Linux is great. I found Arjen while trying to learn more about SolusOS. SolusOS was briefly mentioned on a Tux Radar podcast, so I started Googling around to find more details, but without the proper spelling, I wound up discovering SolydXK, a rolling distribution that’s basically Linux Mint Debian Edition with Xfce and KDE desktops. I contacted Arjen, the man behind SolydXK, and the result is a great interview with someone who sees the business strengths of Linux, open source software, and perhaps most importantly, communities.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Arjen Balfoort. I live in a small town in the south of Holland with my wife, and two small kids. I’m a business consultant by trade. I help management and directors of businesses, and non-profit organizations to analyze and change their business processes so that they better align with their business strategy and adapt more quickly to a faster, ever-changing environment.
- Why do you use Linux?
I’m a strong believer in the “open” philosophy. Although the term “open” is ambiguous to say the least, and therefor often misinterpreted, I can tell you what is the most important aspect of this philosophy in regard to the use Linux: I believe that a true networked organization has a strong community. Products are not leading, but the needs, talents, and knowledge in that community are. What’s better than to use a hobby to show businesses, and non-profit organizations the importance of a community? Now, the subject of the explanation is becoming the main subject. I never anticipated SolydXK’s success, and I never anticipated I’d have so much fun doing it.
- What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
My main distribution is SolydK 64-bit. This has been the most stable development environment for me since I started SolydXK.
- What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?
SolydK runs KDE. KDE is a beautiful desktop environment. It’s stable, and versatile, not to mention it’s my first love since I first started using Linux.
- What one piece of software do you depend upon with this distribution? Why is it so important?
It is incredibly difficult to pick out one single piece of software if you need to maintain a distribution. However, if I have to pick one, I’d pick Ninja-IDE.
Ninja-IDE is the Python IDE in which I develop all my custom applications for SolydXK. It’s a new-comer, just like SolydXK, and even with its odd quirks, I like it very much!
- What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?
It’s an old beast, over six years old, which I initially built for gaming:
- Motherboard: Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe, dual-core, 64-bit
- Graphics: Nvida GeForce 9800 GT
- Memory: 4GB
- HD: 4TB
- Super silent fans, and rubber isolated case.
Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
My desktop is plain vanilla SolydK. No changes were made.
Interview conducted August 25, 2013