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Forbes writer Jason Gospel tells us how he started to promote Linux

While we are trying to bring you the most important information about the open source world, making the lusitic public aware of the news, features and peculiarities of the Linux and open source world, other people outside Brazil are also doing so, one of those "Linux advocates". "Jason Gospel, writer of the famous Forbes, who kindly gave us an interview.

If you follow us on TwitterYou may well have seen our interactions with the Jason Gospel, he eventually became a major promoter of open source operating systems and their tools, especially powered by the name, fame and recognition, Forbes As time went on, Jason's Linux-related articles eventually reached big companies, which with the help of his disclosure began at least to rethink their path to Linux, such as Adobe. We have a video about this issue on our YouTube channel, you can check here. Jason Gospel also creator of "Linux Challenge", a very constructive" joke "where he asks his readers to test some distro with him, joining a very healthy group on Telegram, which is where I got even more direct contact with him than on Twitter. He proves to be a very friendly, willing person with the "face" of the new generation of Linux users, so I asked him some questions, these will help you to know "the man behind the myth" and, according to him Even some of these questions have answers that he never gave anywhere else, so enjoy it. Note: The interview was done in English, but I will post here the translated version, if you want to read Jason's answers in full in English, Just access this file.

Interview with Jason Gospel

D: Introduce yourself. Probably people know you as a Forbes writer, but people are always much more than their jobs. Who Jason Gospel?

J: Jason Gospel has always been a writer, whether from song lyrics or short stories, or from long reviews of GPUs. But one thing I realize runs through my veins from a young age to music. It has always been something that defined me as a person. the soundtrack of my life, a constant companion that energizes me, elevates my emotions, calms me, and brings memories of decades ago.

Anyway, I see myself trying to finalize an album and write a book a few years ago. I have been getting closer and closer every day!

I also love "Transformers", the 90's Grunge movement and spending my days on Croatian beaches, but now this is starting to sound like one of those escort ads and I'm happily married! : D

D: When did you start working with technology?

J: My fascination with computers started when I was just a child, probably at 12 years old. My stepfather had a technology-related business, and our entire house was full of IBM "towers." I often got in trouble for secretly booting computers and starting to "bump" the DOS command line to try to find some game to play!

About 2003 I finally had the money to buy my own PC (In games, I was always a console guy as I grew up and into adulthood), and of course, that aroused in me the constant desire to get you better performance and graphic quality. Which made me obsessed with reading GPU reviews in places like Tom's Hardware.

In 2004 all this can be added with the introduction to podcasts. I was lucky enough to be one of the first 30 podcasters in the world when I launched "Insomnia Radio", a program focused on unknown and indie bands. As an added note, this is why my Twitter account is named "KillYourFM".

I was being self-taught in audio editing, creating RSS files from scratch and this started a new fascination for computers and the technology contained in them. A year earlier I wanted my games to look better, now I wanted everything to go so fast!

And here is a curiosity that few know, in the late 2000s I started my own computer company, focusing on repairing other people's problems with Windows computers.

Jason Gospel
Jason Gospel

D: How did you find out about Linux? Did the decision to talk about Linux at Forbes come from your own company or was it your idea?

J: I discovered Linux twice. The first was in the mid-2000s with openSUSE and Red Hat. The experience with both was disastrous. I ended up getting frustrated and feeling that it was a technology way beyond my ability to understand. Unfortunately my first impression with Linux was bad and I ended up drifting away for years.

Then in July 2018 I finally got to the point of getting tired of seeing so many forced reboots on Windows 10, so many problems, so many update failures and even the loss of some data. A few weeks before arriving "last straw" with Windows I was talking to my brother-in-law, who was visiting me from Sweden, about Debian, because he had been running the distro on an old Thinkpad for some years now.

Topics like privacy and user control came up, and I just loved the way it worked. Watching him use the system, Debian looked ridiculously fast for a computer with old hardware like the one he had. So, with that in mind, I decided to give Linux a new chance and put Windows aside.

It is worth mentioning that nothing that was done here was an easy decision. It was more of a professional risk than I was a personal risk. I often reviewed Forbes custom video cards and PCs, that kind of content was my "win bread".

