Bruno Girin


London, United Kingdom

Time Zone


Home Town

Brest, France

LP Account



A Short Introduction

I come from a small town called Brest, located at the very west end of Brittany, in France. If you've ever read any of the Astérix novels, I come from the same region, but even further west. I graduated in computer science in 1994, in another small French town called Nancy, about an hour away from the German and Luxembourg borders. I eventually ended up moving to London in 1998 and I still live here today.

Ubuntu and Me

How I Came to Ubuntu

I got introduced to computers at a time when a home computer was called Amstrad CPC 464, Commodore 64 or ZX Spectrum and when Windows and the Internet didn't exist. Home computing was fun then. At uni, I learnt the ins and outs of UNIX and software design on green text terminals. By the time I got my first job, Windows was already dominant on the desktop and I hated it. I didn't hate it because it was bad or proprietary. I hated it because I am the sort of person who learns a lot better when I can understand how things work rather than learn stuff by heart. And for me that was the difference: I could understand UNIX, it made sense but I couldn't understand Windows, its logic escaped me.

I tried a lot of things at home in order not to use Windows: as I knew Sun Solaris well, I had a refurbished Sun Sparc 10 at home at some point; then I tried Red Hat but being more a developer than a sys admin, I found that it was too difficult to get Red Hat to work as I wanted. I eventually bought a PowerMac G5 on the grounds that it worked out of the box but it was UNIX underneath.

Eventually, the company I was working for ended up being wound down and we all got made redundant, with our work laptop given to us as part of the redundancy package. This was a very nice IBM ThinkPad T42, with specs meant for heavy-weight Java/J2EE development. Unfortunately it was running Windows XP. I had heard of this new distro on the block called Ubuntu, I downloaded an ISO, burnt a CD, booted the CD and lo and behold, 30 minutes later my ThinkPad was running Feisty Faun without a glitch! The Windows install CDs were never seen again. I still use the ThinkPad today and in fact it's my main machine from which I am currently writing this page.

My Contribution

I try to contribute to Ubuntu as and when time allows, so here's what I've been doing so far:

  • I am a member of the Ubuntu UK LoCo team;

  • I report bugs as and when I find them;
  • As a member of the Bug Squad team I contribute to triaging bugs;

  • I am a member of the Nautilus adoption team started by Sense, who has been great in mentoring me on bug triaging;

  • I contribute new snippets to the Python Snippets project whenever I learn new python tricks;

  • I contribute to the forums, mailing lists as well as the LinkedIn Ubuntu Users group;

  • I created my first Ubuntu application, Cacofonix. It won't change the world but it provided me with a workaround for bug 559746;

  • And recently, I started contributing fixes and new code to Shotwell, the photo manager that will come in the next version of Ubuntu.

The Future

There are a lot of things I would like to do and get involved with in Ubuntu:

  • As a contractor, I have my own business and I would love for it to have a larger Ubuntu component;
  • I am a developer at heart but my experience is with Java, which is why I find Jono's opportunistic developer initiative a great idea: I am exactly the sort of person this is aimed at; hopefully that will be a good spring board to get me started in producing code for Ubuntu;

  • And anything else that can help Ubuntu grow and that I can fit around my diary.

Random Bits and Bobs

Here are all the other things about me that didn't fit above:


BrunoGirin (last edited 2010-07-20 10:11:48 by brunogirin)