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Interview with Robert Shingledecker and John Andrews, Damn Small Linux

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In a somewhat surprise move, the developers of Damn Small Linux have announced a new edition of their popular mini-distribution for older computers - DSL-N, or "Damn Small Linux Not". Although they have always insisted that their goal is to create an operating system that would fit within a 50MB CD size limit, this requirement has placed a severe restriction on their development effort. Software is getting bigger and users have different preferences for the kind of software they need on a CD, especially if it is meant to run on a more archaic hardware. As a result, a 70MB DSL-N has been born. The two lead developers, Robert Shingledecker (on the left) and John Andrews, have kindly agreed to answer a few questions about the new product.

DW: John, Robert, thank you very much for your time. Can you please introduce yourselves? How old are you and where do you live?

RS: I'm Robert Shingledecker. I am 56 and reside in Southern California. I have been an early pioneer deploying Linux at the City of Garden Grove in the mid-nineties. I also have been the CTO for several "dotcoms" and have built many Linux-based appliances. I have been involved with computers and programming since 1971.

JA: I'm John Andrews, 34, born and raised in Northern California. My path to Open Source software is really rooted in self-guided exploration. I have no formal computer or software training, all the coding I've done over the years is self-taught. I also started late, getting my first computer in 1996, but I was quickly drawn to open source software and wanted to learn as much as I could. Like many self-directed geeks, I started by wanting to know what made things work. Over the years I've grown to love simplicity and functionality above all else in software.

DW: Have you two ever met or do you cooperate exclusively on the Internet?

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