or a dog, that was rather funny (my avatar is normally Brian Griffin from Family Guy). The worst memory I have, is probably when I banned a member of the doc team, who made 17 duplicate threads, which I deleted all but 1. I then received a PM which basically declared war on the forums… :p

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

Some, I’ve got a friend running an Ubuntu dual boot on his desktop. He also bought an Eee PC from a forum user (I acted as the middle man, my friend isn’t registered). I’ve also got some people looking at it just by mentioning things it can do – the Live CD is a good example, I recovered all of somebody’s documents using the Live CD 🙂

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

I’m not sure whether I’d like to see it become overly popular, I kind of like being 1337 😉 On a more serious note – it’s great to see it spreading, I’ve noticed a lot of people at University using Linux in some form. I hope Ubuntu (and Linux in general) both continue to grow and improve – I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

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

Don’t be shy, ask questions! There’s IRC for instant support (it can get crowded in there though, the Beginners Team have an IRC group to help too), there’s also the forums, they’re a great place for support, often with quick replies too.

Basically, what I’m saying is – “Don’t give up, just because there are obstacles in the way…stop and think if Windows has never caused you problems, but you want to stick with that??” 😉


  1. twilightomni

    Hi there. Just wanted to say: nice desktop, but what is that main font? Is that Arial by any chance?

  2. drubin

    Nice!! Good old joeb454 🙂

  3. We need to find some way to convert Joeb454’s responses to blackmail.


    (Or am I?)

  4. Joeb454

    @Jacob – no you’re probably not kidding

    @ twilightomni – it’s Liberation Sans actually. It can be found in the FutureLooks 2 pack (it may exist in FutureLooks also).

    A quick Google search should find it easy enough 🙂

  5. nathangrubb

    No mention of tea? You disappoint me joeb454 😛

  6. Nice interview! I still say Joeb454 is a d0rg 😛

  7. forestpixie

    nice one Joe

  8. KongK

    Does Joeb wanna share his conky config-file?

    BTW:Dust is sweeeet!

  9. Joeb454


    No problem, check for some stuff (Like the CPU info) that’s hard-coded in.

    Joeb454’s .conkyrc

  10. KongK


  11. KongK

    @Joeb454: Thanks for the post, I’ve just copy/pasted some bits into my existing conkyrc. I’m a useless programmer, but I’m getting pretty decent at copying 🙂

    Posted two snapshots here:

    Warning: Obscene gestures…

  12. Andrew Morris

    hmm, posting your screenshot in the ‘about you’ section… i wonder what that says about joe as a person…


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