To answer your second question, I became so fascinated with Linux that I made the decision to get more coverage on the subject at Forbes. The first articles I published had a good repercussion with our traditional audience and new people. The feedback I got from covering Linux was positive, people saying I was showing things as a simpler and more accessible way.

I also realized that instead of starting to cover "hot news" simply to get my salary, I could wake up in the morning and say "what do I want to explore in the Linux world today?" and write about it. People came up and read the content, and in fact, I've been analyzing the traffic to my articles on the site, and more people were coming to read the articles about Linux than my previous material. This is very encouraging.

Not only that, the community really showed their support in this new direction that I took, supporting, helping and constantly engaging with me. I had never seen a community like this before and all these factors started me getting full time coverage of Linux at Forbes. Forbes had no problem with that.

D: How was your first contact with Linux distros on this lap? What did you find that you found simpler and more complicated to do on Linux?

J: The first time I tested Linux last year was with Linux Mint on my Dell XPS 13. The installer failed to see my NVMe drive, so I switched directly to Ubuntu because I knew Dell was doing a great job while making the distro run perfectly out of the box, and in fact, that's what happened.

I had a lot less problems with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS than I had with Windows 10 and ended up installing it on several machines. Each installation went smoothly and simply detected the hardware of my machines perfectly.

Ubuntu became my main system for months, or at least until I started "Linux Distro Challenges".

jason-gospel-office
Jason Gospel Office (Ubuntu on the main monitor)

D: Do you have any favorite distros? Which?

J: Right now, asking me to pick a favorite distro almost like making me pick my favorite song. It is impossible. Because I'm still testing the major distros for a while, probably any statement here wouldn't be fair.

Ubuntu was my main system, but I'm also very impressed with elementary OS and openSUSE, but I still find myself wondering how interesting something like a Manjaro Deepin might be … The question of getting distro-hopping addicted " real! (Distro-Hopping keep jumping from distro to distro and testing).

D – You are developing new side projects Forbes regarding Linux, including the "challenges", inviting people to test a specific distro together. Tell us a little more about these projects and how they have been received by the public.

J: The "challenges" began as a way of forcing me out of the "Ubuntu comfort zone", and as a side goal, I was forcing myself to experience different Linux distros and generate some unique content based on this journey. I knew that being directly involved with the community would only increase my experience and allow all participants to discover new things together, solve problems together and maybe even make some new friends.

Just 3 days after starting the first challenge, which was with elementary OS, I had over 200 participants in our Telegram group, and both Cassidy Bleade and Daniel For, distro developers, showed up to help people; Then the world of Linux podcasts started talking about the "challenges" and I saw that it really "worked out".

That way I realized that this could become a kind of "series", something recurring that we can do all together and I hope the feedback accumulated using these distros will also help the distros themselves to improve, especially since it seems like developers are paying off attention. Also, a secondary goal was to convince people to switch from Windows or macOS to Linux.

D: What do you think is still missing from current Linux distributions to be better recognized among home users?

J: I spent some time in marketing for AMD Radeon, so from my point of view, I would say the biggest challenge to be overcome: Linux on the desktop has a marketing problem.

The principles of FOSS are laudable, but Linux gives people practically infinite choice, and that's good and bad. Two things need to happen for Linux to be widely adopted by home users:

1 – More companies need to start selling their pre-installed Linux computers. Dell does a fantastic job of it, but they're not very good at publicizing that kind of thing. The truth is that most home consumers will accept the system that ships with the computer in front of them … (And most people are NOT Adobe users or are part of the "hardcore" gaming segment).

2 – The Linux world needs to adopt the "desktop distro" and stay with it. Put it into the mainstream, even if it's not your favorite distraction. There is only a Windows 10, there is only a macOS. To be clear, I LOVE as there is a perfect distraction for every need and for everyone, but fragmentation of options for beginners is detrimental. In fact, there are many websites that advocate for a specific distro and this shows part of the problem.

D: Leave a message for your Brazilian readers.

J: Thanks for the support Diolinux! It takes a lot of time and hard work to organize the content, so take a few minutes of your day to enjoy it. As a writer too, I can say that this is our fuel. : D

I would like to thank everyone who is always encouraging my journey in the Linux world on Twitter and Facebook. I hope you enjoyed this interview and if you need anything else feel free to contact me.

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