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Marie Grace Gaffud Antonio is an Open Source advocate working with Bluepoint Foundation as Executive Director and Director of Operations. Magie and Engels are proud parents of Psylocke & Phoenix.
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Interview: Engels and Magie Antonio
by Dominique Cimafranca

March 11, 2002

Engels and Marie Grace Gaffud-Antonio are part of the dynamic team behind Bluepoint, a Linux consulting and training NGO. Recently, they made the local headlines with their appointment as Red Hat's official training arm in the Philippines. But this is a feather in the cap, as they have done extensive work with Linux education in the country. More info on that from their web site at http://www.bluepoint.com.ph.

Being a husband-and-wife team also puts them in a unique position within the Linux community. Perhaps the penguin will bring more couples together in the future? If so, they'll have a good role model in Engels and Magie.

Q: What's taking up most of your time these days?

Engels: I just finished my RHCX training under Red Hat's Chief Instructor and subsequently conducted Bluepoint's first RH300 course offering.

Magie: I'm busy scheduling Linux and Open Source seminars and trainings nationwide as promised to Pres. Arroyo when we met her last February 13 with the Red Hat people. I'm also a member of the OpenLMS team. OpenLMS is e-learning software that we are doing with different schools under the Bluepoint Open Source Software (BOSS) program.


Q: What was your first computer?

Engels: A Wang 80286. Quite powerful back then, having more than the usual 640K of RAM.

Magie: A 386 with 2MB RAM and a 500MB hard drive, way back in the high school days.


Q: And how did you first get involved with Linux?

Engels: I think it was way back in October of 1991. My cousin sent me a copy of the first bleeding edge kernels via snail mail on a floppy, together with a crude version of what we now call a HOW-TO, plus some other stuff. I got it to boot.

Things started getting useful when I got hold of the 1.0.9 kernel--I was able to run a multi-node BBS on my 80386 and start participating in the file and message echoes of Fidonet.

Magie: I was one of the SysOps of the Linux-based Dominion BBS in 1995.


Q: What do you like best about Linux?

Engels: I usually refer to Linux as the Philosopher's Stone. With it, I can turn any machine into gold, so to speak. You can say that what I like most about Linux is its open nature, which is the source of its versatility and stability.

Magie: Linux challenges me and my computer's capability--reminds me that I can do more with what the ever-developing technology has to offer. It's very non-delimiting.


Q: Can you list down your favorite Linux tools and apps?

Engels: Kernel development tools...I love playing around with the Linux kernel. PVM and MPI are also on top my list. I consider Squid and the userspace ipchains/iptables utilities as the "magic" behind most networks today. OpenSSH is a remote SysAd's dream come true.

Magie: I think Evolution is a cool e-mail client. I use it most of the time for my correspondence. Xinerama of X11R6.4 is fun. It is an X server extension that allows multiple physical monitors to behave as a single screen--I can drag apps across monitors! The "service" command, which replaces "/etc/rc.d/init.d/servicename", is also very helpful.


Q: What is the Linux project you are proudest of?

Engels: I met some of my former students from way back during the Bluepoint-Red Hat partnership launch. Most of them have become really great and respected system administrators, network engineers, security experts, lead programmers, and Red Hat Certified Engineers. So, they may not be Linux projects per se, but I'm very proud of them. Corny no? But hey, it's the truth.


Q: Aside from Linux and computers, what do you do?

Engels: From time to time, I return to my first love--electronics. I sometimes long for the excitement of competitive swimming and always enjoy GIMP lessons from my seven-year old daughter, Psylocke.

Magie: Aside from managing the operations of the Bluepoint Foundation, I work on my Judo when time permits. I also look forward to weekend sound trips with my unica hija.


Q: Excuse me, did you actually name your daughter Psylocke? Or is that just a nickname?

Engels: Affirmative.


Q: Well, I wish I had a cool name like that. I always wanted to be called...Galactus. One last pair of questions: first, how did you meet?

Engels: Maj and I were blockmates at the College of Engineering in UP Diliman. We were together since our freshman year.


Q: Wow, college sweethearts. And how long have you been married?

Engels: Eight years last February 16, kind sir.


Q: Well, that's about all the time we have. Thanks for the interview!

Engels and Magie: Our pleasure.
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