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Jason Flatt

IRC nick(s): Oadae (mostly Oadae-away) (Just in case anyone's wondering, it's the initials of my kids.)

Role in SMGL: Section maintainer for printer

Age/Birthdate: 37

Location/Country: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA


When did you first start using Linux and why?

The very first time I installed Linux, was about 4 or 5 years ago when I installed Slackware to an EZDrive 135. I played with it off and on for a couple of weeks, but eventually left it alone. I played around with Linux, off and on, but it was just more of a hobby than anything else.

In late 2000 or early 2001, I got tired of Microsoft and their marketing ways and determined that I was going to learn about Linux and the top distributions. I started installing various distributions and playing with them until I got a feel for what I liked and disliked about the various distros. I finally settled on RedHat 7.1. While I messed around in Linux quite a bit, I didn't really consider myself a Linux user until the summer of 2001 when I switched my e-mail client from a Windows-based client to a Linux-based client. Since then Linux has been my primary OS.

The ultimate reason I switched is that I had determined that I was not going to let someone else tell me what I could and could not do with my computer, and that's where I saw Microsoft and Windows heading (if it's not there already.)

How long have you been using the SMGL distribution?

I started using Sorcerer back in mid January 2002. I had read the distrowatch review, and I was very interested. It sounded like it had many advantages that I wanted. By this time I had been using RedHat long enough to know that I had traded one sloth for another by switching from Windows. By all rights, I should not have been able to install it at that time, 'cause that's about the time the /. effect hit Sorcerer, but I was determined to get and install this distro. After a bit of poking, I was able to locate a little known and little used mirror of the Sorcerer tarball. I downloaded and installed the 20020118 ISO, and switched from Red Hat about three weeks later, to never look back.

What piqued your interest in SMGL initially?

I guess the two things that I most liked about Sorcerer were the ability to really pick and choose what I wanted installed or not, and the package management capabilities. I liked the other advantages as well, but I think those were the two biggies for me. I had the two extremes: RedHat and LFS, and Sorcerer seemed like a good compromise.

What future do you personally see for SMGL?

I think that Source Mage GNU/Linux is going to have a hill to climb during this year, because all of the momentum is toward Sorcerer <WHATEVER>/Linux. I believe that if the team can stay together and keep on a time line with a definite goal in mind, SMGL will come out as a clear leader in the Linux distribution world within the next year or two.

I would really like it to be THE OS I install. The recent idea of themes (or whatever it was called) where I could take a single CD and use it to install a workstation or a SAMBA server or a Web server or whatever on any computer would be a really huge step in that direction.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Education/Career/Skills?

Hmmm, I started playing w/the TRS-80 Model I my dad bought for his business. Mostly games, but also programming in BASIC. I have been involved with computers in one facet or another since the late seventies, but mostly at a hobby level.

I took a tour of a computer laboratory while I was in high school, and I was introduced to a mini-computer that was programmed with COBOL via punch cards. I determined at that time to become a veterinarian. :^) I never became a veterinarian, but I kept playing w/computers until I determined that what I really wanted to be was programmer.

I have been working in the computer field for about 10 years, first as a software tester, now as a consultant. I have taught myself most of what I have learned and know, including in earning my CCNA and MCSE. I spent 1-2 years attempting to earn a degree in Computer Science, but I determined that I needed to pay my bills first, and not waste time and money failing classes because I didn't have time to study. :^(

Any personal messages for the Source Mage users out there?

Keep up the fabulous work! We're going places! (Hmmm, what other cliches can I think of?) :^)

What other OS programs/software have you worked on?

Using (& tweaking) OSs: MS-DOS from 3 to 6, Windows from 3.1 to 2000, excluding ME. I installed a trial version of Minix on an XT, once. It was fun, but took too much work to boot up on two floppies, so it disappeared.

Programming: some C and C++ for the two projects mentioned above, and a lot of personal stuff which has never seen the light of day. Also, database-based programs for clients – mostly in Microsoft Access (I'm switching clients to Open Source and Web based solutions). I aspire to develop a program for my Handspring Visor which will allow me to better organize myself than the current software offerings do.

Languages: BASIC, ForTran (the only university course I took), Pascal, C, C++, SQL, HTML, VBA and PERL. I'm currently learning PHP and BASH. Although I must admit that I haven't used ForTran since the university, Pascal in over 10 years, C or C++ in over 7 years, and I probably couldn't create a "Hello, World." program to save my life. I am pretty good at reading code, however, and figuring out what is going on – even in languages I am unfamiliar with.


vi or emacs?

It was vi until Kyle converted me to nano. I'm desparately trying to escape to something more powerful, but nano is like candy, quick and easy to get hooked on w/o a lot of substance. I've got the keystrokes embedded in my fingers now.


At version 2.2, KDE won my desktop. Before that I was pretty much undecided. We'll see if GNOME takes over in version 2.0.


I don't necessarily totally agree w/either, but if I have to choose between the two, I'll choose GPL.

Strictly personal

Do you have any family?

I am married (for 14 years) to a midwife. I have 4 sons, ages 9, 7, 5 & 2. Oh, yeah, dad, mom, brother, sister and various other relatives.

What kind of car do you drive? Or what is your dream car?

We are a two-Suburban-family (I can't stand mini-vans). I would like to own and drive a rodded out 1956 Chevrolet. I'm leaning toward a Two-Ten Beauville, because it would fit my whole family, but I'd probably settle for anything else in the time period. :^)

Please attach a recent photograph of yourself – if you're brave enough ;=)

The only recent photo I have of myself is on my Costco card. :^)