The Setup

Interview

What do people use to get stuff done?

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Karen Sandler

Karen Sandler

Software activist, executive director (GNOME)

Posted

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation. I also do volunteer legal work for the Software Freedom Law Center, the Software Freedom Conservancy and QuestionCopyright.org. I guess it's easiest to describe me as a free software activist and advocate.

What hardware do you use?

I now have a new laptop. It's a Zareason Ultralap. I'm still getting used to the keyboard, but it's pretty and I got it shipped with the latest Fedora. I haven't had time yet to get my dream setup going yet though. It's also giving my shoulder a break since it's so much lighter than anything I've owned previously.

I've got the included processor (i3-3217U 1.8ghz) 8GB memory and a 128GB mSATA SSD. The wireless card is an Intel one.

And what software?

Right now I'm using Fedora, obviously (I suppose) with GNOME 3. I keep things pretty basic and use the default software - evolution for mail and calendar (though sometimes I use web-based mail when I feel like it), Web (Epiphany), Empathy, etc. I want to make sure that I know what the default experience is with all GNOME software.

I'd also be lost without LibreOffice for presentations, word processing and spreadsheets.

When I started at GNOME, I decided that I would try not to use the command line for a while to see what a less techie user might experience and much to my surprise I haven't gone back. I use the command line a little but mostly I'm happy with the great GUI I get with GNOME and Fedora.

What would be your dream setup?

As soon as I find a quiet weekend, my goal is to partition my drive so I can choose between Fedora, Debian and openSUSE at will! I probably should get a proper keyboard and mouse to protect my wrists. Otherwise I'm pretty happy - I'm glad to keep supporting the small independent hardware manufacturers like Zareason who will ship you the GNU/Linux distro of your choice all installed and ready to go. Plus, with 3.10 coming out next week GNOME just keeps getting better.