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The People Who Support Linux

 

The Linux Foundation's individual members help to support the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and other important activities that advance Linux, while getting a variety of other fun and valuable benefits. It is this collective support from thousands of individual members that enables The Linux Foundation to provide important services for industry and community. That is why we're launching a new Linux.com series today that profiles these individuals and that begins to collectively illustrate a very important part of the Linux community. 

 

The series begins with Matthew Fernandez, a senior application developer based in Sydney, Australia. Matthew has been using Linux since 2001 and just recently became a Linux Foundation member.

 

 

How do you use Linux? At work? At home?

 

Fernandez: I had dabbled with Linux in school, but I really only got into it at university. With the exception of my partner, very few things excite me as much as open source software; and Linux, as an open source operating system, struck a chord with me. These days I use Linux on several machines at home for development, email and web browsing; as a server; as a media center; and on my phone.

 

You recently joined The Linux Foundation as an individual member. Can you share with us why you joined and what you hope to get out of membership?

 

Fernandez: I joined because I've been using Linux for years. I find it an inspiring community and I had $99 to spare! Kernel development is something I'd like to get into eventually and The Linux Foundation provides some great resources for learning more about the kernel and the developer community. Membership with the Foundation (from my few weeks of experience) is a great way to stay on top of new developments in Linux and connect with the Linux community. To be honest, more than any of these reasons, I joined to give something back to a community that has made such a big difference in my daily life.

What member benefit are you looking forward to taking advantage of the most?

 

Fernandez: The Briefing Book is fantastic; although, I don't know if that counts because I've already been taking advantage of it in these first few weeks. Sadly {there are} no hardware discounts for me, because I live in Australia; although, I am excited about the discount conference registration and books. Oh, I just noticed I get ThinkGeek discounts!

What's your advice for your fellow Linux users?

 

Fernandez: Keep doing what you're doing. The Linux developer community is the most impressive and successful group in the IT world. Linux is making progress in leaps and bounds. In terms of end users, Linux is being adopted by more and more people every day. Over the past ten years I've had many of my non-geeky friends (I like to refer to them as civilians) ask me questions like: "Hey, what's this Linux thing I've been hearing about? Should I be using Linux?" The biggest message to people new to Linux is this: Linux is easy. Live CDs and distros with GUIs preconfigured have removed many of the previous barriers to adopting Linux as your primary operating system. It's free; what have you got to lose?

What's your favorite, latest Linux innovation?

 

Fernandez: Everybody's been raving about KVM, but personally, for me, the biggest gain in each successive release (although it's not really "innovation") is device drivers. The day I updated my laptop's kernel and discovered the wireless now worked out-of-the-box without wpasupplicant fiddling was a good day. Device support is probably the single biggest barrier to consumer adoption of Linux (at least among the people I speak to). Yesterday my extremely non-geeky partner asked me if I would install Linux on her laptop. Now that's impressive :)

 

To learn more about becoming an individual member of The Linux Foundation, please visit The Linux Foundation member website.

 

 

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