My Linux Story
I seem to find myself regularly retelling the same story on social media about how I “got into” Linux and open source stuff. I wrote this webpage so that I can use the time I save by not doing that to add some variety to my life, and talk about some other fun stuff too.
As this content covers a subject that is tangentially related to my day job: All opinions expressed on this personal blog are my own, and not necessarily shared by Oracle. Legal Stuff
My Career and History with Linux
I first started experimenting with live CD distributions as a teenager in 2005. I originally installed Ubuntu 7.04 “Feisty Fawn” because Windows Vista failed to run correctly on my home laptop.
While I did occasionally experiment with Fedora, I mostly preferred to run long term support versions of Ubuntu from 2007 until around 2018.
Over that time period, I completed sixth form college, graduated from university, produced a huge back catalogue of articles for Linux Format magazine, won the Royal Television Society’s Young Technologist of the Year award, and spent almost five years producing scalable Java middleware microservices for some of the largest organisations on the planet.
I have been employed as a technical writer at Oracle since 2018. The work that my colleagues and I produce can be read by anyone for zero cost here: https://docs.oracle.com/en/operating-systems/oracle-linux/.
I currently “dogfood” Oracle Linux on my work-issued laptop, and often run Debian with the XFCE desktop on some hobby machines. I have also been known to tinker with Windows Subsystem for Linux, and make good use of hobbyist devices like the Raspberry Pi and the Pinebook Pro.
My Contributions to Open Source
I co-founded Glimpse Image Editor in July 2019. That application was based on code from GNU Image Manipulation Program, and we actively developed it for almost two years. Glimpse was downloaded over 100,000 times, and raised $1580 USD for good causes, before it was put on hiatus.
During my time as a software engineer (2013-2018), I regularly volunteered to teach kids how to code on the Raspberry Pi, judged CoSpace Robotics competitions, and was a centre lead for the Young Rewired State’s Festival of Code.
Since 2007, I have answered online questions and sent financial donations to a number of open source projects. I also ran a blog called “Bob’s Tech Site” that advocated for wider use of Linux and open source software for a decade, and I hosted the only open registration Florence Mastodon instance (bobadon.rocks) for six months in 2019. I also ran my own account on a managed self-hosted Mastodon instance (bobadon.co.uk) for a while after.
I no longer publish my own portfolio code projects on GitHub to avoid potential conflicts of interest with my employer’s open source projects, but I still maintain an account on that website.