Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Karen Sandler

Karen Sandler

Software activist, executive director (GNOME)

Posted in lawyer, linux

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 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.