Originally Published: Saturday, 19 February 2000 Author: Nico Lumma
Published to: interact_articles_jobs_profiles/Job Profiles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Linux Information for the Linux Community

Dave Whitinger, 24, currently works as Community Relations Director for Atipa Linux Solutions. Most members of the Linux community probably use a website on a daily basis that Dave Whitinger co-founded: Linux Today

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Dave Whitinger, 24, currently works as Community Relations Director for Atipa Linux Solutions. Most members of the Linux community probably use a website on a daily basis that Dave Whitinger co-founded: Linux Today

Dave has sold Linux Today three months ago to internet.com and has since worked with Atipa. Dave says he is "the corporate conscience" of Atipa and it is basically his job to see how business decisions would effect the Linux community.

Dave started to get interested in Linux when he worked for IBM in 1994/95. At that time he used OS/2 warp, because he was "always trying to avoid windows". He wanted to check out Linux, but didn't really find the time to do so. When he worked for an ISP in Nuremburg, Germany, he finally managed to get his hands on a Slackware distribution and started to use Linux. He recalls: "I basically locked myself into my room and spent 16 hours installing and configuring Slackware." Although his girlfriend (now his wife) and his mother thought he was wasting his time, Dave was sure that using Linux would change his life. Among his many jobs was a stint with Red Hat in 1997 as Director of Tech Support and another with a TelCo, where he basically built a customized Linux distribution.

In 1998 he started Linux Today, because he felt that there was a need in the Linux community for a website that would publish daily newsitems on all aspects of Linux. In the beginning, Linux Today was run from his house and the webserver was also used as his workstation, which sometimes led to unexpected downtimes. Gradually Linux Today evolved from a part-time endeavour to his fulltime job. The step was not an easy one, because Dave had bills to pay and a wife and kid rely on him, but he never regretted this step.

In late 1999 Dave was looking for a new challenge and in the process sold Linux Today to internet.com, which gave him the opportunity to start a new project called Linsight. Linsight provides a one-stop resource for Linux events and Linux training.

Dave describes his workday as chaotic, since he basically deals with whatever happens next. He starts early in the morning at 7 am with reading and writing emails, browsing the web and reading newssites. "I am trying to have a finger on the pulse of the Linux community," Dave says. He is always looking for something new and therefore spends a lot of time analyzing the current community websites to find out what the Linux community has and what it lacks. Before creating a new web project, Dave writes a lengthy spec sheet, which is also helpful to keep in focus once a website is launched. Most of his time is spent doing management chores and he rarely finds time to code anymore. He has written his own webstats analysis tool which lets him get a detailed view of his websites, but the websites itself are mostly coded by his co-workers.

Although Dave works for Atipa, he lives in Blountville, Tennessee and not in Kansas City, Missouri, where Atipa is based. He has never visited the Atipa offices, but rather relies on E-mail and phone to keep in touch with them.

We will certainly see more ideas from Dave being implemented in the near future: "I constantly think about what we are going to do next."

You can reach Dave Whitinger at dave@linsight.com.





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