My Linux Story

I (Bobby Moss) 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 Current Tech Choices

I run Debian on my home laptop and self-built gaming PC. I also rely on the flatpak versions of Mozilla Firefox and LibreOffice, and I run them on a GNOME desktop.

My smartphone and tablet devices run Android, and I have installed F-droid on both of them. Where possible, I have tried to limit the amount of data my “smart” devices collect about me.

For my day job, I write online technical documentation and interactive training courses for Oracle Linux. Consequently, I run that operating system on my work-issued laptop, and in test environments hosted on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

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/.

After Ubuntu 16.04, Canonical took the Ubuntu desktop in a new direction that did not suit my own personal preferences. Consequently, I spent a few years “distro hopping” on my home machines after 18.04 was released. I eventually settled on running Debian, because it acts as a low-maintenance stable base with sensible defaults, and I can customise it to suit my needs without too much hassle.

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 questions on forums and mailing lists, and sent financial donations to a number of open source projects. I also ran a blog called “Bob’s Tech Site” for a decade, and I hosted the only open registration Florence Mastodon instance (bobadon.rocks) for six months in 2019.

I no longer publish my own portfolio code projects on GitHub, but I still maintain an account on that website so that I can interact with my employer’s open source projects.