I have always been of the belief that your website is a great way of forwarding people to information to save you repeating it. This gives you the possibilities of writing down in more detail about your views on something. I tend to get asked about various things, so I figured a FAQ would be useful. I want to ensure this FAQ is constantly evolving, so if something is missing, click the contact link at the top of this page and let me know what you would like to see added.
- Where can I contact you?
- Who do you work for?
- Do you have a book agent?
- Do you do for-hire work?
- Do you do speaking engagements?
- Do you do interviews?
- How much do you charge to speak at events?
Open Source and Projects
- How did you start out in free software?
- Why do you record LUGRadio in Windows/Mac?
- Which distro do you use?
- What happened to Linux UK?
- How did LUGRadio come about?
- Has LUGRadio caused any conflict of interest with your work?
- When will the next LUG tour be?
- Why did you leave the KDE project?
- How did the Jokosher project begin?
- Can you help me run my community?
- What books do you recommend on usability?
- Why did you join the Linspire Leadership Board?
- Will you hold LUGRadio Live outside the UK?
- Where were you born and raised?
- Who do you live with?
- Who is your family?
- Are you religious?
- Is your real name Jono Bacon?
- What is your political direction?
- What are your fave bands?
- What is your fave movie?
- What are your musical interests?
- Where do you record your music?
- What was your fave gig?
- What was your craziest gig?
Where can I contact you?
See the big contact link at the top of this site for the latest contact details. I get a lot of mail, so please be patient for a response. If you hear nothing for three days, mail me again to remind me. If you still don’t hear anything, poke me with a stick.
Who do you work for?
I work for Canonical as the Ubuntu Community Manager.
Why do you record LUGRadio in Windows/Mac?
When it comes to music and audio production, I always switch into a creative mode where I really could not care less about computers or technology. When I am writing and recording, I just want to get on with writing and recording, and not think about how the software works. When we started LUGRadio, nothing on Linux offered a simple to use means of recording, but instead insisted on a huge amount of setting-fiddling, fiddling I really did not want to indulge in. You can read more about this this essay that I wrote. Since then I have been working on Jokosher with a number of other developers to produce a really simple and easy to use multi-track audio editor.
What are your fave bands?
My interests range from AC/DC, Rolling Stones etc right up to crushing death metal such as Cannibal Corpse (nicknamed Cannon And Ball Corpse by my mate Alan), Decapitated, Nile, Anata etc. I am a huge fan of 80s thrash with bands like Overkill, Slayer, Testament, Annihilator etc. My favorite band is Overkill. I love them for their thrashy guitars, and utterly adore the way Blitz just spits his vocals out. Awesome.
What is your fave movie?
I am huge fan of comedy movies, thrillers and horror. My fave film is Planes, Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy. Other faves include Predator, Robocop, Wargames, Goodfellas, Casino, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Shattered Glass, Ghostbusters, Back To The Future I and II, Flight Of The Navigator, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Braindead, Kevin Smith movies…
Who are you?
Much as I would love to bore you with the details, I think it is much fairer to let someone else fill you in on the details – then it is a little more objective too. See my Wikipedia page which was rather nicely constructed by other people.
Where are you based?
I am based in Wolverhampton in the West Midlands region of England.
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Northallerton, North Yorkshire on September 17th 1979. I lived in Northallerton for my early years, and then moved to Yafforth, a few miles from Northallerton when I was around 8. At the age of about 12 I moved down to Bedfordshire when I my dad changed jobs – we first lived in Kempston, then Wootton, then Cranfield. Finally, at the age of 18 I moved to Wolverhampton to go to university, which is where I am now.
Who do you live with?
I live alone, as a single man, in my own place. I regularly have my dogs (who live with my ex) come to stay,
How did you start out in free software?
My brother introduced me to Linux in 1998. He spent a long time installed Slackware 96 for me, and I was captivated. I then spent some time getting to know Linux before starting to contribute with Linux UK. For details of my projects see my Wikipedia page.
Do you have a book agent?
Yes. I am represented by Studio B.
Do you do for-hire work?
I do limited chunks of for-hire work where I have time. This largely depends on my schedule. Contact me to discuss specific details.
Which distro do you use?
I use Ubuntu. Before that I used Debian, and before that I used Mandrake.
What happened to Linux UK?
Linux UK was my first contribution to free software, and it started out life as me updating some static web-pages. When I went to university there was some discussion about making it more dynamic with PHP and MySQL support, and an engine was developed to run the site. As time went on I was gaining interest in KDE development and was looking to move on, so I retired from the project and moved to the KDE team. The site then became Think Open for a while and then went offline. Now the Linux UK domain (www.linuxuk.co.uk) is owned by someone else.
Do you do speaking engagements?
I certainly do, and love doing them. Get in touch with me to discuss specifics. My speaking history can be seen on my Speaking Events page.
Who is your family?
My parents are John and Pauline and I have two brothers, Simon and Martin, both older brothers.
How did LUGRadio come about?
LUGRadio was an idea that myself and Matt Revell had the same idea about, completely independently. The idea solidified at a Wolves LUG meeting one night and we decided to do it. There was a certain hardcore of opinion and lively discussion at the LUG, and those people joined the team that is now known as the four large gents.
Has LUGRadio caused any conflict of interest with your work?
Not really. When we started doing LUGRadio, I was a little concerned it could conflict with my work (I was then working as a freelance journalist). I will never forget being at karate and wondering if this new show and new form of communication could potentially cause problems with my career. I figured at that point that I never want to work in a position where I have to compromise my ethics or my opinions and LUGRadio was an expression of these ethics and opinions. So, I kept doing what I was doing and I have not felt any negative repercussions from my involvement in the show.
