Bryen Yunashko, a openSUSE member, is a recent acquisition to the openSUSE project who is involved in the openSUSE-GNOME and Marketing teams, coordinating the Helping Hands Project as also giving a hand at the accessibility of openSUSE.
|Favorite season:||Spring because it is a time to plant new plants into the ground and watch them grow.|
|Motto:||We have a no stupid-questions policy. We would like you to have a no-stupid answers policy.|
Please introduce yourself!
39 years old, December 15th. I currently live in Chicago, IL, my birthtown, but am working on moving to New York City in the near future. I have lived previously for 15 years in Los Angeles, CA. Currently, I am the Director of Technical Services for an online sign-language training program.
Tell us about the background to your computer use.
My parents have been Novell Training and Reseller Partners since the early 80′s. In fact, my mother was awarded by Novell for having more certifications than anyone else in the world. Watching them, I was adamant that I would NEVER have anything to do with computers. By the late 1990′s it became apparent that I would get sucked into it when I ended up doing database administration for a University in Los Angeles. Around 2000, I decided to jump in with both feet and enrolled in my mother’s school and became a consultant specializing in Novell software. I’ve been a consultant ever since.
When and why did you start using openSUSE/SUSE Linux?
When Microsoft released SP2 for XP, it broke my connection to my internal NetWare servers. That became the last straw for me, so I immediately downloaded NLD (Novell Linux Desktop 9) and not long thereafter, I moved on to SUSE Professional 9.3. It didn’t solve all my problems, but it led me onto a very interesting path and I truly haven’t missed Windows since.
When did you join the openSUSE community and what made you do that?
I joined shortly after the release of openSUSE 10.3. Previously, I hadn’t really accessed any online support and trudged through my experiences on my own with the occasional advice of a friend and fellow Linux user. When 10.3 came along, I had a problem with resolution, so I signed up to the mailing list. On the first day, JP Rosevear spotted me and made me aware of the openSUSE-GNOME team.
One day, there was a GNOME meeting announcement, and I *thought* it was about introducing various features of GNOME. So I went to the meeting, which turned out to be a technical team meeting, and there JP managed to butter me into taking on a task, and I haven’t been able to break free since. :-)
In what way do you participate in the openSUSE project?
I participate with the openSUSE-GNOME team, and recently joined up with the Marketing group.
What especially motivates you to participate in the openSUSE project?
The openness and ease of communication within the project. The dedication of everyone involved and the willingness by everyone to strive to even higher grounds.
What do you think was your most important contribution to the openSUSE project/community or what is the contribution that you’re most proud of?
Well, initially I was asked to give input on Accessibility (a11y) for openSUSE. And I continue to do that with the GNOME team, as well as participating with the GNOME Foundation’s GOPA project. Recently, I created the http://en.opensuse.org/Accessibility wiki pages with the hope of bringing together all the various segments of a11y work in the openSUSE community. There’s so many wonderful things that Novell/SUSE/openSUSE does to improve technology for a11y users and make it openSUSE a more inclusive distro for all users.
Currently, I’ve also established the Helping Hands project. Still in its early stages, it already seems to get positive reviews. Basically, the goal is to introduce users to features and applications on their desktop. At the same time, I hope to see this blossom into more HowTos available for users. For now, it is GNOME-centric. But, I am hoping to take it up to a higher level and encompass all sections of openSUSE. I’m already in discussions on several fronts to make this all happen. You can find out more about this program at http://en.opensuse.org/GNOME/HowTos. If you’re interested in participating, drop me a line.
When do you usually spend time on the openSUSE project?
When my computer is turned on. :-)
Three words to describe openSUSE? Or make up a proper slogan!
Go Green Go!
What do you think is missing or underrated in the distribution or the project?
I think that we need to focus more on introducing new users to what openSUSE can do for them, and try to close the divide between end-user and technical user. We’re mostly in a reactive mode at this time by waiting for users to come onto the IRC channels and ask a specific question. What we haven’t done very well yet is set up an environment where we say "Hello user, here’s what you can do with your new openSUSE." If a user doesn’t know that a particular feature or application exists, they won’t ask questions about it.
I’m hoping Helping Hands will help close that gap.
What do you think the future holds for the openSUSE project?
I know everyone hates the "This is the year of Linux" line. But I really think that Linux will become far more mainstream in about 5 years, and I think openSUSE will become a major player in that aspect.
A person asks you why he/she should choose openSUSE instead of other distribution/OS. What would be your arguments to convince him/her to pick up openSUSE?
Because I said so! :-)
Which members of the openSUSE community have you met in person?
None at this time.
How many icons are currently on your desktop?
I really don’t pay any attention to my desktop. It is so cluttered with open apps, who can bother to see what’s behind it? Instead I make use of openSUSE’s GNOME Main Menu. Between it, Application Browser, and the Run Command, the Desktop is pretty useless to me.
What is the application you can’t live without? And why?
Tomboy! I juggle so many unrelated projects on any given day that it is a Godsend to be able to quickly jot down notes before jumping to the next project.
Which application or feature should be invented as soon as possible?
Well, I’ve talked with the Evolution team about creating brain-implantable Evolution email client chips, but no takers yet…
Which is your preferred text editor? And why?
Gedit or vi, depending where I’m at.
Which famous person would you want to join the openSUSE community?
Laura Chappel. I think she would be awesome as a interactive member of the community sharing her knowledge.
Which computer related skills would you like to have?
I would love to be able to code. Those guys have it all… They get the hottest chicks, get invited to the coolest parties, and wear the sharpest threads.
The Internet crashes for a whole week — how would you feel, what would you do?
I would feel very frustrated because all my friends would be constantly calling me asking me to come over and fix their computer because they don’t understand that the Internet died, no matter how many times I explain it to them.
Which is your favorite movie scene?
Never really thought about that.
Star Trek or Star Wars?
What is your favorite food and drink?
I may be nearing my 40′s, but I’m still battling a serious addiction to milk. As for foods, probably Thai food is my favorite, but I enjoy sampling all kinds of ethnic cuisine.
Favorite game or console (in your childhood and nowadays)?
I have fond memories of playing Adventure on my first computer as a child. Nowadays, I’m more into solitaire games or puzzles. The games kids play nowadays make no sense to me.
Which city would you like to visit?
No particular city, but I would love to take a long leisurely travel period to Europe, South America, and India.
What is your preferred way to spend your vacation?
With friends. Doesn’t matter where.
Someone gives you $1.000.000 — what would you do with the money?
Roll around naked in it for a while…
If traveling through time was possible — when would we be most likely to meet you?
Any pre-email days! I really hate how email has controlled us so much nowadays. Remember the good old days when we would write a letter, drop it in the mail, wait two weeks, get a reply back, say "oh that’s nice" and write again, wait another two weeks, and so on?
Nowadays, we write emails. If we don’t get a response back in an hour, we grab the phone and shout "Why aren’t you answering my email?!?"
Slow down world…
There’s a thunderstorm outside — do you turn off your computer?
Have your ever missed an appointment because you forgot about it while sitting at your computer?
Not that I recall…
Show us a picture of something, you have always wanted to share!
hmm… you could see a collection of photos to concerts I’ve been to at http://bryen.myphotoalbum.com
You couldn’t live without…
Humor. Anyone who has seen me in IRC knows I cannot not inject humor into everyday conversations. People need to not take things too seriously in life.
Which question was the hardest to answer?
The movie scene question…
What other question would you like to answer? And what would you answer?
I’d rather just take this moment to give thanks to all the cool folks in openSUSE who made me feel welcome into the community and made me feel a part of it, even when I know nothing at all. :-)
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