Linc is a fan of MATE because it works well across all kinds of hardware. That’s a smart move. I’m running GNOME on Ubuntu and OpenSUSE, and not having to think about my desktop environment simplifies things. Also, Linc reached out to me via the contact form. If you’d like to be interviewed (even though I’m ridiculously behind in them…) or say hello, go right ahead!
- Who are you, and what do you do?
I am Linc Fessenden, a consummate computer geek and one of the founders of The Linux Link Tech Show, and the Lehigh Valley Linux Users Group, among other things. I am currently working as a Linux engineer in Southern California, for Sequenom, Inc., where I do all things Linux including building and managing several high performance computer clusters used in genetic testing. On the rare occasion I have spare time, I am riding my motorcycles 😉
- Why do you use Linux?
Years ago, at another job, I was handed a SCO server and told to make it work. I needed to learn “how to UNIX,” so I set about trying to find something similar I could do at home to learn on and landed on Linux. This was back in the Yggdrasil days (I am dating myself here), followed closely by early Slackware. Linux was just the ticket, and a way for me to learn at home and that is what I did. It wasn’t very long after that when I got my first X display compiled and running, which prompted me to ditch the use of any other OS. I have been a professional Linux geek ever since.
What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
As I mentioned before, Slackware was my mainstay for many years, but I switched to Linux Mint in its early days and have just stuck with it up through its current version.
What desktop environment do you use and why do you use it?
I use MATE most often. Although I really like Cinnamon, which is the default, I often use multiple differently spec’d systems and MATE seems to be the best fit for a level playing field across all of them, so I just sort of stick with it.
What one piece of Linux software do you depend upon? Why is it so important?
Hands down it’s ssh, followed closely by Chrome. As a Linux admin I spend a LOT of time on other servers and ssh is how you do that. Chrome is what I use for lots of other things like email, information searches, wiki documentation, and even my remote desktop client. I also think xterm deserves a special mention here. While ssh is #1, the terminal is pretty important, I think. There are many many modern terminal programs which do fancy things but good old xterm is monster fast and responsive compared to the rest and when you are opening a pile of terminals for stuff, waiting for them to open slowly is annoying.
What kind of hardware do you run this setup on?
Wow! Just about anything you can think of. Right this second I am on an old Dell Vostro all-in-one and a Dell Inspiron laptop, and there is my normal work machine, which is a Dell Optiplex 990. And there are my HP machines running my home infrastructure via KVM, and Raspberry Pi 3s, and on and on!
Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
Not much to look at there,I know, but you’ll see a pile of terminals sessions I am currently engaged in, and a browser and, of course, Pidgin, for me to chat with other techie people I really dig that dark wood background (which you can’t really see much of), as it is good looking yet not distracting.
Interview conducted November 1, 2017