Are you religious?
I believe there is a creator, but I don’t feel this creator is necessarily in the form that recognised religion believes. As such, I don’t follow any particular religion, but I do believe there is a creator and that humankind will probably never really understand the form of that creator.
What are your musical interests?
I am a musician and I play guitar, drums, bass and sing/growl. I play guitar and vocals in Seraphidian and I also write and record my own solo performances with Recreant View – my own solo music project.
Where do you record your music?
For my solo music I record it in my home studio. You can find out more about my home studio on the Recreant View website. This is also where we record LUGRadio. With Seraphidian we generally record our music at Magic Garden Studios in Wolverhampton with our producer, Gavin Monahan.
When will the next LUG tour be?
I am hoping to do a LUG tour regularly, but the best way to find out the latest is to keep an eye on my blog.
Is your real name Jono Bacon?
Well, my full name is Jonathan Edward James Bacon. I was nicknamed Jono when I was 11 by a friend of mine called Tommy Cowton.
Why did you leave the KDE project?
I was member of the KDE project for a number of years around the KDE 1.x and 2.x time, but I began having some concerns about the direction of KDE usability. I expressed some of my concerns to the KDE development team, and I felt that at the time they fell on deaf ears. Around this time I started looking at GNOME more and was impressed by their commitment to usability, so I left the KDE project. I am pleased to see that usability is becoming a priority for KDE now. I wrote an article about some of these issues here.
How did the Jokosher project begin?
For a number of years I have mixed LUGRadio in Cubase for Windows and the Mac, and this caused some frustration to LUGRadio fans. Many repeatedly asked why I did this, and I outlined the issues in this article. I was then asked by the community to outline my so called “perfect audio editor” and did so in this post. From that post a bunch of people started hacking on some code, which I discovered a few weeks later, and I got involved as a core contributor to the project.
Can you help me run my community?
I can try. I have written a number of articles about running communities, and my views on running communities, and I am always keen in helping get communities up and running. If you are looking for some help, drop me an email with your situation. Obviously, with my work as Ubuntu Community Manager, I am always happy to help Ubuntu related projects, so do get in touch. The following articles may be of interest:
- The Increasing Importance of Community
- Building up the Advocacy Community
- The Reality of Advocacy
- Hindsight is Always 20/20
- The system, man
- Advocating honesty
What books do you recommend on usability?
There are some awesome books out there that help not only understanding usability, but the more important subject of good design. I believe that to understand usability, you need to have a grounding in industrial, product and interface design, as well as a a grounding in psychology and how your users think. By the far the best book is The Design Of Everyday Things, formally The Psychology of Everyday Things by Donald Norman. I also recommend User Interface Design For Programmers by Joel Spolsky, Designing For People by Henry Dreyfuss and Revolution in the Valley by Andy Hertzfeld.
What is your political direction?
This tends to shift from time to time, but I am fairly moderate. Traditionally I have held fairly liberal values, and traditionally I have voted Labour, but my political views change with experience and as the world changes. I believe in fairness for everyone, irrespective of wealth, creed or colour, and I believe in the separation of church and state, but I believe all cultures should be taught in schools to give our kids a solid grounding in the incredible range of cultures in the world.
Do you do interviews?
Sure. I have done a bunch of magazine and podcast interviews in the past. Just mail me to arrange the specifics.
How much do you charge to speak at events?
Generally I just require expenses. I will always speak for free at LUGs and other non-profit events. Just get in touch to discuss specifics.
Why did you join the Linspire Leadership Board?
I was asked to join the board by Kevin Carmony, the CEO of Linspire. Although Kevin knew I would never be a Linspire user, I joined because I wanted to ensure that the Open Source community process was correctly administered by Linspire. They have taken some flack over the years for not being particularly community spirited, so my participation was to ensure that the correct process happened. Sure, I don’t use Linspire, but more free software is always a good thing, whether I use it or not, and that is why I joined. In September 2006 I left the board when I joined Canonical as I did not want there to be a conflict of interest – I was not asked to leave the board, it was my choice.
Will you hold LUGRadio Live outside the UK?
This has been discussed a number of times, and fans of the show have mailed in to ask us about it. Our view is that if you can convince us that you will capture the spirit of the LUGRadio Live in the UK in your country, and you can fund us to come over to do the live show, then we will consider it. We are always keen to look at proposals for international incarnations of the show.
What was your fave gig?
Well this depends on whether you mean me there as a spectator or as a performer. My fave gig as a spectator was probably Witchery at London LA2 or maybe Overkill at JBs in Dudley. As a performer, we (Seraphidian) once supported Anthrax and played in front of 1200 people, with the crowd bouncing up and down to our music. That was awesome.
What was your craziest gig?
One time we (Seraphidian) were playing at the Rock Cafe in Stourbridge. It was a Bank Holiday Monday and the place was rammed full (around 300 people crammed in). We were playing with some other bands, and were by far the heaviest band – most of the other bands were indie bands. For some reason there was an unusually high number of metal fans there, and when we came on stage, the biggest mosh pit I have ever seen erupted. The crowd were going pretty crazy, and I got people to do a circle pit in which the crowd spins around in a circle as the music gets heavier. That night over 200 people were going nuts in the circle pit and near the end of the song where it got really intense, the entire room were beating the hell out of each other in the mosh. While this happened, a guy in one of the other bands had his guitar crushed. It was pretty nuts.