Speaker Interview: Nathan Haines

Ubuntu's Nathan Haines is a busy man at SCALE 14X. Not only does he have three sessions to participate in at UbuCon, Nathan is also giving a talk on "Writing and Publishing Books with Free Software" on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. in Ballroom D. The SCALE Team caught up with Nathan to ask him about his talk.

Q: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?

A: I'm an author, speaker, instructor, and computer consultant who loves technology and has been using Ubuntu for almost 11 years. I've also been an Ubuntu member for about seven of those, talking about Free Software and Ubuntu and how it can level the playing field for computer users. I'm a leader of the Ubuntu California Local Community Team and am also a member of the Ubuntu Local Community Council, which help others get together to spread the word about Ubuntu.

Q: You're giving a talk on "Writing and Publishing Books with Free Software." Without tipping your hand on the actual talk, can you give us an idea of what we might expect?

A: I've loved writing for a long time, and had the privilege of working with independent, self-published authors for a couple of years. Many of them are happily using Free Software at some step in their process. When it came time to write a traditionally book aimed at Ubuntu beginners, it was important for me write that book using nothing more than Ubuntu. It was easy and I'll explain how publishing works and where Free Software fits in.

Q: Is this your first visit to SCALE? If so, what are your expectations? If not, can you give us your impressions of the event?

A: SCALE 6X was my first visit and first time running an Ubuntu booth at any kind of expo. It made such an impression on me that I've come back ever since and this will mark my 8th year at SCALE!

It's the friendliest show I've ever been to, and the organizers are super dedicated and amazing. I like to describe SCALE as the best combination of a fan convention and a trade show. All curious newcomers, seasoned professionals, and software enthusiasts are equally welcome and likely to meet others and find talks that appeal to them.

Q: How has Free Software changed publishing in the last couple of years?

A: The ability to produce professional-looking content with low or no cost software and hardware has changed the entire face of the industry. Self-publishing is free and accessible, but requires several drastically different skills. Using Free Software allows you to exercise your creativity for the steps you take responsibility for and leaves more money for the things--like covers or marketing--that you prefer to hire from others.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A: There's never been a better time to be a writer or a Free Software enthusiast, and SCALE is a great place to learn more! I'll be available at the Ubuntu booth all three days to talk and sign books.

SCALE Team interview by Dennis Rex