We recently interviewed Dale Raby on how he uses Fedora. This is part of a series on the Fedora Magazine where we profile Fedora users and how they use Fedora to get things done. If you are interested in being interviewed for a further installment of this series, contact us on the feedback form.

Who is Dale Raby?

Dale started using Linux around 1999 when he became disconcerted with his Windows 95 computer and a young clerk in an office supply store told him about Linux. “I started reading some of the magazines, most notably Maximum Linux and eventually got to know their senior editor, Woody Hughes and Show Me the Code columnist Mae Ling Mak,” said Raby. His first distribution was Mandrake 6.5 which came in a box with a boot floppy.

Raby manages a small gun shop in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He is also an author with three published books: The Post-Apocalyptic Blacksmith, 777 Bon Mots for Gunslighers and Other Real Men, The Wives of Jacob Book I: In the Beginning, and In the Beginning.

Dale’s hobbies include blacksmithing, hunting, shooting, printing with a vintage platen press, photography, writing, woodworking, and repairing computers. His childhood heroes were Jesus, Spiderman, Montgomery Scott and Mr. Spock.

Fedora Community

When asked about his first impression of the Fedora community, Raby said, “For the most part, they are a pretty awesome bunch.” When he has issues, he is able to find answers by searching Google. In the early days, when he needed hand-holding, he always found people to help.

Dale shares a philosophy with Doctor Leonard McCoy about change. “I know, change is good, but changes just for the sake of making changes benefits nobody.” Raby continued, “Part of this may be that I am a bearded old goat who hates changes to my well-ordered world, but why would anybody have to move my (for example) mailcap file or the way GnuPG is implemented?” His penchant for keeping things the same is not limited to Fedora or computers. Raby said, “Don’t feel bad though, I also want to get rid of the throttle-body fuel injection in my Ford Ranger and install a carburetor.”

What hardware?

Raby has a Dell Latitude E6400 with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 and 4GB of memory. He also has a CyberWorks desktop with an Intel Celeron 430, ASUSTeK P5GC-MX/1333 motherboard.

Dale Raby: How do you Fedora?

What software?

Raby uses LibreOffice, Mutt, Thunderbird, both GNOME and LXDE desktops, and GnuPG. He has tried to get LemonPOS up and running, but had little success.

Raby has two stores and must transfer inventory between them. “As there are two stores and merchandise frequently travels from one store to the other, I use Dropbox to transfer files. Guns have to be tracked carefully,” said Dale. “We always generate an electronic document that gets stored in a shared file on Dropbox as well as a hard copy that accompanies the gun when it is transferred. Even if the paperwork gets lost, the receiving clerk can look at the electronic file and check the serial number and description against the actual gun itself.”

The paperwork for transfers are generated using LibreOffice. The business also auctions guns and need to have pictures of them. Raby uses gThumbs to manage the images, and GIMP to edit them when necessary.

Dale Raby: How do you Fedora?

When asked about the books he writes, Raby said, “I use Focuswriter to write my books, then store them in a shared Dropbox directory where Diane, my proofreader, can access them and find all of my mistakes before I submit the manuscript to Book County for distribution. With retirement looming up in about ten years it would be nice to have some future royalty checks coming in to supplement my social security.”