The Linux Setup – Mike Saunders, Linux Voice

I was a huge fan of the TuxRadar podcast for years, so I was both shocked and curious when the team behind it, which was also the editorial team for Linux Format magazine announced they were leaving the magazine and podcast. They left for Linux Voice a new magazine (and podcast) that will also help fund free and open source projects.

The magazine is funded via an indiegogo campaign and the team hit their £90,000 funding goal this week. Linux Format was a great magazine, but it was insanely expensive, especially for those of us in the United States, and the electronic subscription options also weren’t fantastic. Linux Voice addresses a lot of those problems, making it available across formats and geographies for a reasonable subscription price (issues will also be available for free nine months after publication). I can’t wait to get my first issue.

This week’s setup is from Mike Saunders, part of the new Linux Voice team (and a former editor for Linux Format). He’s an Xfce guy, which tells you he can be trusted. And who doesn’t need more Nintendo simulators in their workflow?

You can find more of The Linux Setup here.

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  1. Who are you, and what do you do?

    I’m Mike Saunders, a Linux journalist. I worked for many years on Linux Format, and now I’m helping to launch Linux Voice, a crowdfunded magazine that will give its profits and content back to the awesome Free Software community:

  2. Why do you use Linux?

    I came from an Amiga background, so I’d never spent much time with Windows. When I started with Linux (Red Hat 5.2 back in 1998), the hardware detection was pretty poor and it took a lot of work to get everything set up. But I loved the freedom to tinker, explore the source code, and make modifications. As I got onto the internet properly, I found the most amazing, passionate (and often argumentative!) community.

  3. What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?

    Xubuntu 13.04 at the moment. I really like the Debian underpinnings, and I’ve been using Xfce for years. Before that I was a big fan of Window Maker.

  4. What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?

    See above. Also, Xfce has the best of all worlds: it’s fast, it’s configurable, and it fits in well with GTK apps. It’s a great choice for those who aren’t happy with the direction GNOME 3 took.

  5. What one piece of software do you depend upon with this distribution? Why is it so important?

    I couldn’t live without ZSNES, the awesome Super NES/Famicom emulator. But it’s not so distro-specific 🙂 Really, there’s nothing specific in Xubuntu that I couldn’t get elsewhere — it effectively provides me with a stable and up-to-date Debian system.

  6. What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?

    Currently an Asus K52F laptop. It’s not very high-specced, but I’ve never owned top-of-the-line machines. Part of the appeal of Linux to me is that it works great on old hardware, and I don’t have to upgrade every few months.

  7. Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?


Mike Saunder's desktop

Interview conducted November 11, 2013

The Linux Setup is a feature where I interview people about their Linux setups. The concept is borrowed, if not outright stolen, from this site. If you’d like to participate, drop me a line.

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