FLOSS weekly interview with TurnKey's Jeremy Davis

Our very own Jeremy Davis was interviewed by FLOSS weekly regarding all things TurnKey by Randal Schwartz and Aaaron Newcomb:

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It goes for about an hour with probably about 40 mins of interview with Jeremy. Speaking of Randal Schwartz - I learned much of my Perl fu from his awesome camel books. Thanks Randal!

Jeremy was a bit nervous going in but reported back that "all-in-all I think it went pretty well. But please feel free to judge for yourselves. Happy for any feedback"

Interview notes

  • Communicating TurnKey values and mission

    What TurnKey stands for. Why we're doing this. Where we're going.

    "Give information technology superpowers to the little guy by creating secure, easy to use open source solutions."

    TurnKey is all about using FLOSS to leveling the playing field a bit by making it easier for those who have information technology superpowers to help make superheros of those that don't.

    We should share as much as possible about our ideas for the future, though it wouldn't hurt to mention that there's still a lot of work and that we could use all the help we can get.

  • Attitude

    Just talk freely about the things that get us excited. That will work best. No need to rehearse or think about what to say. Be your authentic self and try to have fun.

  • Focus on the stuff that would add the most value to the audience listening in.

    For example that TurnKey makes it easy to try out FLOSS software because you can just download an ISO image and boot it live in a Virtual Machine. You don't even need to install anything on your machine and worry about satisfying all the dependencies to see the app in action and evaluate whether it suits your needs.

  • Advantages of TurnKey development toolchain (AKA TKLDev) for FLOSS users and developers

    We can talk about how it's completely generic. You can roll your own Debian based live CDs / VM images. You don't have to use any TurnKey components and can use it to easily build any Debian based system integration.

    That it's a force multiplier. You put together a cool solution to a problem by gluing together off the shelf free software components and you get a ready-to-use solution that not only you can use but that anyone can not only use but build from source and improve. The system integrations are automatically reproducible.

    That it's easy to use. TKLDev is packages as a self-contained system you can use to build bootable live CDs/USB solutions from a few clean lines of source code. That it's simple enough to be used in teaching.

    For example, Rik Goldman is using it to teach hands-on Linux skills to high-school students in authentic assignments that actually produce something useful - Linux solutions that anyone can use.

    That it's easy to maintain. You don't have to do everything from scratch when the next version of comes out because the build is automatic.

  • User stories

    Such as how the TurnKey versions of Sahana Eden make it easier to rapidly deploy humanitarian responses in case of crisis. How the TurnKey version of Ushahidi helps crowdsource crisis management. How TurnKey lowers the bar in terms of the IT skills you need to bring to the field to get a solution that works.

    How small organizations that don't have a lot of IT skills (e.g., churches) are using TurnKey to more easily deploy FLOSS solutions.

    Or how a contractor working with FLOSS software might choose LAMP stack as a starting point, setup a private development environment in VirtualBox and then using TKLBAM to migrate all the system configuration tweaks, code and databases to a public server.

  • Maybe talk about the TurnKey Backup and Migration system and the benefits that provides. That the last version was codenamed "give me liberty or give me death". That it can be installed on any generic Debian/Ubuntu system. That it can now use any storage backend. That it can work completely independently from the cloud. That we added a solo mode in the last version so that you wouldn't have to use TurnKey's cloud backup and key service if you don't want to.

  • TurnKey as an example of FLOSS empowerment

    That TurnKey is an extraordinary example of how empowering FLOSS can be. Alon and Liraz built TurnKey from the ground up with no funding using only FLOSS components. That wouldn't have been possible a decade ago.

  • TurnKey as an example of FLOSS developer dedication

    In some circles there's this idea that to be highly motivated you need to want to make a lot of money, and that FLOSS is going to be second rate because the developers have to do this part-time or aren't as motivated. But though everyone needs to make a living, many of the people working on FLOSS aren't really interested in making a lot of money. For them, money is something you need just enough of to get by, but you're not a slave to it, it's not the primary motivation.

    Alon and Liraz, the founders had this vision and to make it real they lived extremely frugally and burned through most of their savings for a couple of years until the project could pay them minimum wage from donations and TurnKey Hub subscriptions.

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