People of openSUSE: Benjamin Weber

3. Sep 2007 | News Team | No License

Today you can read which answers to the ‘People of openSUSE’ questions Benji Weber provides.

Moreover it is possible now to make suggestions for future interview partners on the ‘People of openSUSE’ wiki page.

**Nicknames:** benji, benjiman
**Homepage: ** [//](//
**Blog:** [//](//
**Favorite season:** No preference.
**Motto:** Have a lot of fun... (at least that's what /etc/motd tells me)

Please introduce yourself!

I’m 21 years old, British, and a student studying Computer Science at the University of Warwick. I’ve just completed a work placement year doing software development.

Tell us about the background to your computer use.

Usual story: I’ve been using computers for most of my life.

When and why did you start using openSUSE/SUSE Linux?

I’ve been using SUSE Linux since 7.0 ( for those interested in how it was back then). I got a boxed set and installed it after reading about Linux in magazines. I was impressed at how easy it was compared to windows and havn’t really looked back.

When did you join the openSUSE community and what made you do that?

I discovered the #suse irc channel on about 3 years ago, met other community members and gradually became more involved as I learnt more and so could help more.

In what way do you participate in the openSUSE project?

What especially motivates you to participate in the openSUSE project?

Making people’s lives easier by making openSUSE easier to use.

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?

In terms of the most benefit in the past year I’d say my package search page, perhaps the One Click Install tool will benefit more people, but we’ll have to wait and see how it fares in 10.3.

When do you usually spend time on the openSUSE project?

Evenings, after work.

Three words to describe openSUSE? Or make up a proper slogan!

I like the one in the installer slideshow in 10.3: “It’s all easy, with openSUSE”.

What do you think is missing or underrated in the distribution or the project?

We’re always missing users and contributors, the more the better.

I think the quality of the distribution is underrated. In the past it has always been a high quality distribution but has suffered from poor marketing. Many technical users have an impression of SUSE as being “too easy”, and non-technical users often choose other operating systems which are better marketed.

What do you think the future holds for the openSUSE project?

I would hope the growth we’ve seen in the past couple of years will continue. On the technical side I would predict more integration between client side software and the web, in 10.3 we are starting to see this with:

  • Community Repositories yast module

  • Online help

  • Codec finder

  • Apparmor profile repository

  • One click install metapackages

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?

It’s easier, and Free.

Which members of the openSUSE community have you met in person?

Pascal Bleser, Francis Giannaros, and a lot of Novell employees and others at Fosdem and Hackweek, too many to list.

How many icons are currently on your desktop?


What is the application you can’t live without? And why?

Konqueror, because I use it for web browsing, document viewing, and file browsing.

Which application or feature should be invented as soon as possible?

Neural interface, typing can get tedious.

Which is your preferred text editor? And why?

kwrite/kate mostly, because it’s easy to use and powerful. Vim if I’m stuck without KDE.

Which famous person would you want to join the openSUSE community?

Bill Gates.

All those I don’t have, I’m constantly reminded how little I know.

c++ development would probably be the most useful for openSUSE right now, I know enough to get by making small patches, but I’m too used to the relative safety of java and c# to do anything significant without making a mess.

The Internet crashes for a whole week – how would you feel, what would you do?

Organize a lan party.

Which is your favorite movie scene?

Lobby scene from the matrix.

Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Trek.

What is your favorite food and drink?

Sunday roast, Tea.

Favorite game or console (in your childhood and nowadays)?

I spent hours playing starglider on our atari ST growing up, nowadays I like first person shooters, such as Unreal Tournament.

Which city would you like to visit?

I don’t have much desire to visit any city. If I were to travel abroad I would probably avoid the cities.

What is your preferred way to spend your vacation?

In England we have holidays rather than vacations, and I enjoy mountain walking or cycling. Not for too long though, or I get internet withdrawal symptoms.

Someone gives you $1.000.000 – what would you do with the money?

It’s just about enough to buy a house here, so I would probably do that.

If traveling through time was possible – when would we be most likely to meet you?

24th century (Star Trek TNG).

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?

Yes, nothing too important though.

Show us a picture of something, you have always wanted to share!

Can’t think of anything at the moment, sorry.

You couldn’t live without…

Oxygen, Water, Glucose etc.

Which question was the hardest to answer?

The one about something to share, as I couldn’t think of an answer.

What other question would you like to answer? And what would you answer?

Sometimes people ask “What does your desktop look like?” Mine this morning is

Categories: People of openSUSE


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