Hi Nigel! Could you tell us something about yourself?
I am 58 years old. I have a wife and one daughter of 17 and we live near Birmingham.
In the past I used to work as a supervisor/manager in the printing industry, but I swopped jobs and set up for a gardening business. It provides a decent living – and arthritis as a less pleasurable side effect…
What is the no.1 on your bucket list?
“Usually, I don’t make a habit about making lists like that. Let me think about it…”
10 seconds later:
“I guess, what really keeps me going is to be able to keep doing stuff with the family.”
You have been part of the community since 2017 within different roles. How did you encounter the project?
“I remember that one day I started to use Ubuntu on my laptop. First, I dropped Windows and started with Firefox browser, but ended up in using Ubuntu. Because Windows is very strict, I believed there must be alternatives. That’s when I learned about open source and thought, “let’s try it”! Once I was using Ubuntu, I noticed the crowd sourced phone with Ubuntu Touch at the time when it was still part of Canonical. That looked good with high specs. When the crowd sourcing fell through, I was using one of the very first Ubuntu Touch phones (Bq 5HD). Then the tablet came. I found it was pretty much running and working”.
“Once on the Ubuntu Forum the announcement came up that there was another project running it (Ubuntu Touch), I decided to join the forum. I stayed there and slowly got involved in the community - up until now. I am not a technical person, but at the forum I learned how to keep my phone running. For example, it was the first time I installed a different operating system on my phone. But I learned it all from the forum, which was very helpful: 99,9% of the time you’ll find the solution on the forum. One other thing I found out is that people are really willing to help!”
That’s when I started with doing the marketing side, helping with posts, and got involved and moderating the forum. It all just seemed to happen naturally. So, when there was a call for new directors of the board I put my name forward to make the vote count”.
How as a UBports Foundation board member do you contribute to the UBports community?
“I want to help pushing the community side. I have a different outlook as a non-technical person. The biggest strength of this project is the people in it. A mix of people, both technical and non-technical. Everyone can contribute. Because you need people who write articles, check websites, test devices… if you worked out the monetary price, this is probably worth a lot! Most of the people in the community hang around for a long time. They are very interested and keen. Also, if we can get people more involved in the newsletter, that would be wonderful!”
“I think that the foundation needs to be more in touch with the community. We need to get more people involved. The community is growing, more people join and remain there. It surprises me every day how much effort people put in! But it’s all worth it. This is a ‘more than’ worthwhile project and I believe that’s what keep people going: To create an alternative that’s more ethical”.
Where would you like to see the project in, let’s say, five years’ time?
“I’d like to see it evolve more, and that more and more people are getting involved. I hope the project is self-sustaining by then. People want to see it happening! I would like to see more integration with all the bits and pieces, see the internal communication improved and that everybody feels involved. Much of what is now happening is in the background. But in five years of time, I would certainly like to see more people using it, and with that I mean everyday use and that it goes in shops. Get it out in a broader domain!”
“Ubuntu Touch is about you, it’s your phone. We are not stopping you. We do the operating system, so that you are free to do with it what you want. When people say that Ubuntu Touch is mainly used by Linux fanatics, I disagree with that. People want a phone that works, without spying, and the operating system is very user friendly. Now with more powerful devices, and Ubuntu Touch 20.04, things will work better.”
“Another important aspect about Ubuntu Touch is sustainability. Phones are getting more expensive, why? Hold on, this phone I am holding here is 7 years old and why do I need to buy a new one? When we go to 20.04, older phones can run on that as well. We give them an extra life. It is ethically sensible to support the older devices as long we can. We have a small team, and yes, we must focus; but the community is so important, it can jump in and keep porting older devices, that makes us quite special! Without the community: What’s the point of it all?”
If you could have a talk with each individual member of the community, what would you tell them?
“I’d like to say thank you! For keeping the community going, for using UT, for being so enthusiastic and for being an ambassador. I am grateful and do not underestimate what you’re doing. You’re a vital part and without you this is only a project. But it’s not alive. All these people being involved, they give a meaning to it.”
:Thank you to everyone who is using it and is continuing to use it. Everyone is welcome to join us to get more out of it. Whatever you’re comfortable with. If you can develop something, someone will be using it. I am very pleased at what it has become, it’s a great project. Do the things you enjoy.”
Written by Eline