People of openSUSE: Jakub Steiner

Jakub Steiner

Independently of how many new application features and fixes a distribution release, doesn’t matter much if the distribution doesn’t look great, and users know it for sure!

So, today we are proud to introduce to the world one of the openSUSE UX members team – Jakub Steiner.

Please introduce yourself!

I’m a 33 year old boy, never managed to ‘grow up’. Yet I have a 2 year old daughter. I live in the Czech republic.

Tell us about the background to your computer use.

Since the first time my dad brought a ZX Spectrum home I got hooked. Not exactly sure what was so appealing about them. Perhaps the fact I was never bored. Most versatile toy. I have more gadgets and computers than I can find an actual use for these days.

When and why did you start using openSUSE/SUSE Linux?

I first heard about SUSE from a friend. I’m really unsure when this was exactly, 1998 I suppose. I was happy running Redhat at the university, but had a really bad internet connection at home. SUSE came on like 6 CDs (when CD-Rs were pricey and buffer underruns common), essentially shipping every free software package out there, so it did have an appeal.

But I am actually a very fresh SUSEist :-) I only switched to openSUSE on all my boxes at v10.3.

When did you join the openSUSE community and what made you do that?

Very late. Since Novell acquired Ximian I have been working on the SLE Cleaning up the rough visual edges.products rather than openSUSE. But SLED isn’t a good choice if you want bleeding edge software. So to be able to keep up with GIMP & Inkscape development, I started running openSUSE. I started doing branding work for it since 10.1 I think. Maybe here and there earlier.

In what way do you participate in the openSUSE project?

Cleaning up the rough visual edges.

What especially motivates you to participate in the openSUSE project?

Seeing ugliness. I wish I had a more noble motivation, but since I started using Linux it’s been all about trying to fix things not to look horrible.

What do you think was your most important contribution to the openSUSE project/community or what is the contribution that you’re most proud of?

Definitely the Tango project. It wasn’t created specifically as a SUSE project, but SUSE has always shipped a wide collection of free software and SUSE users suffered from clashing visual inconsistency. Tango’s main goal is to unify the visual style of application icons.

When do you usually spend time on the openSUSE project?

Luckily I get to work on openSUSE-related things during work hours from time to time. My free time has shrunk to a minimum since I have become the caring father.

Three words to describe openSUSE? Or make up a proper slogan!

Your hardware supported.

What do you think is missing or underrated in the distribution or the project?

Community packaging. We have the excellent Build System, but going to a web page to perform searches is not a good workflow. Zypper might suggest package matches in unsubscribed build system repos when doing searches.

What do you think the future holds for the openSUSE project?

I’d like to see openSUSE derived projects that tackle a specific audience/niche. Today you mainly have a big distro trying to address the needs of a home file server, desktop, school workstation or a home theater system at the same time. I would like to see openSUSE as a component platform for people to build a software distribution with a purpose. We have projects like kiwi that allow this to happen.

A person asks you why he/she should choose openSUSE instead of other distribution/OS. What would be your arguments to convince him/her to pick up openSUSE?

Well obviously openSUSE looks best. ;)

Which members of the openSUSE community have you met in person?

I’ve met a lot of people at GUADEC, FOSDEM, but also visited the Cambridge, Nuremberg and Prague offices a few times. Someone who I have huge respect for is Michael Meeks, who just manages to get so much done wherever he may be.

How many icons are currently on your desktop?

Around 20 or so. I wish my actual desk was this clean.

What is the application you can’t live without? And why?

Web browser. Love all the new web apps.

Which application or feature should be invented as soon as possible?

I really wish I could manage and edit my home videos effortlessly with free software. It’s such a daunting task.

Which is your preferred text editor? And why?

Vim. It’s everywhere and I got used to it.

Which famous person would you want to join the openSUSE community?

Famous people isn’t what openSUSE needs. I would like to see young people join openSUSE.

Which computer related skills would you like to have?

I wish I would remember things. That’s actually something I blame computers for.

The Internet crashes for a whole week. How would you feel, what would you do?

The whole Wiik?

Which is your favorite movie scene?

Since I lived in a centrally planned economy I greatly enjoyed Brazil.

Terry Gilliam is really a genius for impressively depicting the tragic and comedy of, say, a plumber (Bob Hoskin’s character, the repairman) having so much impact on your life. This movie is so full of real-life Czechoslovakian absurdity it’s amazing. And of course the secretary’s typewriter transcription of the torture. That movie is just brilliant on so many levels.

Star Trek or Star Wars?

Definitely Red Dwarf.

What is your favorite food and drink?

Since my espresso machine has been gone for service, I am realizing it’s coffee. I don’t think I have a favorite food. I love too many. One thing that I heard sounds very odd for US folks is a baked rabbit with cream sauce, dumplings and cranberry sauce.

Favorite game or console (in your childhood and nowadays)?

I loved Elevator action on the arcades, Great Escape on the speccy, Enemy Territory on the PC and most recently SSX Blur on the Wii and God of War — Chains of Olympus on the PSP. I like all sorts of games, but I am really impressed what Nintendo managed to do with the Wii.

Which city would you like to visit?

Tokyo, when I can afford it.

What is your preferred way to spend your vacation?

With a kid, that’s a highly theoretical question. Good food and nice people is what I wish for when going somewhere.

Someone gives you $1.000.000. What would you do with the money?

Exchange it to a different currency as fast as possible.

If traveling through time was possible, when would we be most likely to meet you?

I very much like it now.

There’s a thunderstorm outside. Do you turn off your computer?

Which one?

Have your ever missed an appointment because you forgot about it while sitting at your computer?

I am able to forget what I wanted on the way to the kitchen. I will be a serious laugh at 60 if I ever live that long.

Show us a picture of something, you have always wanted to share!

I share things fairly regularly with people on flickr, twitter, delicious and all the feed planets. But thanks for the offer :)

You couldn’t live without…

My better half & my daughter.

Which question was the hardest to answer?

This one.

What other question would you like to answer? And what would you answer?

Nah, I think I had enough :-) Thank you.