Thomas has a great story, which he touches upon in his answers. Basically, he works in the forests of Sweden to help keep down his expenses. It’s not an uncommon phenomenon. I have an upcoming interview with an American doing something similar in the super-expensive Bay Area. Interestingly, Thomas’s interview doesn’t mention the advantageous pricing of Linux systems. It’s very impressive to see how much work Thomas gets done using just a laptop and an Internet connection. It’s also very impressive that he’s redefined the concept of forest development.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Thomas Backlund, I’m the founder of Blockie.io.
I quit my apartment to live in the forest in a tent to write code. Blockie.io is a kind of a backend-as-a-service (BaaS) where you can build your functionality purely using logical thinking and not doing any coding at all. Besides serving front-end apps, people will be able to hook functionality together in quite interesting ways. I’m really looking forward to see how it will be used when launched.
- Why do you use Linux?
Many reasons. Using Linux on servers feels very obvious and therefore also using it as development environment comes naturally. For a coder it’s just very good with all of the tools it comes with.
- What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
Ubuntu 13.04 64-bit.
- What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?
Cinnamon. I like when the environment is a bit lighter. I have a high-contrast theme on that since I’m coding outdoors and the glare of the sun must be considered.
- What one piece of software do you depend upon with this distribution? Why is it so important?
I wanted something derived from Debian since I’m using that on servers and Ubuntu has good drivers for new hardware.
Software I really depend upon (not Ubuntu-specific) includes Vim, tmux, zsh, and Synapse. I also use a mail-notifier so that I don’t unnecessary peek into the browser and waste time.
- What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?
I use a Samsung Series 9 laptop 15".
- Memory: 8GB
- Processor: Intel Core i7-3517U CPU @ 1.90GHz × 4
- Graphics: Intel Ivybridge Mobile
- Disk: 128GB SSD.
I did have two Catleap monitors hooked up to it before I quit my apartment; Ubuntu 32-bit was then the distro that could handle this, of the ones I tried.
- Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
Sure thing, meet the Blockie.io cat.
Interview conducted August 1, 2013