My Platform for the 2020 openSUSE Board Election

Introduction and Biography

I began my Linux journey in 2003 back when you could go into nearly any local software store and buy a boxed set of SUSE, Redhat or Mandrake. After a few months of trying to start out the easy way, I went with Mandrake, and stuck with it as it became Mandriva. It was about 2005, I gave openSUSE my first spin due to better hardware support with dial up modems and sharing the blazing 56 kbaud speed with the other computers on the network. I found it had all these fantastic additional tools to make life easier and I ultimately shifted to openSUSE full time in 2011. Even after some distro hopping I just happened to enjoy the structure and layout of the openSUSE project as a whole. It just made sense as compared to the other available offerings.

I started contributing to openSUSE in 2013 when I had a need to document the process to set up using the smart card system for openSUSE Linux. I compiled the works from several sources to make an easy to follow, repeatable process to properly set up the smart card. I enjoyed it so much, I started to update and contribute to as many instructions that I could write to with some level of knowledge. I discovered at that point I started to really enjoy documenting the processes of getting things working or adjusting things to work for specific use cases and rather than just keep my instructions for myself only, I used the fantastic openSUSE wiki to share my knowledge.

My career has been largely focused on Computer Aided Design and with some recent changes, I have been given the great privileged of using Linux exclusively for such activities. openSUSE is now my preferred platform to do everything from CAD, 3D Printing, Video Editing, creating Christmas Light shows to music to just everyday word-processing and data management.

As far as hobbies go, beyond playing with anything Linux, I enjoy retro tech; especially the Commodore 64, well, pretty much anything Commodore but the 64 was my first computer. Beyond playing games, I have been able to get my Commodore 64 online and chatting in IRC rooms to enforce that just because something is old, doesn’t mean it is obsolete.

Another hobby of mine that openSUSE makes incredibly more enjoyable is baking. Using an all-in-one Desktop with openSUSE Leap, GNOME Recipes and Firefox, I am able to access my local repository of cookies, cakes, pies and pastries as well as readily have access to a whole world of new recipes. Thanks to openSUSE and its many tools, it has made my kitchen life much more fun and efficient.

Why I am running for the openSUSE Board

In my incredibly biased opinion, I think openSUSE is the best distribution of Linux but not just for Leap and Tumbleweed, for everything else that goes along with it: the Open Build Service, openQA, Kiwi and YaST. There is an incredible story to be told about what makes openSUSE great. Over the years, I have developed what I consider an almost unhealthy obsession with the project. It just does so much effortlessly. I make a point to spread the good news of what openSUSE has to offer. I make it a point to tell this story and share it with whomever is interested. I would like to continue the tell and further refine that story whether or not I am elected to the board.

The impact I would like to make as a member of the openSUSE Board

As an official member of the board, it will be my mission to be an ambassador of the project to as many communities of which I am able and share what makes openSUSE great. For reasons that don’t make sense, openSUSE is often not in the broader conversation and it needs to be there. All the fantastic innovations and refinements to Linux and the related open source software need to be told.

My second mission is to do my best to network within the community to the best of my ability to continue to improve and refine the openSUSE documentation through wiki to make openSUSE even more accessible for anyone interested. It is my ambition to assist in understanding how to work with openSUSE as clear as possible. I want to make the learning process of the openSUSE project as enjoyable as possible. openSUSE should have the best, clearest, easiest to understand and approachable wiki out there.

My third mission is a selfish one. It is to make openSUSE the go-to distribution for all things in the engineering and manufacturing industry. Linux has been creeping into the industry more and more and it only makes sense that openSUSE should be the distribution of choice for the home hobbiest, small and large businesses alike. Not only are Leap and Tumbleweed technically very sound distributions but the additional components, OBS, openQA and the Wiki make it the ideal ecosystem to deploy a targeted spin of the distribution or series of meta packages to bolt onto Leap or Tumbleweed to serve the industry.

Why should openSUSE members vote for me

I will be open and accessible to openSUSE members and the community. I will remain positive and highlight all the good in the project and the people within it. I will make a concerted effort to improve training and empowering users to learn, grow and own their hardware through openSUSE and it’s tools. As a board member, I will do my best to network with the right individuals to bring about further improvements to the project. I will make it a point to uplift and edify the many contributors and make sure they know how grateful I am, along with the community for their time and talents. I want to ensure that openSUSE is the open, welcoming and grateful community of which to be a part.

Whether I am elected to the board or not, this entire process is a win for me. I am thrusting myself in front of the openSUSE community and in this process, I hope to get to know as many of the wonderful contributors as possible. My hope is that I become more known so that I may better contribute to documentation and make working with openSUSE even more enjoyable and individually empowering for all.

One thing people would find interesting about me that is not well known

I have not made it a secret that I am a fan of old tech and especially Commodore. As a teenager, I made a game for the Amiga in the 1990s called Gator Mania. It is a 2D platform side scrolling game. I spent well over a year programming in AMOS Professional where I had to create my own method of displaying the screen tiles with the limited graphics memory, created my own file format for the game levels, and wrote a level builder. I did the pixel art (with the help of an artist friend), character animation and for the time, created the best (in my opinion) character physics for what I believe to be very good playability. The only area I didn’t improve enough was the frame rate. I wanted to do more with the game but the Amiga, thanks to Commodore’s mismanagement and perhaps some other things, fizzled out on me and I sort of moved away from the platform.

Contact information




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CubicleNate on Twitter

Also accessible on Discord and Matrix @CubicleNate

Further Reading
User Page on openSUSE Wiki with Contributions

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