People of openSUSE: Per Jessen

4. Apr 2011 | Kim Leyendecker | No License

**Nickname:** I don't use one
**Homepage: ** [//](//
**Blog:** I don't use one.
**Favorite season:** All/none of them, but I don't like rain very much.
**Motto:** None.

Please introduce yourself!

My name is Per Jessen, I’m 46 and I live in Switzerland with my wife and son. I’m Danish and I grew up in Denmark, but left about 20 years ago and have since lived and worked in a number of European countries. Professionally I’m a software engineer, and have spent most of my career working on or with IBM mainframes. I’ve been running my own business since 2004.

Tell us about the background to your computer use.

My first encounter with a computer was probably in high-school when I got to play with a 16-bit RC7000 (apparently a Data General Nova under the covers). 32K of core memory, a TTY 33 teletype console with paperpunch, dual 8-inch floppy-drives and three terminals. I wrote a lot of COMAL code for that. A little later I bought my ZX81 and after having studied electronics in the early 1980s I went to work in IT for a Danish bank.

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

I started with SuSE Linux 4.4.1 in 1996 or thereabouts. I bought the box at the Hugendubel bookstore on Marienplatz in Munich. I don’t remember any particular reason why, maybe I was just being curious.

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

I don’t remember when I joined, but I think it was quite early. My reason for joining was that openSUSE looked like a concept that could be going places and as openSUSE was my favourite distro anyway, it seemed like a good idea to get more involved.

In what way do you participate in the openSUSE project?

I report bugs, I test the alphas and betas, occasionally I submit patches, I participate on many of the project mailing lists, I actively try to influence where we’re going, and I’ve recently begun working with the OBS.

What especially motivates you to participate in the openSUSE project?

Nothing in particular. I’m just being loyal to my favourite distro.

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?

I was quite pleased with myself when I succeeded in upgrading nasm (mostly to incorporate a patch I had submitted to the nasm-project a year ago), but it’s hardly an important contribution.

When do you usually spend time on the openSUSE project?

It varies, mostly during the week.

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

„The green stuff!“

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

I think we need more leadership and better quality control. We have too many changes happening without proper review, consideration and planning.

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

No idea.

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?

If someone asks me, it’s because they value my advice – I hope that is enough to convince him or her.

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

None (as far as I know).

How many icons are currently on your desktop?

I don’t know, I don’t really use my desktop much. I have about 35-36 open windows.

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

Openoffice – because I do everything in openoffice. Asterisk - because it runs my office and home telephone system.

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

A unified communications device for use with DECT, Wifi, GSM etcetera. Anywhere, anytime. In essence, the Star Trek comms-badge.

Which is your preferred text editor? And why?

Today it’s kwrite and vi, but I really like(d) IBMs LPEX that was part of VisualAge C++.

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


I could probably do with acquiring some better perl skills, but it’s not a language I really like working with.

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


Which is your favorite movie scene?

From the Australian movie „The Dish“ when the local band plays the title-music from „Hawaii Five-O“ thinking it is the American national anthem.

Star Trek or Star Wars?

I like both actually.

What is your favorite food and drink?

Käsespätzle mit Röstzwiebel. Ittinger Klosterbräu. Erdinger Dunkelweiss.

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

Diablo, Transport Tycoon, Master of Magic.

Which city would you like to visit?

I’ve been to many of the world’s big cities, but I’ve never been to China, so perhaps Shanghai or Beijing.

What is your preferred way to spend your vacation?

On the beach, in Greece or in Denmark.

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

Buy a Ferrari.

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

I’d like to jump to somewhere 50-100 years from now – I’d like to see what the historians of the (near) future think of our world and our actions today.

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?


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

This is „Tiger“, our wild cat taking a nap amongst the raspberries in the very early spring sun.

You couldn’t live without…

My family.

Which question was the hardest to answer?

The one about the picture I wanted to share.

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

Q: Do you actively contribute to other open source projects?

A: Yes, over the years, I have contributed to a few projects. In no particular order: dosemu, etherboot, hercules-390 (floating point support), maxdb (porting to linux-390), clamav. Way back in my OS/2 days, I published WFDOS, a utility for running DOS programs within IBM Workframe/2. I needed an assembler back then, and only had Borlands Turbo Assembler, but this was only for DOS.

Categories: People of openSUSE


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