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Ryan Abrams

IRC nick(s): flipsidejones

Role in SMGL: Project Leader

Age/Birthdate: 24

Location/Country: Frisco TX, USA


When did you first start using Linux and why?

Note: All of the following is an old rambling train of thought. Will be revised shortly, assuming I don't forget. My thoughts have changed a bit I think. :-)

I honestly don't remember when exactly I tried Linux. I know it was in 1999, and I believe I tried Corel Linux first. I had an old laptop I tried putting it on, but it didn't ever make it past the bootloader screen to the installer. A few months later I tried RedHat, never finished the installer (again), and finally settled on Debian as it a) worked and b) seemed cool.

I tried it because it was something I hadn't played with before. But after installing it, I went straight back to BeOS on the desktop, and never looked at it again.

When Be started dying, I went back to Debian, and tried it on the desktop for a while. When I figured out how to make sound and the NVidia drivers work, I was pretty excited. I played with it a few months, got pretty good at it, and then installed a leaked beta of BeOS R6. It was bitter sweet, and when Be finally died, I vowed never again to be put in a situation where my computing future rested in the hands of a single company. I then promptly sold my desktop, and purchased an Apple powerbook g4. Yes, I am that dumb.

I still own the powerbook, and have to admit I am impressed. I use it regularly. But it isn't the end state. To that end, I run SGL on a dual boot w/ my work machine, and use it more often than the powerbook. I also run test iso's and such in Virtual PC on my mac.

I will continue to use all computing options (and windows does not count as an option), but I will always rely solely on SGL. It can't be taken away, and it is by far the most amazing system I have ever used, on any platform.

How long have you been using the SMGL distribution?

I have been using SMGL since I became involved in it. I actually was active in the community before I was running it. This was just because I liked the concept and wanted it to live on. When I did install SMGL a week or so after getting involved, I was blown away, and have been using it ever since.

What piqued your interest in SMGL initially?

Slashdot. I heard about the distro being in trouble, and had been looking to help an open source project for ideological reasons. I emailed the creator of the original (now non-free) Sorcerer, asking to help out on web development. He told me I misunderstood and should send him money and/or hardware (which I didn't have) but not help. I was not very pleased, and was ready to leave. But I was still curious, and kept checking the site. I became involved when I saw that he quit and tried to take the distro with him. The confusing bothered me, and I decided to jump into the fray and help. It sorta grew from there.

What future do you personally see for SMGL?

I see a very strong future for SMGL. I believe Source-Based distro's are the next step in the growth of linux, as it offers an advantage that no closed-source system can match.

I think we are new enough that we can learn from all the existing distro's strengths, and create something that will rival the current top distros in a very short period of time.

I personally hope that as we grow, we can hold on to the close-knit feel of the distro, and the freedom/choice that it provides in comparison to other distros. One of the reasons I was so BeOS happy is because it felt like the developers paid attention to the users. When the company went public, that changed, and it stopped being fun. I don't ever want that to change for SGL, because I think it should always be fun.

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

Well, I have a bachelors in Media Communications from Florida State University. I am currently employed as a Consultant in the Consulting Practice of a large privately held company. What that means is that I look for ways to do things better, and then help people to implement them. It's fun. :-)

My skills are many and few. I have a background in programming, mostly in Pascal and a bit of C++ before I moved over to the web and PHP programming.

I think my core skill is communication. I can translate between geek and suit (two very different languages) and I consider myself to be a relatively skilled writer.

Any personal messages for the Source Mage users out there?

A ton. But most of them would be creepy stuff about fighting advertising, corporate criminals, etc. And there would be one about how the only thing that could kill free software is world wide legislation.. because corporations have no way to compete on their own. Free software is immortal.. it can just "wait out" the competition, while slowly and steadily gaining the features it needs, and acceptance by corporate refugees. So support the EFF, FSF, and (assuming they turn out ok) GeekPAC.

Also, in the realm of creepy anti-corporate stuff, read "No Logo" by Naomi Klein and "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" by Gregory Palast. If that stuff doesn't make you happy your computer is truly free (and scare the hell out of you in the process), nothing will.

And oh yeah.. have fun.

What other OS programs/software have you worked on?

Other OS's / Projects : Used BeOS, MacOS X, Win2k, OS/2, Debian, DOS.
Projects: Mostly web projects. Used to work on various BBS's, including OBV/2 boards.


vi or emacs?






Strictly personal

Do you have any family?

I have family, but none in the wife/kids sense.

What other hobbies?

I play a few instruments halfway.. such as a bit of guitar, a bit of keyboard, and a very tiny bit of drums. I used to have a band, and we recorded a CD on our own. You can grab the tracks (under Free Audio License) here: (insert URL whenever I bother to put the songs online. ;-P)

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

I drive a 99 silver hyundai tiburon with a missing hubcap and a scratch on the left of the back bumper. ;-) It does the job, and is pretty zippy. :-) More importantly, it's paid for. :-D

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

None Available.. yet. MwuhahahahahAHAHAHAHAHA. ;-P