Personal Information

Name: Andrzej
Date Of Birth: 1976
Occupation: IT Trainer | Programmer
Using Linux since: 2002, but as main and only operating system since 2007

Linux Machines

Main Box: Pentium 4 3.2 HT (one core) 3GB RAM, Nvidia 8800 GTS, Sound Blaster Audigy 4
Notebook: Asus M6N (very old piece of hardware) 1GB RAM, ATI Radeon 9600
IPod Video 30GB: yes my IPod is running Linux too
Palm T|X: my handled has even two Linux distribution installed


On both my computers and servers I take care of I'm running source compiled Gentoo Linux. My desktop computers are running KDE 4.x graphical desktop environment.
On my IPod I'm running original Apple software a long side with Linux for IPod distribution and RockBox open source media player software. Thus, for example, I am able to play Classic Doom on my IPod. Original Apple software has way to limited functionality for my needs.
On Palm I have original Palm OS, Opie Linux and GPE Linux. Both Linux systems are lunched from external memory card. I love playing tetris under Linux on my Palm.

Why Linux?

For me the choice was obvious. I chose Linux because I like to work in environment I can adapt to my personal needs and habits. I like to work in stable, feature rich and also very nice looking environment. I don't like to be forced how, when and for what purpose I use my computer. As kind of IT geek I like having full control over the system I use. Last but not least I want to have fully legal operating system with large set of applications I can use.

Since 5 years I'm a loyal Gentoo Linux user. The distribution I chose requires a lot of patience and some knowledge, but in return you can build yourself a system which fully meets users needs. Properly compiled and configured system is characterized by unprecedented performance and stability. Thanks to that I can make full use of my few years old computers. Gentoo also offers unprecedented in other distributions set of applications available in official portage tree and in countless numbers of overlays. Last but not least first two weeks of using Gentoo Linux taught me more about operating systems and computer software and hardware communication than whole time of my studies and few years of using binary distribution like Fedora or Mendriva Linux. I can say by my own experience Gentoo can really make you a true computer expert in a very short time.

Since the very beginning of my Linux adventure I'm a passionate KDE user. I have always preferred KDE over GNOME. It's of course a matter of personal taste but KDE is nicer looking and more feature rich environment. What I especially like about KDE, is it's ability to change the look and feel. Thanks to sites like and people who are sharing their art work, your system can look in a very unique way.


It's hard to say how I use Linux, because I can do anything I like in Linux. It would be easier if I listed what I don't do in my operating system. Nevertheless I will try to say how am I use my system. Let's start with home type of computer use.

My Linux is acting as the main multimedia center and multimedia content server in my personal home network. Any computer in my home can automatically access and play all my multimedia content stored on my main computer. Thanks to lirc project I can control my computer and most of the applications using infra red remote controller. I use MythTV as main multimedia center along side with my LCD TV which acts as second monitor to my computer. I also use XBMC multimedia center to play audio and video files and Amarok music player. This last application I love for its ability to access and upload audio files to my IPod. In my opinion it's the most feature rich audio player, you can find, not only considering Linux platform. For ripping and editing multimedia content I use, K3B burning application, Perl audio converter, Kdenlive non linear video editing software, Avidemux video converter, Audacity audio editor, SMILE video slideshow maker for Linux. For picture editing I use Gwenview picture viewer, digiKam photo management application which I use to access and download pictures from my digital photo camera. For more advance photo editing I use GIMP. Great tool is also Hugin panorama creator which lets you make nice looking panoramic pictures.

Now a few words about office and Internet application. I use Korganizer personal organizer, to manage my contacts, schedules, mailboxes and notes. This application is able to connect and sync with most of free and commercial available group ware software as for example Novel GroupWise. For office work I use OpenOffice suite which has many advantages over Microsoft Office. The most important are full free support for any possible office document format (including latest Microsoft Office formats) and ability to call office macros from the shell scripts. For Internet browsing I use Google Chromium world fastest browser, as mail client I use KMail mail program. I also use Internet messengers, Skype for Linux, Kopete to access ICQ, MSN and Facebook Chat networks, Kadu to access GaduGadu network, and Gfire to access Xfire network.

This is not typical for Linux user but I'm also a gamer, and I use my Linux for playing games. I'm lunching games both natively and using wine free windows API implementation for Unix. Natively I can play on Linux using both free games like Nexuiz or Warsow, and commercially available Linux games titles like Doom3, Quake4, Enemy Territory Quake Wars, Heroes Of Newereth. These of course are only few of the game I play on my Linux. The whole list is too long to put it here.

Now let's get to more professional type of Linux usage. I use Linux computer as developer machine, which means that I'm creating source code on my Linux machine. Thanks to the fact that my projects most likely will run on Linux servers, I can mimic whole deployment environment on my personal computer, which speeds up development and testing. I use Eclipse Platform to create my projects. Except from developers work I have also some servers under my control, and thanks to Linux and its tools I'm able to access them quickly and securely. Of course Linux lets me access any server even those that are running Microsoft Windows without the need of buying or installing additional software on my computers.

Learning new things is part of my job, this is actually the best part. Thanks to Linux virtualization support I'm able to create virtual environments that mimic whole networks, build of both server and desktop machines on which I can learn and safely test new settings and applications. For those types of tasks I use VirtualBox software and Qemu emulator.

Last thing that makes my Linux computers so enjoyable is their unique 3D desktop. By saying 3D I mean real 3D desktop not something similar that windows can offer. We had a true 3D desktop on Linux long before Microsoft released its poor slow and resource consuming mimic on windows Vista. Many people underestimate the usability of 3D desktop. I find it extremely useful, as most of the times I work with many applications, switching them and moving them between virtual desktops really speeds up my work. I especially love full control over transparency in desktop applications. Many times I set partial transparency on Integrated Development Environment and beneath it I display myself an API documentation in web browsers. This way I can code and see the API the same time.

Last thing comes from my experience as IT trainer. Many times I used the projector attached to my Linux computer and I was always finding extremely useful ability to press 2 keys combination to enlarge any part of the screen or press 2 keys combination to distinguish mouse cursor on the screen.

I could talk about my system for hours but I don't want to bore you to death. I will only add that some of applications I use you can see on screen shots below. I hope you will enjoy it.


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